McDonald's has always been trying to add new staples to its menu, and sometimes it works, but other times they end up with some very strange dishes. In fact, McDonald's all over the world have introduced their own dishes based on local cuisine that in some cases might seem strange, but could actually be very good. On the other hand, some of these dishes might just be a little too much for the general public, which is why they have disappeared from the menu entirely. Either way, they are a little odd to see on the menu at a fast food place known for its burgers and fries. Then again, fast food is just a business, and sometimes businesses have to take risks with new ventures. Otherwise, they may just stagnate, and for McDonald's, that just cannot happen.
So maybe North America's McDonald's could take a cue from some of these menu items and try them out? After all, the key to great food is diversity. Just look at the popularity of fusion dishes, right? However, there are definitely some missteps that have been taken at the international McDonald's locations as well, and rather than try to adapt those particular menu items, North America's McDonald's may just want to stay away from them altogether. If you were really interested in trying some of these peculiar, yet in some cases highly intriguing McDonald's menu items, you would have to fly to the countries in question. Otherwise, just be happy with your Quarter Pounders and Oreo McFlurrys. These are the 2o weirdest McDonald's menu items ever conceived.
If you had to hazard a guess as to where you could visit a McDonald's and get a delicious bowl of Asia inspired noodles topped with sweet and sour or curry sauce, what country would you choose? It's pretty obvious, right? Austria! That's right, in Austria, you can go to McDonald's and get McNoodles, a bowl of noodles topped with chicken and vegetables and finished with a sauce of your choosing. It's a pretty bold gamble for a restaurant that mostly deals in sandwiches, of course, there have been the occasional McDonald's dishes that required a fork and knife. Maybe the McNoodles will be as big a hit as the pancakes or the big breakfast.
19 McCurry Pan
Have you ever been eating a bowl of curry and thought to yourself, "Man, I really wish I could just eat this bowl, too?" Well not to worry. McDonald's India sees you, and it's got you covered on that front. There, you can get a dish known as the McCurry Pan: a hot serving of vegetable or meat curry served in a rectangular bread bowl, that you can totally eat once it's empty. Edible dishware? Now that's something we can all get behind. That's right, you might have thought that people from North America had cornered the market on the bread bowl, but you would be wrong.
18 McChoco Potato
Spaghetti and meatballs, hot wings and beer, fries and chocolate, we all know the classic flavor combinations. What's that you say? Fries and chocolate are not a classic flavor combination? You have got some nerve. You think that hot, salty, crispy fries and sweet, rich chocolate can't coexist in the same dish? Have you ever dipped a fry in a milkshake? McDonald's Japan understands the value in this culinary partnership, thus introducing the McChoco Potato, a serving of fries that comes with chocolate and white chocolate fudge sauce. Just look at that presentation Finally! A way to eat fries without resorting to boring, old ketchup.
17 Chicken McDo
Speaking of strange food combinations, have you ever eaten fried chicken with spaghetti? Probably not, and to be fair, no one would blame you. However, this food combination is incredibly popular in the Philippines, and really, why shouldn't it be? Spaghetti? Good. Fried chicken? Good. Seems like a win-win situation to us. Unfortunately, McDonald's spaghetti already failed in North America, so it's unlikely that we will ever get to try the Fried Chicken McDo. If you really want to experience this combo, you'll have to book your travel plans to the Philippines now, and quickly find a McDonald's once you land.
16 Salmon Beef Burger
Surf and turf is yet another classic flavor combination that generally works pretty well. After all, there's nothing more decadent than ordering steak and lobster at a restaurant (especially if someone else is paying). Even the combination of steak and shrimp, despite being a step below, is still pretty awesome. However, the thing about getting surf and turf like this is that the meats are separate. You can enjoy a bite of one, and then the other. You're not supposed to just be shoving beef and seafood in your mouth all willy nilly. So why is it that McDonald's in South Korea would think that a burger with an additional salmon pattie on it would be good?
