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#foodbeast Cravings Culture Fast Food FOODBEAST Hit-Or-Miss

9 Global McDonald’s Desserts That NEED To Come To The US

Before lactose intolerance hit me like a ton of bricks, my favorite dessert at McDonald’s was the Oreo McFlurry. A combination of vanilla soft serve and crumbles of Oreo cookies, the frozen treat was always a welcome solution for a sweltering afternoon or a particularly salty meal.

As life took me down a fast food industry-driven path, I wondered what other desserts were out there that were as worthy as the Oreo McFlurry.

Not too long ago, McDonald’s opened up an HQ restaurant in Chicago that offered items found exclusive at McDonald’s from other countries. While there were SOME international dessert options, they pretty much stuck to the American staples at the HQ location.

While I won’t be jetsetting around the globe any time soon, I can dream of all the fast food desserts I’d like to get my sugar-lovin’ mitts on in the hopefully not-too-distant future. Here are some international McDonald’s desserts (past and present) that I would love to taste one day.


Taro Pie (China)

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Taro was an acquired taste for me, but once I got used to the sweet, earthy flavor, I loved it. McDonald’s China offers a deep-fried taro pie that’s got some massive pieces of taro inside. It was also noticeably less sweeter than the American apple pie. Does well in a pinch if you’re not looking to experience a sugar crash during a long commute.

The item has also been featured at certain locations in Hawaii.

Cadbury Creme Egg McFlurry (Australia)

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Fans of the iconic Cadbury Creme egg will wish they lived a bit closer to Australia. The exclusive McFlurry that usually rolls around during the Easter season is made with the chain’s soft serve vanilla, chunks of Cadbury milk chocolate, and the Cadbury Creme filling. Speaking of Cadbury Creme, I’m embarrassed to admit I was nearing double digits before I realized rabbits didn’t actually lay eggs.

Gudetama McFlury (Japan)

A few months ago, McDonald’s released a limited-edition Gudetama McFlurry in Japan. The serving containers featured a whimsical illustration of the popular depressed egg character while the McFlurry itself featured a rich custard, soft serve, a chewy sponge cake, and a generous drizzle of caramel sauce. Perhaps a McFlurry of his namesake will cheer up old Gudetama.

Oreo Cone With Purple Sweet Potato Soft Serve (Hong Kong)

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Arguably one of McDonald’s most photogenic desserts can be found in Hong Kong. The sweet potato soft serve is swirled to near perfection onto a jet-black Oreo waffle cone, offering a creamy taste paired with the earthy notes that come from the root vegetable. It could be my eyes playing tricks on me, but I’ve yet to see a soft serve cone look less than immaculate. As a veritable cherry on top, the dessert is even garnished with a mini Oreo cookie.

Snickers McFlurry (Pakistan)

Snickers fans may want to sink their sweet tooth directly into this Snickers McFlurry. Found in McDonald’s locations in Pakistan, Hungary, Malta, and Cyprus, this time-exclusive dessert is the fast food chain’s hot take on a Snickers Bar. The McFlurry is made with vanilla soft serve, roasted peanuts, chocolate, and caramel sauce.

Bubblegum Squash McFlurry (Australia)

I had to first look up what Bubblegum Squash actually meant first before getting excited for this McFlurry. This dessert features blue, white, and pink candy marshmallows over a bed of vanilla ice cream. No joke, this honestly looks like a dish straight out of that food fight scene from the Steven Spielberg classic, Hook.

Gelato (Italy)

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Vanilla soft serve tends to do well in a pinch, but nothing quite beats the taste of real gelato. McDonald’s locations in Italy actually served pints of gelato to customers a few years back. Man, makes me want to curl up at home with a good Reese Witherspoon movie and go to town on some.

Toblerone McFlurry (Denmark)

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A Toblerone is a dangerous thing. Blink once and you’ll already have snapped off every piece of that triangular chocolate bar filled with nuts. Patrons of McDonald’s in Denmark can enjoy that popular chocolate bar in a McFlurry form. Though I wouldn’t be opposed to straight dipping a Toblerone directly into some ice cream.

