McDonald’s might be many things, but spicy isn’t one of them. As irresistible as a Big Mac and French fries undoubtedly is, it’s not exactly famous for its piquancy. It’s more like chewing on a fat, salty pillow. The rest of the menu tends to offer more of the same. Obviously, as the single biggest fast food franchise on the face of the planet, there’s a lot to be said for this strategy.
However, despite years of blissful blandness, the powers that be at Maccies HQ have decided that it’s high time they turned the heat up in the kitchen. For a limited time only, McDonald’s will be offering some customers the chance to get their teeth into the chain’s spiciest ever sandwiches: “The Spicy Jalapeno McChicken”; “The Spicier Habanero McChicken”; and “The Spiciest Ghost Pepper McChicken”. For the first time ever, McDonald’s are playing with fire.
Available only in select Canadian restaurants, the three sandwiches represent a marked departure from the business’ usual recipe for success. Brand Eating reports that the Jalapeno McChicken, which was launched in late January, “adds two layers of creamy jalapeno sauce to the regular McChicken’s formula of a breaded chicken patty and lettuce on a sesame seed bun.” From here, the heat only escalates, with the “Habenero McChicken” ramping up the ante on the Scoville scale.
However, despite the somewhat surprising heat delivered by the first two sandwiches, it’s the third that takes things from exciting to terrifying. “The Spiciest Ghost Pepper McChicken” features a sauce made with one of the most ferocious chillies on the planet - the infamous bhut jolokia, or “ghost pepper”. Weighing in at over 1,000,000 SHUs on the Scoville scale, ghost peppers are estimated to be about 100 times hotter than the average jalapeno. That’s a lot of firepower to pack into a mayonnaise.
Despite the drastic departure from McDonald’s usual approach, early reviews have been pretty positive. Blogger “The Other Press” described The Spicy Jalapeno McChicken as “more flavourful than the (standard) McChicken,” while Instagram user “tangtastestoronto” declared that the ghost pepper sandwich delivers “way more heat than you’d ever expect at a chain restaurant.” Given the mixed reaction to most limited releases, the positivity will no doubt be a pleasant surprise to McDonald’s top dogs.
News of the new releases has been particularly welcome, given that it has been several years since the fan favourite “Hot 'n Spicy McChicken” left the McDonald’s menu. Though there have been several attempts to bring it back by beleaguered enthusiasts, appeals have so far fallen on deaf ears. It remains to be seen whether these people are obsessed enough to trek to Canada for a taste of the new range.
As of yet, there are no plans to make the spicy sandwiches available on a wider scale. According to the official McDonald’s website, the three new additions will only be available until March 11. Here’s hoping that they make a big enough splash for the rest of us to get a taste.