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Best Foreign McDonald's Meals and More News

Best Foreign McDonald's Meals and More News


In today's Media Mix, a chef says the foie gras ban is a bad idea, plus homophobia in the kitchen

The Daily Meal brings you the biggest news from the food world.

Best McDonald's Meals: Forgive us, but the samurai pork burger and Croque McDo do sound delicious. Foreign McDonald's for the win. [Foreign Policy]

Dan Barber Opposing Foie Gras Ban: The chef says banning foie gras is a distraction from the real issues, saying, "We are talking about a whole food system that is really in trouble." [AFP]

Ethanol Corn Could Feed 22 People: Scientists crunched the numbers and discovered that the calories used to make ethanol for one tank of gas would've fed 22 people. [NPR]

Homophobia in the Kitchen: Stereotypical macho environments in high-end commercial kitchens mean gay and lesbian chefs are still a minority. Art Smith, Yigit Pura, Elizabeth Falkner, and Susan Feniger discuss. [Advocate]


Chicken & Sandwiches

At McDonald's, we take great care to serve quality, great-tasting menu items to our customers each and every time they visit our restaurants. We understand that each of our customers has individual needs and considerations when choosing a place to eat or drink outside their home, especially those customers with food allergies. As part of our commitment to you, we provide the most current ingredient information available from our food suppliers for the eight most common allergens as identified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (eggs, dairy, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish), so that our guests with food allergies can make informed food selections. However, we also want you to know that despite taking precautions, normal kitchen operations may involve some shared cooking and preparation areas, equipment and utensils, and the possibility exists for your food items to come in contact with other food products, including allergens. We encourage our customers with food allergies or special dietary needs to visit www.mcdonalds.com for ingredient information, and to consult their doctor for questions regarding their diet. If you have questions about our food, please reach out to us directly at mcdonalds.com/contact or 1-800-244-6227.

Percent Daily Values (DV) and RDIs are based on unrounded values.

** Percent Daily Values (DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.


The Best Dessert In 22 Countries Around The World

While it's amazing no matter where you have it, desserts differ from country to country. Some are light and fruity, and some are rich and chocolaty. From Japan's mochi to Poland's poppy seed rolls, read on to see what people use to satisfy their sweet tooth in 24 different countries.

This article was written by our friends at INSIDER.

Crème brûlée is a favorite dessert all over France. It contains rich, creamy custard topped with a layer of hard, crunchy caramel that is just slightly browned.

It doesn't get any more American than apple pie. The pie &mdash consisting of apple pieces wrapped in a flaky crust &mdash can be served with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or even cheddar cheese.

One of Turkey's specialties, baklava, consists of phyllo dough layered between a mixture of chopped nuts. The squares are held together by syrup or honey.

The streets of Italy are lined with restaurants selling gelato, an Italian version of ice cream that is more like soft-serve than traditional American ice cream. Gelato comes in a wide variety of flavors, including raspberry, pistachio, rum, and chocolate.

Picarones are a Peruvian doughnut. They're made by deep frying a combination of sweet potato, squash, flour, yeast, sugar, and anise.

Russians are particularly fond of syrniki, a pancake that is made out of quark &mdash a fresh dairy product made from cheese that has a texture similar to sour cream. The pancakes are then fried and served with jam, apple sauce, sour cream, or honey.

Tarta de Santiago is Spanish for cake of Saint James. The almond cake has a rich history: It originated in the Middle Ages in Galicia, a region in the northwest of Spain.

Japanese mochi gets its name from mochigome, a glutinous rice that is pounded into a paste and molded into a circular shape. Mochi is available year-round, but it is most often eaten and sold at Japanese New Year. It is often wrapped around a small scoop of ice cream.

Commonly eaten on Argentine independence day, pastelitos are flaky puff pastries filled with sweet quince or sweet potato, then deep fried and finished with a dusting of sprinkles.

England is home to banoffee pie, a delicious pie made with bananas, cream, toffee, and sometimes chocolate or coffee.

Brigadeiros are eaten at any major Brazilian celebration. Similar to a truffle, the dessert is made with powdered chocolate, condensed milk, and butter. It can either be eaten as a cooked mixture or be molded into little individual balls covered in sprinkles.

Dragon beard candy is not only a Chinese dessert, but also a handmade traditional art of the country. Resembling a white cocoon, dragon beard candy is made mainly from sugar and maltose syrup, along with peanuts, sesame seeds, and coconut.

