Monday, August 13, 2012

French Fry Diary 404: McDonald's Around the World

While it started in the United States many decades ago, McDonald's has conquered the world, and their French fries supremacy follows them through most of the planet. In some places the McFries are known by other names, like McFritas in Portugeuse, but they are still the same great fries. It's true, the fries remain the same in much of the world, but there are exceptions, and there are some intriguing and downright bizarre serving differences.

In Mexico, you can order McPatatas (that's "McPotatoes" in Spanish), which are seasoned potato wedges served up in a cup. In Hong Kong, during New Year season, you can get twisted curly fries. Costa Rica has steak fries, and Canada of course has poutine.

In India, you can get the McAloo Tikki. This is McDonald's take on that spiced potato croquette dish featuring a breaded deep-fried patty of potatoes and peas served on a hamburger bun along with tomatoes, onions, a special vegetable sauce, and ketchup. A perfect vegetarian burger for a land where you really can't have burgers… and it's made from potatoes.

In Germany, Hong Kong, Turkey, and several other Eastern European countries, Mickey D's has, wait for it, onion rings. They are standard-sized and use whole rings of onion rather than chopped onions like the competition at Burger King.

In the Netherlands you can get a special condiment for your fries called American Sauce. It's a yellow mayo we don't have in the States. Go figure. In the UK and in India you can get curry as a dipping sauce. In Poland they have the Ruffian Sandwich which is basically a burger with a second patty that is a Hash Brown rather than beef.  In the Philippines, McDonald's seasonally offers standard curly fries, known as Twister Fries there.  Man, I wish they'd have them here - Americans are quite fond of curly fries too, ya know? 

Also in Hong Kong, you can get Shake Shake Fries, where you put your fries in a bag a la Shake N Bake with whatever you want on your fries. Think cheddar, garlic, or regional favorites - chargrill, French onion, salt and pepper, and seaweed. Yeah, seaweed. To each their own. These shaker fries are very popular throughout the Indian Ocean and South Pacific region.

For additional side orders, around the world you can also get McRice, shrimp scampi, cheese empanadas, corn, and even gazpacho.

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