McDonald’s is one of the few universal constants. It’s why we turn to the golden arches as a go-to in times of uncertainty; in foreign lands; in international airports: because no matter where you are in the world when your cravings hit, you can always count on Ronald to plate you up a run-of-the-mill cheeseburger and fries.
Maccas is reliably the same wherever you go – and yet, as anyone who’s ever sought out a Big Mac overseas will tell you, every Maccas is different. These places are more like parallel universes than cookie-cutter replicants: the essence remains unchanged, but the devil is in the details.
Maybe the mustard’s been subbed out for wasabi and soy sauce, or the nuggets have been replaced with potato croquettes; maybe the coke machine’s got a beer tap and the guy in front of you’s just ordered a ‘Royale With Cheese’. Whatever the case, these strange menu items can be disarming, unsettling and altogether outlandish to the unsuspecting eye.
They can also be kinda great, as it turns out. Here are some of the more absurd but also appealing Maccas burgers from around the world, ranked in order of edibility.
Okay, I know this seems like a shakey start, but hear me out for a second. While McToast may sound like the single most depressing fucking thing anyone could ever hope to order from the 14-year-old cashier at the Maccas counter, there are a few things to keep in mind here.
The first is that this is essentially a ham-and-cheese toasted sandwich, rather than a steamed piece of bread with 2c butter scraped over it. The second is that – and I don’t care who you are, this remains an objective truth – toasted sandwiches are the shit. The third thing is that the McToast is a toasted sandwich with bloody inside-out burger buns as the bread! Genius!!
Available in Sweden and a handful of other European countries.
4. Shrimp Beef Burger
When you type the website description for South Korea’s Shrimp Beef Burger into Google translator, it spits out this very wonderful piece of poetry:
“Excellent compatibility with Shrimp and Beef! Schwieberger!
Toggle Tangle A Nutcracker
Fill the beef patty with a whopping patty!”
In reality, the Supreme Shrimp Burger looks fucking macabre, like some creature from the abyss that’s outgrown its lightly crumbed carapace and is erupting, raw and pink, through the shell. Like someone’s actual hand has been put through the deep-fryer and chucked onto a McOz.
This is probably one of those things that’s actually pretty tasty once you neck up and take a bite, but still… suffering hell.
3. The McBifana
Did you know: Portugal’s national sandwich is not, in fact, the Oporto Bondi Burger? Apparently it’s something called the ‘bifana’, which is basically just a pork steak seasoned with garlic and spices and stuffed inside a bread roll. Anyway, it’s supposed to be wild – so wild, in fact that Portuguese Maccas has gone and concocted their very own McBifana.
This is a pretty strong example of less being more: two grilled pork patties shoved into a semi-crispy bread roll, with a slightly sour sauce for that extra ‘howzat’.
It looks like something you’d find behind the fridge during an end-of-lease clean, but you can’t argue with the simplicity of the thing. Big points for modesty on a Maccas burger, as well.
2. The Greek Mac
You could probably take a stab at what a ‘Greek Mac’ might look like and you’d be pretty close to the mark. This is what happens when you turf the buns on the Mac, chuck the rest of the ingredients into a half-folded piece of pita bread, and substitute the original sauce for a delightful tzatziki.
Essentially a McDonald’s take on the never-not-good Greek staple: the gyro.
1. The Chicken Maharaja Mac
Remember what I was saying before about modesty? I bet you don’t. I bet you skipped straight to see what the number one most ridiculous Maccas burger would be and didn’t even bother reading numbers five through two, you motherfucker.
Anyway, India’s Chicken Maharaja Mac isn’t all that much less modest than the classic Big Mac in terms of size: it is, in fact, just a Big Mac with chicken instead of the sacred beef. But by the time you swap pickles for jalapenos and the Mac’s original secret sauce for a fiery habanero mayonnaise, you’ve got yourself a real firestarter.
The description for this burger on McDonald’s India’s website comes with a word of warning: “remember to have time on your hands when you pick this burger, its superlative richness takes time to devour”.
Also available with crispy cheese and corn patties for all the vego’s in the house.
Honorary Mention: Georgie Pie
Were you guys aware that New Zealand Maccas sells dog’s eyes? Were you?! I, for one, was not.
Is it technically a burger? Not really. Does that matter? Not really, really. The so-called ‘Georgie Pie’ is made using quality New Zealand beef mince and cheese and is almost definitely as excellent as all that sounds. You can even get something called a ‘Georgie Pie Hunger Buster’, which is essentially just a medium quarter-pounder meal with a pie and a small sundae very unnecessarily thrown in.
Bravo, New Zealand. Raise the bat.
Feature image: Rocketnews 24