There aren’t many comfort foods that can beat a salty, creamy carbonara. A huge heap of spaghetti loaded with bacon, black pepper, rich egg yolks and parmesan cheese, the classic Italian specialty has to be one of the simplest ways to stuff yourself. So popular is the dish that it has become a staple all over the world, offered in every pseudo-Italian restaurant from Texas to Tokyo. Given this, it’s hardly surprising that some people are interested in figuring out carbonara’s potential beyond the pasta bowl.
At the forefront of the creamy revolution are fast food behemoths McDonald’s. The largest restaurant group on earth, the chain operate an estimated 36,000 outlets, open on every continent other than Antarctica. Part of what has helped propel the franchise to its undisputed status as the world leaders in deep fried, speedy dinners is their uncanny ability to adapt their menu. Over the years, everything from curried Big Macs to matcha McFlurries have appeared on their international menus. Now, McDonald’s have lined up carbonara in their sights.
Late last year, the franchise made the epic introduction of carbonara loaded fries onto their menu. The new item features a three cheese pouring sauce, plus a classic blend of smoky bacon and cracked black pepper. The only thing that’s missing from a traditional recipe is the egg. According to a press release that accompanied the launch, the fries “can be selected not only as a single item but also as a side,” allowing anyone to upgrade “for a little extravagant lunch or dinner.”
Naturally, news of this development on the McDonald’s menu made headlines around the world. But, before Maccies fans completely lose their minds, there a couple of quite significant catches to take into consideration. The first is that the fries, delicious though they undoubtedly are, have only been made available on the chain’s Japanese menu, meaning that anyone hoping for a taste will have to hop on the next flight to Kyoto to get their hands on a portion.
The second, and arguably even more heartbreaking, is that the fries were initially only made available for a limited time only at the end of 2018. This means that, as of now, there is currently no way to get your hands on the dish. Given the rapturous reception that the earlier announcement received, it seems sensible to suggest that, were there to be a re release, McDonald’s wouldn’t struggle to generate interest. However, there have been no signs that the restaurant has any plans to bring the item back. A sad day for anyone who likes pasta sauce on their potatoes.
Despite the doom and gloom around not being able to eat something that sounds so obviously delicious, all hope is not quite lost. The limited edition revival of McDonald’s infamous Szechuan sauce proves that, with enough public pressure, even the biggest businesses can be forced to reconsider their approach. For those who need to know what Carbonara Fries are like, the solution is simple - get on the phone to Maccies. It may not be too late to get a taste.