McDonald’s is, at this point in American history, ubiquitous. You can’t swing a dead Fry Guy in the U.S. without hitting a McDonaldland. This isn’t only well-known; it’s part of their corporate identity right on their signage: billions and billions served (they’ve stopped counting, by the way—which sort of sucks, really).
What’s perhaps less known is that McDonald’s is ubiquitous worldwide. It’s not just Americans who are lovin’ it. But since tastes in fast food differ from place to place? So does the McFood being offered. And sometimes—at least to American eyes? The menu gets pretty odd.
10. McHomard (Canada)
Canadians are generally seen as a fairly even-tempered lot. But just try to take away this lobster-roll Mickey-D’s style (homard is French for lobster), and watch them Canadians kick some McAss. They say you can get this in Maine, too—but really, is Maine all that different from Canada? Let’s not split hairs, people.
9. Maharaja Mac (India)
Cows are sacred to the Hindi in India—and not in the same way that beef is sacred to the American dinner plate. So to avoid rioting in the Bangladesh streets, McDonald’s there came up with a new versions of the Big Mac: the McMutton. When that didn’t take, they tried chicken, and called in the Maharajah Mac (and no actual Maharajahs were harmed in the making of this Mac). So: Big Mac, hold the sacrilege.
8. Pasta Zoo Happy Meal (Australia)
The weird thing about this Australian kids’ meal wasn’t that it included animal-shaped pasta, or even that there were specifically ten pieces of pasta in each pack. (Okay, that’s a little anal, but whatever.) The really disturbing thing was the sauce, which they called Zoo Goo. I’m sorry, but…what? I’ve been to many zoos, and there’s no goo that I’ve seen there that I’d want anywhere near my pasta.
7. Greek Mac (Greece)
File this one under “barely even trying”. If you stick the innards of a Big Mac into a pita, does that mean that it’s Greek? I guess the special sauce is made from yogurt, but no feta? And the burgers are still crappy Mcpatties? I guess some disappointment is universal.
6. Bacon Potato Pie (Asia)
Pies at McDonald’s are normally limited to dessert items: their traditional apple, if you’re lucky, a specialty pie like cherry or blueberry, or pumpkin for the holidays. But ask for a pie in parts of Asia, and you’ll get something that tastes like either a deep fried pirogue, or an incomplete shepherd’s pie.
5. McMollettes (Mexico)
4. KiwiBurger (New Zealand)
This burger doesn’t sound so strange—beef patty, tomato, fried egg—until you get down to the last ingredient: beetroot. If someone asked me “hey, is there any veggie you don’t want to try on your burger?” “Beetroot” would be right up there. Just in case, I’d also not like the following on my burger: grass, corn husks, or orange rind.
3. My Poutine (Canada)
Everyone has their own idea of what’s good on French fries: ketchup, mayonnaise, ranch dressing, chili and cheese, even mustard. But in Quebec, they add cheese curds, and top it off with brown gravy. What’s more annoying than all that is the fact that they refer to it with the added possessive “My”. And honestly, I want no part of curds and gravy, thanks. Don’t try to drag me into that mess.
2. Koroke Burger (Japan)
This Japanese entry sort of defies the idea of “burger”. If it’s on a bun, and that’s all the sandwich shares with a hamburger, is it still a burger? If I put tuna salad on a bun, does that make it a burger? I don’t think so. Likewise, this concoction of mashed potato, shredded cabbage, and katsu sauce just doesn’t seem like a burger to me. It seems like a “here’s some crap I found in my fridge” sandwich (which is pretty much what I lived on in college).
1. Mega Mac (China, Ireland, Serbia, Japan, Turkey, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand)
Okay, suddenly the Koroke Burger seems more logical. At least it’s probably semi-healthy. This monster is just a super-sized double-meat Big Mac, which means that the weirdest thing about it is that it’s not widely available in the States. And seriously, no more talk about how being stupid-obese is a peculiarly American deal, okay?