If you’ve grown up surrounded by Big Macs and McNuggets, it’s easy to think you know all there is to know about McDonald’s. Surely there’s only so much low quality beef and floppy fried chicken you can try before it all blends into one? Fortunately for the lapsed McDonald’s fanboy, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that there is a foolproof way to fall back in love with your favourite chain. The bad news is it means grabbing your passport and heading to the airport.
As soon as you go international, McDonald’s menu becomes a whole lot more exciting and unexpected. Some staples might remain in place, but on every continent you’ll find a few twists on classic dishes that are guaranteed to get your taste buds going. Here are 7 international McDonald’s menu items that you know you need to try.
Beef might be the bedrock of basically every American fast food menu, but things are a little different in India. In a country where many people regard the cow as sacred, the idea of flogging Big Macs is anathema. Enter the “Maharaja Mac”. Veggie patties, lettuce, tomato and curry sauce make this an awesome twist on a fan favourite.
When the “McRib” left American menus, a collective cry went up across the nation. No sandwich has since come close to being so delicious and so sought after. Luckily for the people of Germany, the McRib remains a permanent fixture.
Canada and poutine go together like fast food and heart disease, so it’s only right that Canadian Maccies decided to make their own version of the Great White North’s classic comfort food. It might not have the finesse of a traditional poutine, but there’s no doubt that Canadians and casual foreign visitors are grateful for the effort.
4. Carbonara Fries
Canada aren’t the only country that can claim to have mastered the art of upgrading the French fry. A recent addition to McDonald’s menus in Japan, “Carbonara Loaded Fries” come with a creamy bacon and black pepper loaded sauce that might increase the calorie count, but also turns the flavour up to 11.
5. Taro Pie
Since it first burst onto the fast food scene in the 1960s, the apple pie has been a mainstay of the McDonald’s line up. However, in China and Hong Kong, the franchise might have come up with something even better. The “Taro Pie” is loaded with taro root - which apparently tastes like “sweetened sweet potato”.
6. Purple McShake
If there’s one thing that McDonald’s Japan does better than anywhere else on earth, it’s milkshakes. Though there are all sorts of mad flavours on offer, our runaway favourite has to be the sweet potato-based “Purple McShake”. It might look like something that belongs in Rick and Morty, but the drink is apparently delicious.
7. Toblerone McFlurry
Other than the apple pie, McFlurries are possibly the best dessert to ever come out of a fast food kitchen. Though they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes Stateside, the undoubted king of the McFlurry range actually comes from Scandinavia. A “Toblerone McFlurry” is one of those ideas that just makes total sense. Why we don’t all get to enjoy it remains a mystery.
Even if you think you’ve drained the fast food well dry, it’s obvious from this list that there’s always more to discover. For the hungry traveller, there is always going to be something exciting underneath the golden arches.