May 13, 2014

Around the World: McDonald's UK - Great Tastes of America Returns for 2014

McDonald's UK is in the middle of their annual Great Tastes of America limited-time menu, where each week, they showcase a burger (supposedly) inspired by an American city or state that's available for that week only. The promotion features five burgers, which means it lasts for five weeks.

Basically, in five weeks, they get more limited-time burgers from McDonald's than we get in a year.

The first burger available was the Chicago Supreme, which was available April 30 through May 6. It featured a beef patty, bacon, cheese, onion, tomato salsa, mayo, and shredded lettuce on a chili, chive, and sesame-topped bun. Chicago probably best known food-wise for their deep-dish pizza, Chicago dogs, and Italian beef sandwiches. As this resembles none of those, the Chicago Supreme is really a rather standard bacon cheeseburger with salsa.

After the Chicago Supreme was the Nevada Grande, which just ended its run: it was available May 7 through May 13. It consisted of a beef patty, chili mayo, crispy onions, shredded lettuce, cheese, and sweet tomato sauce on a chili-topped lattice bun. The bun is interesting but you're probably not going to find it as part of a burger here in the States (although you might find ramen "buns" and donuts filling in; go figure right?). I think they're going for just a slight Southwestern theme with the chili mayo and bun.

Currently on tap is the Texas BBQ, which is available through May 20, 2014. It features a beef patty, barbecue sauce, crispy onions, shredded lettuce, and cheese on a sesame seed bun. It's not too different from Western-themed burgers here in the U.S. and Texas is known for its barbecue.

Next up is the New York Classic, which is almost like the Chicago Supreme but without the salsa. It will be available on May 21 through May 27. It comes with a beef patty, bacon, ketchup, mustard, red onions, mayo, shredded lettuce and cheese on the same bun as the Chicago Supreme. Basically, it takes out the salsa and puts in mustard and ketchup instead. You gotta fill up the weeks somehow I guess. Ideal for if you missed out on the Chicago Supreme I suppose.

Finally, this year's Great Tastes of America in the UK ends with the Memphis Special. Available from May 28 through June 3, it features the same bun as the Nevada Grande sandwiching a beef patty, shredded lettuce, cheese, coleslaw, and smoky barbecue sauce. Like Texas, Memphis is known for its barbecue (although each is known for different meats and different styles of barbecue sauce) so this one is close enough.

In addition to the five themed burgers, the Great Tastes of America is rounded out by several items available throughout the five weeks of the promotion, including the Louisiana Chicken, CrissCuts (i.e. criss-cut or waffle fries), Chocolate Fudge Brownie McFlurry, and Raspberry & Chocolate Brownie McFlurry.

The Louisiana Chicken features a crispy chicken breast filet, bacon, Batvia lettuce, cheese, mayo, and a sweet, tangy barbecue sauce, while the CrissCuts are lightly battered and come with a sour cream and chive dip.