Frozen Coke (New Zealand)

Need a dairy-free refresher? McDonald’s locations in New Zealand offered a Frozen Coke you can enjoy with your meal. The cold beverage hits all the notes of a soda, with the added textures of a frozen slush. Just be sure to pace yourself lest you enter an endless waltz with brain freeze. Still, kind of perfect for a hot summer day.

Nutella-stuffed Muffins

On an excursion to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, some coworkers and I experienced a treasure trove of sweet baked goods at McDonald’s Italy. This includes a muffin that’s stuffed with Nutella hazelnut spread that sent Foodbeast writer Isai Rocha’s eyes shooting to the back of his head like a gypsy boy possessed by Beelzebub himself.

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Fast Food

10 KFC Holiday Fried Chicken Buckets From Around The World

Only a few days left until Christmas and we’re already feeling the holiday spirit in our stomachs. Actually, that might just be good ‘ol hunger. Still, as we prepare to enjoy festivities, let’s take a look at one of the universal constants that brings joy to so many across this bright blue planet of we all live in: fried chicken.

Kentucky Fried Chicken, knowing our shared love of deep-fried poultry, gives us a glimpse at how the rest of the world celebrates the holidays with the savory dish.

Here are ten festive fried chicken buckets from different countries around the world, excluding the United States.

Happy holidays, y’all.


Japan

Italy

Cyprus

Romania

Russia

Turkey

South Africa

Germany

Latin America

Thailand

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Tastemade/Snapchat

12 of the Most Comforting Comfort Foods Around the World

No matter where you’re from, sometimes the only thing that can make you feel better is a nice, warm bowl of whatever your momma makes you when you’re feeling down. Predictably, this manifests itself in different ways across the world. Here are 12 examples of delicious comfort food around the globe that’ll make you want to plan a worldwide tour ASAP.

1. Poutine // Canada

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Poutine is one of the most addictive dishes in existence. Composed of French fries, gravy, and cheese curds, the dish originates in the Canadian province of Quebec. Many people call poutine “heart attack in a bowl,” which, based on its components, is a pretty accurate statement. Luckily, the poutine craze has extended to the United States, so there are plenty of places to get your fix.

2. Pão de Queijo // Brazil

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Pão de Queijo involves two of our favorite food groups, cheese and bread, so we’re hooked already. Essentially, pão de queijo is a starchy bread made with tapioca, eggs, milk, and cheese, that is oftentimes stuffed with more cheese or meat. The rolls are known for being a little crispy on the outside, and very chewy and soft on the inside, so you could say they’re everything we ever dreamed of and more.

3. Cha Siu Bao // China

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If you’ve ever went out to get some dim sum, chances are you have experienced the deliciousness that is cha siu bao. Also known as barbecue pork buns, these babies are made with a soft dough filled with pork tenderloin and are usually steamed to order and served with a number of different sauces like hoisin, oyster sauce, sesame or soy. These steamed buns are one of the many highlights of Cantonese cuisine.

4. Chilaquiles // Mexico

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Chilaquiles are usually served for breakfast, but the dish is so comforting we’d eat it for any meal. The best part about chilaquiles is that they’re pretty simple, so you could easily make them at home. The main component is fried corn tortillas cooked with some sort of salsa or mole. Then, the tortillas are topped with a variety of yummy goodies, like pulled chicken or carnitas, queso fresco, refried beans, crema, and eggs. In other words, pretty much everything we love in life.

5. Khichdi // India

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Khichdi is a dish that utilizes three main staples in Indian cuisine: rice, lentils, and spices like turmeric, cumin, and curry. In addition to being delicious, khichdi is a great comfort food because it’s fairly easy to digest, making it a meal of choice when your tum tum isn’t feeling its best. Plus, you only need one pot and a stove to create it, making it one of the easier dishes on this list to concoct in your own home.

