One of my favorite things to do when traveling is ogle at the sometimes bizarre culture-specific versions of the fast food restaurants I grew up with. As the biggest global fast food chain, McDonald’s restaurants can be found in just about every corner of the world. Of course, each country adds their own spin to the menu, but these items take that to a whole other level:
1. Sausage N’ Egg Twisty Pasta (Hong Kong)
This breakfast item is an unconventional but delicious way to kick off your morning. It features the titular noodles in either a chicken or tonkotsu broth, various vegetables, an egg, and a good old slab of sausage. You can also get it with ham instead. Unlike many of the other items on this list, which were promotional specials, you can still get the Sausage N’ Egg Twisty Pasta at McDonald’s Hong Kong.
2. McChoco Potato (Japan)
The limited time only McChoco Potato, which is a serving of classic McDonald’s French Fries with a side of white chocolate and fudge sauce, is a publicity stunt if I’ve ever seen one. Surprisingly, customers generally seemed to like the novelty snack. It debuted in January 2016, but thankfully for the general health of the Japanese people, it’s been retired since.
3. McRice Burger (Philippines)
Filipino people really do love their rice. Taking a tour through a few countries like Taiwan and Singapore before gaining some fleeting popularity in the Philippines, the McRice Burger used discs of flavored sticky rice in place of burger buns. It was discontinued in 2008.
4. Corn and Cheesy Champignon Toastie (Hong Kong)
Introducing yet another McDonald’s Hong Kong breakfast item. The Corn and Cheesy Champignon Toastie is an interesting rendering of the grilled cheese sandwich. By the way, the “corn” means, well, corn, and the “champignon” means champignon mushrooms. So it’s a grilled cheese with macaroni, corn, and mushrooms. Can something be both gross and mouthwatering at the same time?
5. Durian McFlurry (Malaysia)
Not everyone loves Durian. But everyone does love McFlurries. What happens when you try to bridge the gap? Malaysia’s Durian McFlurry happens, of course. Since 2013, this dessert has been on-and-off the McDonald’s menu, perfectly representing that love-hate relationship people have with the infamous fruit.
6. Spam Oreo Burger (China)
The Spam Oreo Burger is undoubtedly the most bizarre item on this list. According to McDonald’s, combining the two slices of spam, oreo crumble, and mayonnaise in a burger was a way to combine savory and sweet, with a special crunch to top it off. Now, obviously, it was more a marketing ploy than anything, but in McDonald’s defense, it worked. Thousands were talking about it on Twitter and Youtubers scrambled to make review and tutorial videos about the burger. These reactions weren’t exactly positive, but any publicity is good publicity, right? It was introduced last December with a very limited release of only 400,000 burgers.
7. Spicy Black Burger (Malaysia)
In 2014, Burger King Japan dropped the “Black Burger”, which used charcoal to achieve its unique color. Of course, McDonald’s Japan was not content sharing the fast food spotlight. Soon after, they released their own version, which was squid-ink flavored. This trend spread to McDonald’s chains in other countries, culminating in the Korean Spicy Black Burger. Despite its name and ingredients (it contains kimchi!), this item was served in Malaysia.
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