15 Twisty Pasta Breakfast
How many times have you thought to yourself that you wanted to eat pasta for breakfast? If you said none, then come on, stop lying. If you really want to experience the joy of breakfast pasta, you could always take a trip to China and visit a McDonald's there for the twisty pasta breakfast. This breakfast dish consists of a twisty noodle soup (not entirely dissimilar from Ramen) topped with a classic McDonald's egg and sausage patty. As far as ways to start your day go, you could do a lot worse than this hot, hearty breakfast, but then again, we'll probably never see it in North America, since soup and pasta are still not considered breakfast foods.
14 Mashed Potato Burger
There's almost no food that can't be made better by the addition of more carbs. Have you ever eaten a McDonald's cheeseburger after throwing some of your fries on it? It's pretty magical. Well, McDonald's in China took that lesson to its logical conclusion by making a burger that is topped with mashed potatoes. This massive burger also includes two patties and bacon, and it's truly a mystery as to why this amazing sandwich hasn't popped up anywhere in the Unite3d States. It seems like it would fit right in with the rest of the bizarre fast foods that have been unleashed upon the world.
Currywurst is a popular dish in Germany, essentially combining the local flavor of bratwurst with the spices of curry. So, of course, German McDonald's stepped in and made their own version of the dish, sticking the obligatory "Mc" in front of it. The dish comes with two different curry sauces, one mild and the other spicy. As for how it tastes? By all accounts, this is actually a pretty accurate representation of a decent German currywurst. Of course, people from North America will never know if this is something they would want on their McDonald's menu unless they take a trip to Germany and try it for themselves.
12 Hula Burger
Anyone familiar with McDonald's long and storied history might already be familiar with the hula burger. Before the filet-o-fish became the standard non-meat meal at McDonald's, there was the need for a sandwich that could be eaten by Catholics on Friday. Enter the Hula Burger, which wasn't really a burger at all. It was just a slice of grilled pineapple and cheese on the standard McDonald's bun. Obviously, this innovative yet truly ridiculous sandwich did not last very long. Is it due for a comeback? Considering how a lot of people feel about pineapple on pizza, we have to assume that they will want this one to stay in the failed idea vault forever.
11 Bubblegum Squash McFlurry
The McFlurry, first sold at McDonald's in Canada, instantly became a hit with McDonald's customers, despite being essentially a DQ blizzard (only not nearly as good). Different countries have their own flavors of McFlurry, but one of the strangest ones has to be the bubblegum squash McFlurry sold in Australia. No, this frozen dessert does not incorporate any kind of gourd in its recipe. Squash is just Australian slang for marshmallows, which are incorporated into this McFlurry along with blue, bubblegum flavored syrup. Honestly, this sounds kind of weird, but maybe there's something to it if it's so popular. Then again, even for a McDonald's dessert, this just sounds sickeningly sweet.
When you think of a McDonald's burger, you're probably thinking about a circular beef patty on a bun. Maybe it has cheese, maybe it doesn't. What you probably aren't imagining are three sausages all crammed awkwardly together on a hamburger bun and topped with mustard. However, that's precisely what you would get if you ordered the Nurnburger, a celebration of German cuisine served exclusively at McDonald's in Germany. There's nothing wrong with the idea of sausage on a bun (obviously), but it has to be the right kind of bun. Otherwise, the whole thing could theoretically, and very literally, fall apart.
9 Hawaiian Deluxe Breakfast
McDonald's breakfast can greatly differ from region to region. Just look at the twisty pasta breakfast in China! However, no one makes a more regional breakfast than the folks at McDonald's in Hawaii. Their Hawaiian deluxe breakfast comes with the standard scrambled eggs, but is also served with rice, and (if you're from Hawaii, you know what's next), Spam! This would actually be a pretty great start to the day. First, you get all that protein from the spam and eggs. Plus, you get your carbs from steamed rice rather than fried potatoes. After a breakfast like this, you'd really be able to get a lot done in your day.