6. Pierogies // Poland

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Pierogies are a type of dumpling from Poland that are stuffed with basically anything you could ever want in a meal, like meat, cheese, mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, and onions. Some people love pierogies so much they’ve created sweet renditions, too. First step in making these babies is the dough, of course. Then once the dough is stuffed, each pierogi is pan-fried to a golden brown on the stove. We’re in love.

7. Moussaka // Greece

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The easiest way to describe moussaka is like a Greek version of lasagna, except instead of pasta sheets, the dish is made with thinly sliced layers of eggplant. Each piece of eggplant is sauteed separately, and then placed into a casserole dish in one layer on the bottom of the pan. It’s then topped with lamb, garlic, spices, onion, and sometimes chopped potatoes. To continue the assembly, add another layer of eggplant and alternate with the toppings until all pieces have been used. Then comes time for the best part: you get to cover the eggplant in all of its glory with bechamel sauce before placing it in the oven to cook. It’s as good as it sounds.

9. Spaghetti alla Carbonara // Italy

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It’s pretty impossible to go wrong when pasta and pancetta or guanciale are involved. Spaghetti alla Carbonara is a pasta from Italy that is native to Roman cuisine. Once cooked, the pasta is tossed with the sauteed pork and parmesan cheese. Contrary to popular belief, this dish actually does not require heavy cream – if you go to a restaurant that includes cream in their carbonara, it’s probably not legit. After the pasta is fully incorporated with the pancetta and cheese mixture, it’s placed on a plate and topped with an egg yolk, which you then pop and mix throughout the dish for creaminess. This last step depends on who’s making the dish – some cooks will combine the parmesan and egg together before tossing with the pasta rather than serving the yolk as a garnish, but to each their own.

10. Shepherd’s Pie // Ireland

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Shepherd’s Pie is probably the most genius way to get children to eat vegetables. Cooked in a casserole dish, the base of Shepherd’s Pie contains ground beef or lamb and vegetables like carrots, peas, and corn that have been precooked in a skillet. This mixture is then topped with creamy mashed potatoes and thrown in the oven to bake until the taters reach a nice golden brown. Leave it to the Irish to know how to master meat and potatoes.

11. Beef Bourguignon // France


The French may be the champions of comfort food, and beef bourguignon is here to prove it. This is a hefty stew that includes bacon, red wine, and flavorful herbs like thyme, bay leaf, and parsley. We’re not gonna lie, this dish takes a pretty long time to make – over an hour of cook time in the oven alone – but your beef will be so tender and rich you’ll forget about all the hours you slaved over it in the kitchen. Just don’t forget to serve it with even more red wine.

12. Pho // Vietnam

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Pho has magical powers. Seriously, it feels like it cures hangovers, the common cold, and rainy day blues. This stuff has been our saving grace on more than one occasion. We’re not sure whether it’s the unctuous beef broth or the meat or the rice noodles, bean sprouts, and other accoutrements, but this Vietnamese dish is one of the most soothing additions to our diet and we can’t imagine what our lives would be like without it.

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Fast Food Features

7 International McDonald’s Burgers The US Needs To Get Their Hands On

With the introduction of McDonald’s new Sriracha Big Mac, as well as various Big Mac sizes coming to United States restaurant locations, it’s going to be a busy year for the fast food chain.

Through the years, we’ve come across a few McDonald’s burgers from around the world that make us regret not traveling more. These burgers feature regional ingredients, outrageous additions, and drool-worthy portions.

Check them out!

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McDonald’s Katsu Cheese Burger

pork-katsu-burger-mcd-cover

McDonald’s Japan added a new burger that features a pork katsu cutlet. The breaded, deep-fried piece of pork is stuffed with cheese. Upon emersion in the deep-fryer, the crust is crisp and golden brown and the cheese is oozing and melted.

The patty itself boasts so many different textures that this burger instantly became a must-try here at the office.

