Food culture differs wildly around the world, and it means fast food joints often need to adapt their menus to suit various sensitivities and tastes. In India, McDonald’s has no beef or pork products due to the country’s high vegetarian population and religious beliefs. In certain regions where seafood is popular and accessible, menu items include prawn patties and lobster. Some McDonald’s restaurants even serve soup.
In Australia, we miss out on a lot of those weird and wonderful dishes. Our menu is great, and even includes country-exclusives like the Big Brekkie Burger, but you know what would make it even greater? A lovely McShrimp Burger (a McPrawn Burger?), or chocolate salami, or McDo fried chicken with spaghetti.
These are all the wildest McDonald’s menu items we’re missing out on in Australia.
The problem with the European McToast isn’t the ingredients. Ham, cheese and bread is just a basic sandwich, and not too different from the Hungry Jack’s Yumbo.
The problem is that it’s designed so the buns are grilled upside down. Who thought this was a good idea? Crumbs would go everywhere. And back to the ingredients, where’s the sauce? Where’s the fun? The McToast is just a wild idea, top to bottom.
Chicken McDo with Spaghetti (Phillipines)
In select regions, McDonald’s actually eats into KFC’s turf with a mean fried chicken. The McDo range is available in various places around the world (and was reportedly trialled in South Australia) but only some get the wildest McDo variant: the McDo with Spaghetti.
You can find this dish in the Phillipines alongside a range of other exclusive items. The chicken’s fine, but the pasta is where McDonald’s has lost us.
Ham N’ Egg Twisty Pasta (Hong Kong)
This take on ramen is a Hong Kong-exclusive that holds a hideous power.While all these ingredients probably taste delicious, it’s wild to think it comes straight from McDonald’s, the company most known for its burgers and chips.
Here, you’ll find tasty noodles in hot chicken or tonkotsu broth alongside a range of veggies and a perfectly round, fried egg. Again, it’s probably delicious, but McDonald’s ramen is such a novel idea.
McDonald’s Chocolate Salami (Italy)
Chocolate salami is a relatively new menu item being offered in select Italian McDonald’s cafés, and it’s a fascinating piece of food.
The presentation here is key.
Basically, it’s just melted chocolate and biscuit — but it’s made to look like salami in a way that’s so realistic you can’t help but feel a bit sick at the thought. Chocolate salami! What will they think of next?
Bacon Roll (United Kingdom)
The UK’s Bacon Roll is exactly what it sounds like: a roll with bacon, and not much else. Sure, there’s sauce and some buns on it too, but basically, it’s just a bacon roll. A dream for anyone that doesn’t like eggs, and a nightmare for everyone else.
It looks so naked we can barely look it in the eye.
Sweety con Nutella (Italy)
This sweet looks like a traditional hamburger from afar and features the same distinctive golden bun and patty look of other traditional Macca’s burgers. But get up close, and you’ll realise the “bun” here is actually sweet Nutella.
It’s a fantastic prank to play on somebody, but an absolutely wild desert to have on the McDonald’s menu. At least it looks the part.
Local Deluxe Breakfast Platter (Hawaii)
In Hawaii, McDonald’s has a traditional breakfast platter made of egg, rice, Spam and Portuguese sausage which looks like nothing else on the entire menu. It’s a great touch for locals and emulates traditional breakfast platters in the region, but the Spam may be questionable for some.
If you can get past that inclusion this platter is a wild bit of fun, and a dish you should definitely try if you’re ever travelling.
Matcha Red Bean Layer Cake (Hong Kong)
Yep, that’s right — at overseas Macca’s stores, you can grab whole matcha cakes at McCafé for a sugary treat.
Matcha is a flavour that’s become increasingly popular in western countries lately, but unfortunately this delicious-looking sweet looks to be a Hong Kong-only menu item for now. It’s a real shame because it looks absolutely delicious, just like many of the other wonderful global menu items McDonald’s has to offer.
The good news is when lockdowns end and we’re all able to travel again, these unique McDonald’s dishes will be waiting.