United States: McDonalds

McDonald’s, or Mackie D’s as it is fondly known by myself and some of my friends, was founded in 1955 in Illinois in the United States. It is currently the largest hamburger chain around the world and according to Wikipedia it serves 68 million people daily in 119 countries. It first came to South Africa around 1996 and I remember there being quite a hype about the first one in Pietermaritzburg. I remember the Happy Meal toys were Fifa World Cup related at the time. I love their milkshakes, fries and junior cheese burgers (no pickles or onions unless you want a very miserable Bear). Many a trip to McDonald’s was taken in the early hours of the morning after a party, or around 9am the day after a party (and other times in between that!). I try not to eat fast food anymore, but I do still love a good ol Junior Cheese every now and then.

I mentioned in my blog that the USA was not easy to cook. I felt there was little variety (although I understand that this was also due to my non meat and treat eating at the time). My brother’s explanation was more simple, and possibly harsh to hear if you’re from the USA. He said it was just “boring.” I mentioned that Tom was definitely a better creative cook – following his instinct more than a recipe. He’s the same in real life. He follows his instinct and what he feels to be right, instead of doing what others say he should be doing, or what they report to be the done thing. He doesn’t suffer fools gladly, and this cooking challenge was no exception. He didn’t want to cook something from the USA because it was boring, and followed his instinct and bought McDonald’s instead – and I LOVE that he did. I understand it may be simplifying the USA cuisine, but I don’t think we have too many American friends and are unlikely to be offending anybody… And we do like McDonald’s, so that’s something!

My friend Faye and her husband attempted to find out whether McDonald’s tastes the same all over the world. Simon has eaten McDonald’s in Thailand, China, Hong Kong, Bali, England, Australia, Canada, South Africa, Philippines, Dubai and Singapore. They say that Australia or Thailand have definitely been the best, and that it doesn’t taste the same in every country.

I have eaten McDonald’s in 4 countries (pretty good going – or so I thought until reading how many places Simon has eaten it) – South Africa, England, Scotland and Poland. I don’t want to split hairs but it did feel like there were some differences in taste – but very subtle and slight. I didn’t like England that much. I was disappointed in Scotland because I was slightly hungover and they would only serve me breakfast. Poland tasted the most simliar to home – which I enjoy. The one thing I did find amusing is that the cashier in Poland had absolutely no idea what I was talking about when I asked for a quarter pounder with cheese. When I did my research on the matter I realised it had nothing to do with a language barrier but more that because the Poles use the metric system their burgers are not called quarter pounders, but something else (I’m yet to discover what exactly!)

It wasn’t cooked food, but it definitely counts in my book…

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