Nutella Burger

mcd-nutella-burger

Who loves Nutella?

If you can’t get enough of the hazelnut spread, McDonald’s locations in Italy are slinging this sweet new “burger” you can sink your teeth into. Think of it more as a nutty pastry that happens to look like a burger. It’s even packaged in a box similar to the Big Mac.

If there’s one item that’s sure to spread holiday joy on this list, it’s the Nutella Burger.

The Giga Mac

giga-mac-japan-01

Sure, the US will soon be introduced to the Grand Mac. However, Japan already cornered the market on giant Big Macs with their variant: The Giga Mac.

The kaiju of McDonald’s burgers features four beef patties, cheese, lettuce and Big Mac sauce, served on a sesame bun.

Red Sausage Pork Burger

China McD

McDonald’s locations in China introduced a burger that featured red pork sausage a few years ago. Another burger, a grilled chicken sandwich boasting a fried shrimp sticks accompanied it during its initial launch.

Over here in the US, our eyes popped at the unique ingredients stacked in these two burgers.

Fromage Pan

McD-Fromage-Pan

Our friends at 7 Deadly took a trip out to France a while back and reported back this delicious Fromage Pan sandwich. This wonder of the world featured a patty that’s just made up of breaded cheese.

We expect nothing less from a country so prominent in cheese culture. Beautiful.

Mushroom Dijon Burger

mcd-brazil-dijon

Some burgers don’t have to have crazy meats and coloring to make us salivate. All they need are the right combination of ingredients that simply compliment each other.

Take this Brazilian Signature burger. The fat sandwich features double meat patties, bacon, mushrooms, and dijon grain mustard.

Quiet down, stomach.

Double Beef Sausage Burger

mcdonalds-china-double-beef-sausage-burger

Fan of meaty burgers?

Another sandwich from McDonald’s locations in China introduced a double-pattied burger that was then topped with two plump sausages. The sausages were drizzled with mustard and served on a brioche bun. No other ingredients. Just meat and bread.

Wonderful.

Gray Burger (Honorable Mention)

McD China Grey

Because there’s nothing more appetizing than grey food, McDonald’s China dropped this pork patty burger with iceberg lettuce and bacon.

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Tastemade/Snapchat

This Is How The Rest Of The World Does Apple Pie

“There’s nothing more American than apple pie.”

While the US is the most vocal about its apple pride, apple pie is really just a testament to the constant stirring of our melting pot. British and Scandinavian pies have the most direct influence, but various other countries have their own ideas when it comes to apple pastries.

 

GERMANY: Apfel Maultaschen 

 

American apple turnovers get most of the fame associated with their deliciousness, but they owe their ubiquity to early German immigrants. In 17th century Germany, Swabian monks began to “hide” donated meats in savory pastries that were eventually called Maultaschen. The nearby Bavarians, no strangers to the dessert world, began putting sweeter fillings between the dough, like plums and apples. The result can look like a traditional apple turnover or a strudel, depending on the recipe you follow.

What sets it apart: Though some throw this ingredient to the wind, authentic Apfel Maultaschen should use potato dough instead of plain flour.  

COLOMBIA: Arepas Dulces con Manzanas

 

If you’re not much of a baker, this dessert is the perfect deconstruction of any country’s approach to an apple pastry. Arepas are typically a no-nonsense, cornmeal flatbread found throughout Latin America, but Colombia is notorious for its arepa ingenuity. There are dozens of variations that stretch the definition of what a flatbread should be, including a simple addition of sugar and cinnamon that allows you to cling to the culinary safety of the frying pan. Caramelize some apple slices to pile on top of your crispy arepas and they’re ready to enjoy.

What sets it apart: No oven necessary. But you might want to wear sleeves.

 

ITALY: Torta di Mele

Lately, cakes with fruit crusts have been popping up all over Pinterest and dessert blogs with little to no credit given to the Western European countries who’ve been mastering these bad boys for centuries. Italian torte di mele seems like uncovered apple pies at first glance, but beneath the oven-glazed apple slices lies a lemon cake. Its rustic simplicity allows for several variations, but it’s common for recipes from Northern Italy to require more apples due to the region’s plentiful 2,000-year-old apple orchards.