8 Taro Pie
McDonald's is known for their pies, though they never seem to stray too far from what the general public might expect: apple, cherry, there was once even a s'mores pie. In that regard, it seems like the Golden Arches like to maintain a certain level of sweetness in their pies and use the most conventional ingredients. Not so for McDonald's in Hawaii, which recently introduced the taro pie, which was already a popular dessert in Asia. This pie is filled with purple taro root, which has a texture like a potato, but a sweeter flavor. This could eventually become popular in other states. At the very least, it could inspire some locations to try something like a sweet potato pie (just in time for Thanksgiving).
7 Spinach and Cheese Nuggets
The only nuggets you can get from McDonald's in North America are made of chicken, and isn't that kind of a bummer when you consider all the nugget possibilities out there? One of those is this particular dish from McDonald's in Italy. These little nuggets, rather than being made of chicken, are made of a mixture of spinach, parmesan, and ricotta cheese. If only we could get our hands on some of these. Imagine it: being able to eat a delicious spinach and cheese dip as a meal without all the judgment from people around you. Now that's what we call living the dream.
6 Flaming Hot Doritos Quarter Pounder
I've written before about the addition of Doritos to fast food (particularly pizza), but there's no reason that the delicious cheesy triangles couldn't be added to other fast food, which is exactly why McDonald's in Mexico created the Flaming Hot Doritos Quarter Pounder. This is exactly what you think it is: a burger topped with the namesake Doritos and salsa. Once again, it's almost weird how McDonald's in the United States didn't jump all over this idea, considering how popular Doritos are overall and how much people would love to combine them with more fast foods (just look at the success of the Doritos Locos taco).
5 Georgie Pie
The Georgie Pie is a classic New Zealand fast food, originally sold at restaurants that went by the same name. However, Georgie Pie eventually went out of business, with the last one closing in 1998. In an act of food philanthropy, McDonald's announced that they would begin selling the adorably named meat pie. They didn't even change the name to fit with their own brand, they just kept it as the Georgie pie. These little square pies come in a variety of flavors, but the most popular is the steak mince and cheese. To be honest, if they had these all over the world, people would probably get really into them. McDonald's already has fruit pies, why not meat pies too?
4 Ebi Fillet-o
The Ebi Filet-o is a popular sandwich from McDonald's Japan. The sandwich is like any typical one from McDonald's only it is made with a breaded shrimp pattie instead of a burger or chicken. Honestly, this actually doesn't sound that bad. Imagine if we had this instead of the filet-o-fish. You could bite into a meaty, delicious shrimp patty instead of whatever fish McDonald's has seen fit to mold into a square these days (we're pretty sure it's still pollock, a flavorless whitefish that can also be used as a crab substitute). There are definitely people in North America who would eat this sandwich. After all, shrimp is still popular here.
This burger on a pita was a pretty bad PR disaster for McDonald's. The McAfrika was a sandwich introduced in Norway to coincide with the 2002 Olympics. Needless to say, people were not happy, which led to a massive public outcry over the insensitivity of this particular sandwich. It was quickly taken off the menu, and McDonald's learned from their mistakes. Just kidding, they added it to the menu again to promote the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, whereupon it was met with exactly the same public disdain.
2 McLean Deluxe
The McLean Deluxe was one of McDonald's first attempts to make something unhealthy, healthy. The McLean Deluxe premiered as part of McDonald's new Deluxe line of burgers, introduced in 1991. This burger was marketed as a healthy option that had less fat than a regular burger. Of course, there had to be ways to make the burger have less fat but still maintain structure and palatability. This led to the addition of carrageenan, a thickening agent that is derived from particular types of seaweed. Sounds delicious, right? Well, the McLean Deluxe, along with the entire Deluxe line, failed to spark interest and was deemed one of the most expensive failures in fast food history.
Try to imagine this scenario: McDonald's attempting to sell hot pockets. You might think it's just some kind of nightmare scenario, but it really happened back in the 1990s. These weird, stuffed bread sandwiches were given the completely unappetizing name, "McStuffins," and despite the lack of evidence of their existence (besides a few old commercials on YouTube), these were actually a thing. The McStuffins came in several different flavors, and McDonald's touted the fact that they would bake their bread fresh every day. However, they were such a monumental failure, that they were pulled from the menu, and McDonald's never attempted to market anything like them again.