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Fast Food

A look at some of the exciting fast food options around the world that aren't on Irish menus

None of these have a patch on the humble spicebag.

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YOU MAY NOT have realised this, but McDonald’s twisty fries are basically an Irish thing.

Although they’re a staple of the EuroSaver here, you probably won’t find twisty fries in McDonald’s stores in the UK, USA or Asia. If they are in stock, it’s only for a limited time. If you look up twisty fries abroad, you’ll find articles stating that they were ‘first introduced as a limited edition item in 2015‘ even though plenty of us are certain that they’ve been on the McDonald’s menu for the majority of our lives. Something, something, something, Mandela effect. 

Who’d have thought that Ireland was a country with a fast food menu option that the rest of the world would envy? Usually it’s us begging companies to bring food to us 10 years after it’s standard in the rest of the world (see: Krispy Kreme). 

We decided to take a little trip to a couple of fast food restaurant’s international websites to see what we’re missing out on.

Let’s start with Burger King.  

We’ll start nearby, with the Spanish website. Under the chicken section they have two products that aren’t available in Ireland and that’s the Grand Whiskey BBQ burger:

PastedImage-95137 Burger King ES Burger King ES

And chicken wings:

PastedImage-45408 Burger King ES Burger King ES

Would you eat a chicken wing from Burger King? As much as I like chicken wings, I don’t think these would be calling my name if I spotted them on a Burger King menu. Maybe it’s with good reason they’re not on the Irish menus. 

Over in the beef section, everything’s pretty much the same, except for one burger they’ve got which is called “The KING Huevo.” I’m no expert in Spanish, but I figure that means The Egg King. 

PastedImage-67503 Burger King ES Burger King ES

I can kinda see the appeal, but not really. Imagine eating a Burger King burger with a fried egg in Spanish heat. Eugh. Over in the snacks and sides section of the Spanish Burger King website, things look a little bit better, however. They don’t just do regular chips, but wedges too. 

PastedImage-6537 Burger King ES Burger King ES

Those look pretty good in fairness. They also sell a little bucket of basically every side order, which is something we don’t do in Ireland. Behold, the Cubo de snacks: 

PastedImage-30189 Burger King ES Burger King ES

As you’ll know, if you have ever holidayed in Spain, their drinks selection in fast food restaurants is far superior to ours. They’ve got all the usual stuff, as well as beer, various flavours of Nestea and Fanta Lemon too. 

Before we wrap up with Burger King’s European menus, here are two very interesting items on the German menu. Firstly, we’ve got Santa burgers. Not just any Santa burgers, but SANTAS BEST CHICKEN. 

PastedImage-21037 Burger King DE Burger King DE

Secondly, I decided to add these two because they genuinely looks really tasty.

PastedImage-27530 Burger King DE Burger King DE

Now let’s head over to Japan to see what they’ve got in Burger King there. First stop: beef section. The first thing you’ll notice is that in Japan, a Whopper is actually called a Wapper. The second thing you’ll notice is that they have better Wapper flavours than we do. 

4 cheese Burger King JP Burger King JP

Over in the chicken section, there’s nothing too exciting. They have a burger called the Tartar Chicken, which isn’t available in Ireland but TBH, you’re probably not going to be too broken up over that. 

PastedImage-67287 Burger King JP Burger King JP

They have a special value menu, which features products we don’t have like hotdogs, hash browns and various float drinks.

various float drinks Burger King JP Burger King JP

Similarly to the mainland European Burger Kings, they’ve got a drinks selection that includes Heineken and iced tea. It’s probably for the best that Ireland doesn’t serve alcohol in fast food restaurants, though. 

We’ll take a very quick look at what Burger King in India has got to offer before we move on to Burger King USA. I don’t know what I was expecting to find on Burger King India’s menu, but it certainly wasn’t this:

PastedImage-90479 Burger King IN Burger King IN

They redeemed themselves immediately after, because this Chicken Tandoor Grill looks very nice. 

PastedImage-33462 Burger King IN Burger King IN

Obviously, beef isn’t very big in India, so they have improvised with their Whoppers. 

PastedImage-6155 Burger King IN Burger King IN

They also do burgers that look like massive Chilli Cheese Bites, which also look pretty good. 

PastedImage-81042 Burger King IN Burger King IN

Finally, we’re going to conclude our tour of international Burger King menus with the USA, which includes some menu items that will convince you that every day we truly do stray further from God’s light. 

PastedImage-87288 Burger King US Burger King US

PastedImage-42823 Burger King US Burger King US

PastedImage-23169 Burger King US Burger King US

So far, each of these items look like they were concocted by a 12-year-old who had just knocked back a can of Monster and lost all self control. Speaking of food for 12-year-olds, they also sell crust-less peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. 

PastedImage-5344 Burger King US Burger King US

Their dessert selection is also way more interesting than Ireland’s. There’s a lot of pie. 

pies Burger King US Burger King US

The drink menu for Burger King USA features a lot more frozen drinks (like the ones you’d get at the cinema), fresh Minute Maid lemonade and orange juices and drinks that aren’t very popular in Ireland, like Dr. Pepper. 

