Burger-lovers of the world rejoice: we're about to jet off on an intriguing McJourney around the world. Beyond the classics -- we're talking staples like the Big Mac, McChicken, Quarter Pounder, cheeseburger and Filet-O-Fish -- there exists another whole world of juicy, often-questionable, burgery goodness.
Every region on this vast planet of ours sports unique people, cultures, and culinary preferences. So while a burger dyed jet black with squid ink might seem farfetched and a little repulsive, it's perfectly normal and beloved over in plenty of Asian countries.
From shrimp-filled sandwiches to a burger promised to bring good luck, grab the knife and fork and let's get stuck into the obscure side of Ronald McDonald's personality. Here are 10 McDonald's burgers that you can't find in America.
10 The McToast (Sweden)
Over in the Scandinavian country of Sweden, as well as a few of its neighboring nations, the fast-food giant we know and love offers us a rather simple breakfast option.
Instead of opting for a BLT or sausage and egg McMuffin, hungry customers can order a good old McToast. We don’t mind the overly basic approach of sliding in a couple of slices of cheese and a slice of ham between two halves of a burger bun. People don’t always want hefty meals for breakfast, so it makes sense. What we can’t quite wrap our heads around, however, is why the bun flipped inside out.
9 The Shrimp Burger (Japan and Korea)
At plenty of McDonald’s outlets in Asia, particularly Japan and Korea (each of which being known for radical, progressive menu items), hungry customers have the option to order a burger made with shrimp meat. Just as they would with beef, the shrimp is ground up and mashed into a patty before being breaded.
In classic McDonald’s style, the patty is served with either too much or too little lettuce, a single slice of tomato, and a sauce that’s neither mild nor spicy. Nevertheless, the shrimp burger which is still available on selective menus across Asia is worth trying if passing through the region.
8 The McRice (Philippines)
On our next leg of this mouth-watering McDonald’s journey across the globe, we’re taking a quick stop in the Philippines. Rice is a large part of Filipino food culture, so it should come as no surprise that it’s made its way onto the menus of local McDonald’s outlets.
The patty (either beef or chicken) is served alongside relatively normal condiments, but where this burger goes totally left-field is with the buns. Ronald McDonald has ditched the bread bun altogether and replaced it with a bun-shaped construction of toasted, white rice. It certainly presents an intriguing visual, but taste-wise there’s nothing too peculiar about it.
7 The McArabia (Egypt)
Fasten your seatbelts because our McPlane is about to land and take its next McLayover in the hot and historic Middle Eastern country of Egypt. The intriguing McArabia, which is primarily sold in Egypt but also in a few selected locations in neighboring countries, consists of two grilled chicken patties, with tomatoes, lettuce, and tahini sauce. It all delicately comes together in a thick piece of flatbread.
Besides the choice of bread, there’s nothing too out of the ordinary in the McArabia compared a few other items on this list. It embraces the local culinary culture and is well worth a try.
6 The Samurai Pork Burger (Thailand)
The next stop on our speedy McJourney across the globe is the culturally-rich nation of Thailand. Since red meat such as beef and lamb isn’t overly common in the region, McDonald’s Thailand decided to introduce a burger that was easier to produce at mass capacity.
Enter the popular McDonald’s Samurai Pork Burger. Simply put, it is a pork patty that is doused with a layer of teriyaki sauce, then topped with a classic handful of lettuce and the mystery mayo-like white sauce. Besides a meat switcheroo, the Samurai really isn’t too different to what we’re used to seeing on Western McDonald’s menus.
5 The Maine Lobster Sandwich (Italy)
Lobster has never had a fast-food association and plenty of food connoisseurs and restaurant owners worldwide would heavily agree with that. Well, unfortunately, it’s a case of too bad, so sad for them, because over in Italy, McDonald’s gave it a real go when they released the Maine lobster roll as a genuine menu item.
The dish, which is served on a hot dog style bun, features lobster as the main ingredient alongside some crunchy, crispy veggies and concoction of creamy sauces. Pairing luxurious lobster with cheap hot dog buns just doesn’t seem right, but hey, if it sells it sells.
4 The Prosperity Burger (Hong Kong)
We’re back on the McPlane and hopping from Europe back to Asia for our next quirky McDonald’s menu item. For anyone who has ever felt both hungry and out of luck at the same time, we wish you’d discovered Hong Kong’s Prosperity Burger a little sooner.
The Prosperity Burger is served on a sesame seed bun and consists of either a beef patty or hash brown, dipped in black pepper sauce and then topped around with onions. While it can be accompanied with a side of curly fries, we can’t solidly prove that it’ll come with a plate of good luck. That being said, it’s worth a shot, right?
3 The Chicken Maharaja Mac (India)
The Big Mac is a staple of the McDonald’s brand and at the core of this signature burger is a couple of juicy beef patties. While McDonald’s in India wanted to be able to produce a Big Mac-style menu item, they had to find an alternative to beef. Cows are considered sacred in Hinduism, and since the majority of the country is of Hindu faith, using beef simply wasn’t viable (and in some areas, legal).
At first, they replaced the beef with lamb, but they’ve finally found the perfect replacement: chicken! McDonald’s India also throws in a few jalapenos instead of pickles, typical of the country’s love of heat and spices.
2 The NYC Benedict Bagel (New Zealand)
The next pit stop on our McRace around the world is way down in the southern hemisphere. Across the friendly nation of New Zealand, hungry McDonald’s customer will find a menu item consisting of a strip of bacon, a perfectly (and somewhat worryingly) round egg, and a dollop of hollandaise sauce sandwiched between a sliced-up plain bagel.
It’s essentially an off-brand eggs benedict, and while it might seem like it pales in comparison to the real deal, you can’t knock it ‘till you try it. Grab one alongside a hash brown and a large cup of orange juice and you’re all set for the most important meal of the day.
1 The Black Burger (Japan)
To wind up this roller coaster of a burger journey, we’re taking a quick visit into McDonald’s Japan. The Japanese have never been known to keep it simple or boring in the food or drink department, often being much more experimental and progressive than the rest of the world.
The core of this burger isn’t too out of the ordinary. It sports two succulent beef patties topped with a slice of cheese, a handful of fried onions and some spicy cheese sauce. Clearly where it differs, however, is in the bun department. The buns get that jet black color thanks to a simple squid ink dye, and while that might not sound overly appealing, it’s more for aesthetic purposes than taste.