What sets it apart: When people talk about rustic cakes, this is what’s on their mind. 

FRANCE: Gâteau aux Pommes

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This cake is more apple than anything else and is an unapologetic celebration of French flippancy. The measurements vary from person to person, because French chefs just have a sixth sense about how much vanilla extract is too much without using measuring tools. Think of this cake as a torta di mele’s wild sibling: full of enough apple chunks, booze, and sugar to produce the sexiest sugar crash ever invented. Rum is the popular libation of choice, but whiskeys and bourbons round out the recipe just as nicely.

What sets it apart: The breathalyzer you might need afterwards and the overwhelming apple presence.

RUSSIA: Sharlotka

Russia’s thrown its own hat in this fray by way of a super sweet treat that lends its popularity to the simplicity in its preparation. Contributing to the overall sweetness of the sharlotka is the tale behind its name’s inception: as the story goes, the inventing baker named it after Charlotte, the name of the woman he was smitten by. Aaaaand the crowd goes ‘awwwww.’

What sets it apart: Think of the sharlotka as the glorious offspring of an apple pie and apple cake.

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Hit-Or-Miss

Toasting Etiquettes From Around The World

Toast-Around-World

Traveling the world can be a profound experience. Especially when you’re drinking with newfound friends.

Let’s Grab A Beer created this cute video showcasing different toasting etiquettes from around the world. When you’re drinking with someone, it’s probably best to be a bit familiar with customs. For example, did you know you should clink glasses in Germany, but not Hungary?

Check out the video below and learn exactly how to toast like a local. Cheers!

Categories
Restaurants

Hooters Racks Up 30 New Locations Throughout Asia

Hooters-Asia

Hooters of America LLC announced that they will be opening 30 Hooters locations in Southeast Asia. The development agreement will bring to Asia 30 new restaurants over the next six years. Hooters first hit Asia with Thailand’s opening of Hooters Phuket. (That’s POO-KET.)

We’re guessing it found some success as now the brand intends to further expand into neighboring countries, including: Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Singapore and Vietnam. Thailand will also possibly see more Hooters restaurants there as well.

Currently, the Atlanta-based franchiser has more than 430 locations in 28 countries. The majority can be found in the US.

The owl-themed restaurant is known worldwide for its chicken wings and cheesy appetizers. We hear the servers are also pretty charismatic too.

Picthx Hooters Phuket

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Pizza Hut in America Is The Saltiest, Study Shows

Pizza-Hut-Rebrand

Sometimes, nothing says Friday like a nice cheesy pie to go with that Kristen Wiig movie you just Red Boxed. Even though, halfway through the movie, you feel like you just washed your taste buds with a big helping of salt.

A study shows that Pizza Hut pizzas in the United States contain more sodium than 11 other countries examined with the same products. These included Argentina, Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, Finland, Malaysia, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

Since most Pizza Hut locations around the world tend to have varying menus, the data was examined with select pies that were a staple on the 11 international menus. This included the Pepperoni Thin N’ Crispy, Veggie Lover’s Thin N’ Crispy and the Meat Lover’s.

Specifically, Pizza Hut’s Thin ‘N Crispy pepperoni pizza has the most salt of any of the chain’s offerings. At 1,080 milligrams per 3.5 ounces of pizza (large slice), the pie has more than enough salt to last a lifetime. Or at least a two-hour rom-com.

As a whole, US Pizza Huts boasted nearly 70 percent more salt than some of the other countries they were compared to. Another study compared the sodium levels of pizza to other fast food menu items. It’s said that a single large fast food pizza could equal to the same amount of salt as seven Big Macs.

Better get yourself a glass of water after you finish that pizza. Probably a blood pressure test, also.

h/t CSPI