As the name suggests, Belgian waffles come from Belgium and are a common street snack throughout the country. The buttery treats are best when eaten warm and topped with powdered sugar or Nutella.

Gulab jamun is one of India's most beloved desserts, though it is also eaten throughout Southeast Asia. Best described as donut holes dipped in a sugary syrup, gulab jamun is made with milk powder and traditionally fried in ghee &mdash a type of butter &mdash and not oil.

If Austria is known for one kind of dessert, it's the Sachertorte, a dense but not overly sweet chocolate cake invented in 1832 by Austrian Franz Sacher. The recipe is still known only by confectioners at the Hotel Sacher in Vienna.

Lamingtons are Australian dessert squares that consist of yellow sponge cake coated in chocolate and then topped with coconut flakes.

Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte literally translates to Black Forest cherry torte and comes from Germany's southwest Black Forest region. The mixture of cream, chocolate, cherries, and kirsch &mdash a Germany fruit brandy &mdash makes for a decadent cake.

Skyr has been a part of Icelandic cuisine for thousands of years. The yogurt-like dessert is served chilled with milk and sugar and sometimes fruit as well.

The Canadian nanaimo bar gets its name from the city of Nanaimo in British Columbia. The simple dessert requires no baking it's a wafer crumb crust layered with custard-flavored butter icing and topped with melted chocolate.

Commonly paired with tea, koeksisters are a South African dessert named after "koekje," the Dutch word for cookie. They are extremely sweet rolls of dough that have been fried and dipped in cold sugar syrup.

Princess cake &mdash or prinsesstårta in Swedish &mdash is a layer cake from Sweden that is covered in a hard topping of marzipan, which is usually green, giving the cake a unique look. Beneath the marzipan are alternating layers of sponge cake, pastry cream, and whipped cream.

Om (or umm) ali is the Egyptian version of American bread pudding. It is made with puff pastry, milk, sugar, vanilla, raisins, coconut flakes, and a variety of nuts.


I'm Todd Wilbur, Chronic Food Hacker

For 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.

It was the creator of Pizza Hut’s Stuffed Crust Pizza who came up with the idea to cook bits of maple syrup into small pancakes for a new sweet-and-savory breakfast sandwich offering from the world’s #1 fast food chain. Tom Ryan’s idea became a reality in 2003 when the McGriddles—with maple-flavored griddle cake buns—debuted on McDonald’s breakfast menu, and the sandwich is still selling like hotcakes today.

To make four cloned McGriddles at home you’ll first need to produce eight perfectly round griddle cakes that are infused with sweet maple bits. Recipes that instruct you to make hard candy from maple syrup for this hack will fail to tell you that the shattered shards of hard candy don't completely melt when the griddle cakes are cooked resulting in a distinct crunch not found in the real McDonald’s product. Also, breaking the hard maple candy into small uniform chunks is both difficult and messy. My solution was to make a flavorful maple gummy puck that could be neatly petite diced and sprinkled into the batter as it cooks.

Just be sure to use maple flavoring rather than maple extract for the maple gummy. Maple flavoring has a more intense flavor than the extract and the dark brown caramel coloring will make your maple bits look like pancake syrup. You’ll also need one or two 3½-inch rings to make griddle cakes that are the perfect size for your clones.

This recipe duplicates the bacon version of the sandwich, but you can replace the bacon with a patty made from breakfast sausage for the sausage version, or just go with egg and cheese.

Get more of my McDonald's copycat recipes here.

This super-spicy, slightly-sweet dipping sauce was introduced in the Fall of 2020 with the debut of the Spicy McNuggets, and it was the first new McDonald’s dipping sauce since the 2017 re-release of the infamous Szechuan Sauce (sauce mob details and hack here). The Mighty Hot Sauce was only offered for a limited time, and it vanished along with the Spicy McNuggets later that year. But not for long. Due to a social media outcry, Spicy McNuggets and Mighty Hot Sauce came back to the Golden Arches on February 1, 2021, for another limited-time-only run.

Now you can get that same heavenly Mighty Hot Sauce heat any time you want at home with this simple formula and use it as a dip for chicken fingers, wings, or whatever. This hack will give you about ½ cup of the sauce, but feel free to double it for a mightier portion. Just add another 20 seconds to the cooking time.

If you want the best McDonald’s match use Texas Pete’s cayenne sauce for your hack. If you can’t find that brand, go with Frank’s.

Click here for more great McDonald's copycat recipes.