Now, let’s see what’s on offer in McDonald’s stores around the world. 

As with Burger King, we’ll start with the Spanish website. The menu is basically the same, but there seems to be a bigger emphasis on the vegetables on the burgers. I had no idea what this burger was supposed to be until I translated the name from Cuarto De Libra to Quarter Pounder. 

PastedImage-44841 McDonald's ES McDonald's ES

Everything else just seems to be the same though. The only burger they’ve got in Spain that we don’t have here is The CBO. 

PastedImage-68076 McDonald's ES McDonald's ES

Let’s move on to the German McDonald’s menu where there are some real wildcards. For example, they’ve got prawns. Yes, PRAWNS. In McDonald’s. Which come with a side of cocktail sauce.

PastedImage-49779 McDonald's DE McDonald's DE

If that’s not enough to blow your mind, they also have a product called the Pizza Mac – which is a pizza burger with a cheese bun.  

PastedImage-93583 McDonald's DE McDonald's DE

Then they’ve also got something fairly similar to that chill cheese bite burger from Burger King Germany. Clearly a lot of demand for jalapeno cheeseburgers in Germany and it’s no wonder because they look really good.

PastedImage-4789 McDonald's DE McDonald's DE

Among McDonald’s Germany’s other interesting menu items, they’ve got a chicken box which is basically just a mix of 12 nuggets and 6 chicken wings. 

PastedImage-91855 McDonald's McDonald's

McDonald’s Germany also have quite an extensive selection of toasties – from the classic ham and cheese to a chocolate spread one and a breakfast one too. 

That’s basically it for McDonald’s Germany. Now we will see what’s currently on the menu in Japan. Immediately on entering the site, we’re greeted by a new cheese filled burger that looks ridiculously rich. 

PastedImage-23624 McDonald's JP McDonald's JP

Here’s every item in the burger section that stood out to us. 

fold twice chicken

The teriyaki burger sounds delicious, the shrimp burger seems a bit weird but is still interesting and the Fold Twice Chicken was included because the name is very clearly a victim of translation but it’s kinda funny. The Grand burgers wouldn’t do well on the Irish market, because people would think that they were just really underwhelming burgers. “How’s that burger?” “Yeah, it’s grand.” 

The desserts in McDonald’s Japan are also way nicer looking than our miserable McFlurries and sundaes. 

PastedImage-59552 McDonald's JP McDonald's JP

That basically sums up Japan, so let’s have a little look at India now. Naturally, there’s a far better selection of chicken burgers at McDonald’s India, because of the whole beef situation there. There’s a spicy paneer burger which sounds very nice:

PastedImage-61069 McDonald's IN McDonald's IN

As well as paneer wraps:

PastedImage-69578 McDonald's IN McDonald's IN

Remember the egg burger from Burger King India? McDonald’s have their very own version too.

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Instead of the Big Mac you will find pretty much everywhere else in the world, they’ve got a Chicken Maharaja Mac, which looks just as good as a Big Mac. Imagine a spicy Big Mac. You can’t go wrong. 

PastedImage-282 McDonald's IN McDonald's IN

Finally, let’s see what McDonald’s USA has to offer. Firstly, their breakfast menu features a fruity little porridge which isn’t on Irish menus yet. We doubt it actually comes served in a bowl like this.

PastedImage-97654 McDonald's USA McDonald's USA

In the way of burgers, they’ve got plenty of the same options as us (although they call double cheeseburgers McDoubles instead) but they’ve got loads of burgers made with fancy brioche buns now, including the Double Mushroom & Swiss which is exactly what it sounds like. Not many mushrooms on the Irish McDonald’s menu. 

PastedImage-63444 McDonald's USA McDonald's USA

Another item on the American McDonald’s menu that we don’t have is the Double Bacon Smokehouse, which sounds very Burger King-y and again features that brioche-type bun.

PastedImage-87018 McDonald's USA McDonald's USA

So far, it doesn’t really feel like we’re missing out on anything by not having these items on Irish McDonald’s menus. Maybe you will feel differently about the Mushroom & Swiss with buttermilk chicken? Chances are, you probably won’t because that’s the plainest looking piece of fried chicken we have ever encountered. 

PastedImage-84445 McDonald's USA McDonald's USA

There’s also a chicken option on the Bacon Smokehouse, which features an even plainer piece of chicken. Have you ever seen such pale fried chicken? 

PastedImage-61590 McDonald's USA McDonald's USA

That’s about it for the regular menu, everything else Americans have to choose from is basically the same as what we’ve got to choose from, bar a couple of items on the dessert menu like this Strawberry and Creme Pie. 

PastedImage-68383 McDonald's USA McDonald's USA

This looks like it could be grand. Not delicious, not disgusting. But grand. Might be a bit sickening if you get a bit too much of the jammy bit, maybe. 

Which would you be most excited to try?

Poll Results:

I just want to see the answers, tbh.  (303)
McDonald's USA (61)
Burger King USA (42)
McDonald's India (40)
Burger King Spain (37)
McDonald's Germany (35)
McDonald's Japan (35)
Burger King India (30)
Burger King Japan (29)
Burger King Germany (21)
McDonald's Spain (16)

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