Why can’t we have nice things?

25 02 2012

I never really got why American tourists abroad were always accused of passing up local fare in favor of McDonald’s. Sure, it could be nothing more than a stereotype. Then again, those snobby Europeans might be right–we’re far too attached to what we’re familiar with to try new and exciting things.

But maybe…just maybe…we can’t resist the temptation of the McBaguette.


This tasty bit of cultural bastardization is, in fact, a burger–

a burger made from France’s famed Charolais beef. McDonald’s said the burger will be topped with French-made Emmental cheese and mustard. It will replace the chain’s current special offer here: three limited-edition burgers featuring locally produced cheeses.

Wow. And we red-blooded Americans had to fight tooth and nail to bring back the McRib. It doesn’t stop at the McBaguette, either:

McDo—as the French call it—is trying to appeal to national culinary tastes elsewhere in Europe too. The company has devised around 20 locally tailored menu items in some 14 European countries, including Finland, where it offers the Rye McFeast, a burger served on a rye bun, and Spain, where it offers the tomato-based soup Gazpacho.

In Italy, McDonald’s teamed up in October with Gualtiero Marchesi, the country’s only three-star chef, to create three new recipes: two sandwiches and a dessert. It sold the sandwiches, called Adagio and Vivace, for €4.50 ($5.96) apiece and Minuetto, the dessert, for €2. The company said it has similar partnerships under way in Germany and Austria.

A look at Wikipedia’s list of international McDonald’s offerings reveals a head-spinning variety of regionally-inspired cuisine. Green tea flavored milkshakes in Japan. Crazy rye-bunned hamburgers in Finland. Poland’s McKielbasa. McSchawarma in Israel.

Who needs Michelin Stars when you have the Golden Arches to guide you towards great international eating? I’d jump at the ability to try a few of these dishes here in the states. Come on, McDonald’s. It couldn’t hurt.




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