To celebrate the 50 th anniversary of the famous green mint-flavored Shamrock Shake first served in 1970, McDonald’s created this new minty McFlurry, with crumbled Oreo cookies mixed in. If you’re a Shamrock Shake fan, you’ll go nuts over this new twist. You may never again crave a regular Shamrock Shake.

This dessert-in-a-cup is thicker than the traditional Shamrock shake since it’s made with soft-serve vanilla ice cream rather than milkshake mix. To simulate the thicker drink at home you mix the ice cream with milk, Shamrock syrup (made with the recipe below), and Oreo crumbs in a frozen glass or ceramic bowl. The cold bowl keeps the ingredients thick until you spoon everything into a glass.

The secret syrup recipe here makes around 8 tablespoons of green mint syrup, which will be enough to make 4 minty McFlurry clones.

Follow this link for more of my McDonald's clone recipes.

McDonald's refreshing smoothie is easy to knock off at home in a blender with fresh bananas and boxed frozen strawberries that come in syrup. Thaw out those strawberries before adding them and include some of the syrup when measuring. This McDonald's strawberry banana smoothie recipe makes 2 medium drinks so you can share, or one really big drink for a very hot and thirsty you.

On a trip through Maine I saw an sign advertising a lobster sandwich at the world's most famous hamburger chain. Lobster at McDonalds? I just had to get a closer look. When I got inside a woman behind the counter told me that the sandwich is served only at select McDonald's locations, mostly in Maine, for a limited-time only during the summer months. So I ordered one and sat down in the dining room to examine it. When I opened up the wrapper I found chilled fresh lobster chunks tossed in mayonnaise and piled on a hoagie roll with a leaf of lettuce—it's McDonald's version of a lobster roll. I took a bite and it tasted pretty darn good. I ate the whole thing, ordered another one, and got back on the road. Driving off I thought about how strange it was to eat lobster at McDonald's.

To celebrate the Olympic Winter Games in February 2010 McDonald's introduced this new Asian-inspired dipping sauce for the chain's McNuggets. The sauce quickly became a top-requested favorite and the cloning requests for it have been coming in. McDonald's says the sauce will only be available for a limited time, so I had to get on the case right away if I was going to reverse-engineer this one. It took me about eight attempts to discover the right proportion of corn syrup to granulated sugar for the perfect consistency and sweetness. Cayenne pepper provides the necessary kick along with chili sauce, which you can find at the grocery store where the Asian foods are parked. It also goes by the name Sambal Olek, or just Sam to its close friends. Use this as a dipping sauce for your home-cooked chicken fingers and nuggets.

You might also like my recipes for McDonald's hot mustard, sweet and sour, honey mustard, and Szechuan dipping sauces.

I know, it's just tea. Tea and sugar, plain and simple—probably the easiest recipe on earth. But I had been getting so many requests to clone the sweet tea at McDonald's that I figured it's time for a hack. All you'll need to clone tea like Mickey D's are a few standard-size Lipton tea bags and a way to boil 2 quarts of water. There's a whole cup of sugar in there, so this tea is pretty sweet if you drink it straight. McDonald's serves the real stuff from a room-temperature jug into a cup filled to the top with ice. This will dilute the tea in just a few minutes so that it's not so crazy-sweet.

In 1963 the busiest clown in America, Ronald McDonald, made his debut in Washington, D.C. But beneath that red wig and 14 1/2-inch shoes was someone who would later become the portly weatherman on NBC's "Today" show. It was Willard Scott.

Future Ronald McDonald wanna-be's get their training at McDonald's "college," just as many of the chain's managers and franchise owners do. It is a surprisingly busy institution. By 2001 the 40,000th student was granted a Hamburgerology Degree from McDonald's Hamburger University in Oak Brook, Illinois. Hamburger University was set up to provide instruction for McDonald's personnel in the various aspects of their business—equipment, controls, human relations skills, and management skills.

Nearly 3,000 students pass through the halls of the school each year as they continue to grow in their McDonald's careers. And the American council on Education has approved eighteen of the university's courses for college credits.

One more chapter in the studies of H.U. graduates came in 1985, when the "hot side" and "cool side" of the McD.L.T. found their way onto McDonald's menu. It lives on only here, for five years after it was introduced, the McD.L.T. was dropped and replaced with the McLean Deluxe.

