- McDonald’s will bring four international “Worldwide Favourites” to its US restaurants beginning on June 5.
- The limited-time menu items include the Grand McExtreme Bacon Burger from Spain, cheesy bacon fries from Australia, the Stroopwafel McFlurry from the Netherlands, and the tomato-mozzarella chicken sandwich from Canada.
- I tried all four of the new menu items, and I was stunned by how much I enjoyed them.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
In the first national rollout of its kind, McDonald’s is bringing its “Worldwide Favourites” to US locations for a limited time this summer.
Four international menu items will be available starting June 5 at McDonald’s restaurants across the country. In the mix for the national rollout are Spain’s Grand McExtreme Bacon Burger, Australia’s cheesy bacon fries, the Netherlands’ Stroopwafel McFlurry, and Canada’s tomato-mozzarella chicken sandwich. McDonald’s tested the Grand McExtreme and the Stroopwafel McFlurry at locations in South Florida last year, Business Insider’s Kate Taylor previously reported.
McDonald’s has restaurants in more than 100 countries, and each country has a distinct menu tailored to local tastes and customs. However, this will be the first time the company is bringing a full international menu items to the US nationally.
Chris Kempczinski, president of McDonald’s USA, said at a press event in New York City on Tuesday that he hoped that offering rotating international menu items would “become a way to showcase global McDonald’s favourites year-round.”
I tried these new items, and they shattered my expectations. Here’s what I thought:
TOMATO-MOZZARELLA CHICKEN SANDWICH: Customers can choose a grilled or crispy chicken patty for this sandwich, which is then topped with tomato, mozzarella, onions, lettuce, and a tomato and herb sauce on a toasted brioche bun. I’m generally a nonbeliever in grilled chicken patties at fast-food restaurants, so I was apprehensive.
Oh, Canada! You’ve found a way to make a tangy tomato sauce play nice with grilled chicken. And for once, the grilled chicken tasted like grilled chicken. The simple veggie toppings were elevated by the melty mozz and the exceptionally creamy tomato basil sauce. The brioche bun was nicely toasted on the inside.
CHEESY BACON FRIES: My biggest question regarding this item is: why isn’t it always on the US menu? McDonald’s flirted with a run in January but ran away from the altar before deciding to bring them back again this June. But cheesy bacon fries are the obvious next step in the evolution of fries.
Competitors have done it. Why has it taken McDonald’s so long to commit?
Can cheesy bacon fries even be bad? Aside from being a little too salty and the bacon being more salad bits than real bacon, this item is what you’d want and expect from cheesy bacon fries. The cheese is satisfying and adheres the bacon bits to the fries. I hope these will become a permanent addition to the menu.
GRAND MCEXTREME BACON BURGER: What makes this bacon burger different from the Bacon Quarter Pounder with Cheese, the Bacon Smokehouse Burger, or the Bacon Clubhouse Burger? Well, not the bacon. It’s the same applewood-smoked bacon that tops all three. But have you seen gouda on a McDonald’s burger patty before? It also has slivered onions and smoky McBacon sauce.
This burger is McExtremely good. The patty is thick and juicy, and the gouda, onion, and bacon work well together to add dense flavour to each bite. The bun is thick, fluffy, and toasted. The real MVP, though, is the smoky McBacon sauce: a red, tangy, mayo-based flavour potion that brings out the best in every element of the burger.
STROOPWAFEL MCFLURRY: The Dutch may not have been first to invent the windmill, but they sure did invent the stroopwafel. And for that, I am forever grateful. A little stroopwafel goes a long way. So why not put one in a McFlurry?
The Stroopwafel McFlurry is a perfect duet of creamy vanilla and sticky, crunchy caramel cookie. It’s like dulce de leche soft serve with bits of Dutch wafel. Each spoonful is loaded with stroopwafel chunks and drips sweet, sweet caramel.
My one nitpick is that stroopwafel is inherently stiff and unforgiving, and the cold of the ice cream only exacerbates that. The caramel stroopwafel chunks may take a toll on your chompers, but it’s worth the cavities.
Every item in this taste test was a winner in my book, but the most memorable bite goes to Spain’s Grand McExtreme Bacon Burger. The name may be a mouthful, but thankfully, so is the burger. With flavours that are simple yet rewarding, the burger demonstrates that Spaniards expect more from their fast-food burgers. And now, Americans can, too.
These international menu items have been missing from the US McDonald’s menu for way too long. McDonald’s offers such diverse and intriguing menu items around the world — often even seeming to be of higher quality than their US counterparts — that I’m surprised it took the company this long to bring some of them home.
These newbies will inject US McDonald’s with desperately needed fresh flavour, and I hope that this time won’t be the last. Here’s hoping we’ll soon get to take a McCulinary tour of more continents. On the horizon: green tea milkshakes, Maharaja Macs, and McFalafel sandwiches? Here’s hoping.
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