Mar 27, 2010

What's on the Menu: McDonald's Switzerland

McDonald's Switzerland menu
This edition of What's on the Menu takes us to the land of neutrality, precision time pieces, and most importantly, chocolate!  Welcome to McDonald's Switzerland!

I always thought Swiss people spoke Swiss but apparently they don't. The national languages of Switzerland are German, Italian, French, and something called Romansh. Since Romansh is only spoken by around 0.9 percent of the Swiss population, the McDonald's Switzerland website only comes in three flavors instead of four, none of which I speak.

It seems it's still frosty cold in Der Schweis as a winter menu is still being featured starting with the fancy McFlurry Festival:

McFlurry Winter Festival
So what the heck is a Magnum McFlurry?  Well, Magnum is a brand of ice cream and the Magnum Classic is a lot like those Häagen-Dazs ice cream bars with vanilla ice cream in the middle and a thick chocolate candy shell.  The Magnum Almond, as the name suggests, adds almonds to the mix.  McDonald's Switzerland, it appears, has chocolate and vanilla soft-serve blended with chocolate "M" (for "Magnum" and also "McDonald's!") medallions with or without almonds for 3.90 Swiss francs (which is almost the same in dollars i.e. $3.90.  Youch!  Switzerland is expensive!).

Apparently, the Magnum is quite the premium ice cream bar and comes in a few variations.  There are movie-style commercials throughout Europe starring celebrities like Benicio Del Toro and Eva Longoria.  They even have a golden milk chocolate bar!

Magnum Gold
Check out the trailer for the commercial campaign, it's pretty high-quality and even involves a high-speed chase!  I don't think I've ever seen so much money spent on an ice cream commercial.
The next featured item is called a Corn Salad not because it has corn (it doesn't!) but because it contains lamb's lettuce, a type of lettuce native to temperate areas of Europe, which is also known as corn salad:

McDonald's Corn Salad
The Corn Salad is similar to a Cobb salad and contains bits of bacon, chopped eggs and croûtons mixed with a bed of lamb's lettuce.  McDonald's Switzerland is selling it as a winter salad; "a salad for cold days!"  There's probably some cultural significance or context that I'm not getting.  I guess McDonald's still has salad shakers abroad (they didn't work out so well here in the U.S.).  It's a hefty 7.90 francs.
Next is a small but premium item: the Beef Deluxe for 3.90 francs:

McDonald's Beef Deluxe
The Beef Deluxe features a bun of toasted, crispy Paillasse bread (a crusty Swiss bread), a regular beef patty, a slice of tomato,  and Deluxe sauce.  The Deluxe sauce appears to be maybe a garlic or pepper mayo?  That bread looks very "nom nom nom!"

More familiar to the States is the next featured item: the BBQ Snack Wrap for the same 3.90 francs as the Beef Deluxe:

McDonald's BBQ Snack Wrap
The Snack Wrap contains half a chicken patty (grilled or breaded I'm sure), barbecue sauce, and something a little different, Emmentaler cheese (a type of Swiss cheese) wrapped in a flour tortilla.

On to the regular menu!  First up the Cool Cafe i.e. "cool coffee."

McDonald's Cafe Cool
The Cool Cafe is fresh-ground brewed Arabica bean coffee with soft serve ice cream.  A little bit like an espresso affogato (literally "drowned" in Italian; it's vanilla ice cream "drowned" in a shot of espresso")  The Cool Cafe is served with sugar and chocolate and sells for 3.50 francs.  I would love to see this stateside as a McCafe offering.  It doesn't even require any additional investment!  Do it McDonald's USA!

McDonald's Potato Wedges
Potato Wedges are potatoes, unpeeled, breaded, and seasoned.  I wonder if they're as crispy as they look.  If they taste anything like McDonald's fries, I would love to try them.  They're 4.50 for a medium.

McDonald's Shrimp
They have Shrimps!  With cocktail sauce for 30 cents a pop!  Shouldn't they be McShrimps?  I wonder if the breading is battered in McChicken fashion?  These are 6.90 (it didn't say for how many but I'd guess five).

McDonald's Big Tasty Bacon
The Big & Tasty here in the U.S. was McDonald's answer to Burger King's Whopper.  Abroad, the Big & Tasty has a variant dubbed the "Big Tasty."  The Big Tasty (shown above) is a little bit different in that it has a full 1/3 pound beef patty, three slices of Emmental Cheese, two slices of tomatoes (instead of one), sliced onions (instead of chopped), square-cut lettuce, and Big Tasty sauce (a smoky mayo).  In Switzerland, you can also add three slices of bacon.  The Big Tasty Bacon is 8.50 francs (7.90 without bacon).

McDonald's Chicken Gourmet
The Gourmet Chicken is a long breaded chicken patty served on country bread, with Batavia lettuce, sliced tomatoes and a pepper mayo sauce (I think).  It's 6.90 francs (7.50 with bacon).
McDonald's Vegi Mac
Vegi Mac is not a Mac at all!  It's a vegetable burger patty made with carrots, peas, peppers, onions, beans, potatoes and rice on a sesame wheat bun with lettuce, sliced tomato, and a creamy mayo with spices for 5.90.

And thus ends our What's on the Menu look at McDonald's Switzerland.  Be sure to tune in next time!

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