When the first Big Mac was served by a McDonald's franchisee in 1968, it was a time when all food in America was prepared with little attention to the amount of fat. Some low-calorie products had been developed, but they were not hugely popular, and most Americans ate and prepared food using whatever ingredients made it taste the best. Around 27 years later, McDonald's responded to the public's rapidly changing, health-conscious eating habits with the McLean Deluxe, a burger with a significantly reduced amount of fat. But the McLean Deluxe was not a commercial success it never even came close to selling as fast as the other McDonald's burgers. Soon, the McLean Deluxe was history. And today, as reduced-fat products in supermarkets are selling faster than ever, McDonald's has not replaced the McLean Deluxe on its menu. The Big Mac is still king, with its 31 grams of fat. Here's a clone to make a version of the Big Mac at home with less than half the fat of the original.

Nutrition Facts
Serving size–1 burger
Total servings–2
Calories per serving–500 (Original–560)
Fat per serving–13g (Original–31g)

I finally got on the case to figure out a kitchen clone for this famous sauce—as it turns out, it's an easy hack. Dried mustard mixes it up with sweet and sour flavors in a saucepan over medium heat. Cornstarch thickens and stabilizes, and a little habanero pops in for the perfect spicy punch. Use it for dipping, use it for spreading. use it again and again, since you'll be making about a cup of the stuff.

Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

Check out how simple it is to recreate any of the three flavors of McDonald's thick shakes from scratch. Just three ingredients for each clone. Really. And the secret ingredient for the chocolate and strawberry flavors is Nesquik mix. Throw everything in a blender and press a button. And if you want your shake thicker, just put it in the freezer for a while. Ah, creamy, frosty goodness.

Now, how about a Big Mac and homemade McDonald's french fries?

These 16-ounce desserts-in-a-cup are made with McDonald’s soft-serve ice cream and one of several crumbled sweet additives. Duplicating soft-serve ice cream at home comes easy using regular vanilla ice cream (not French vanilla), a little whole milk, and a frozen bowl to do the mixing. You might also want to freeze the glass that you plan to serve this in to ensure the ice cream is served up creamy yet firm, rather than melted and soupy.

They're the world's most famous French fries, responsible for one-third of all U.S. French fry sales, and many say they're the best. These fried spud strips are so popular that Burger King even changed its own recipe to better compete with the secret formula from Mickey D's. One-quarter of all meals served today in American restaurants come with fries a fact that thrills restaurateurs since fries are the most profitable menu item in the food industry. Proper preparation steps were developed by McDonald's to minimize in-store preparation time, while producing a fry that is soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. This clone requires a two-step frying process to replicate the same qualities: the fries are par-fried, frozen, then fried once more to crispy just before serving. Be sure to use a slicer to cut the fries for a consistent thickness (1/4-inch is perfect) and for a cooking result that will make them just like the real thing. As for the rumor that you must soak the fries in sugar water to help them turn golden brown, I also found that not to be necessary. If the potatoes have properly developed they contain enough sugar on their own to make a good clone with great color.

Now, how about a Big Mac or Quarter Pounder to go with those fries? Click here for a list of all my McDonald's copycat recipes.

McDonald's introduced its new sandwich in 1996 with a $200 million marketing blitz aimed at winning over grown-ups. We watched Ronald McDonald golf, dance, and hang out with sophisticated human beings, rather than his usual gang of puppets. These messages were supposed to tug at the adult market lost to more inspired sandwich creations from chains like Wendy's and Arby's and Carl's Jr.

Did the campaign work? So far, the sales figures have been less than stellar for the burger with even more fat in it than a Big Mac. But the sandwich, with its specially developed Dijon mustard-mayo sauce, does have its share of devoted fans. Perhaps even more of us would get on Team Arch Deluxe if we could make a clone using reduced-fat ingredients to knock the fat down to nearly one-third that of the original, as I have here.

Nutrition Facts
Serving size–1 burger
Total servings–1
Calories per serving–430 (Original–550)
Fat per serving–11g (Original–31g)

It was in the late seventies, shortly after McDonald's had introduced the Egg McMuffin, that the food giant realized the potential of a quick, drive-thru breakfast. Soon, the company had developed several breakfast selections, including the Big Breakfast with eggs, hash browns, and sausage. Eventually one out of every four breakfasts served out of the home would be served at McDonald's—an impressive statistic indeed. The newest kid on the McBreakfast block is this morning meal in a tortilla, first offered on the menu in the summer of 1991. The regular Breakfast Burrito has 19 grams of fat. To keep the energy up for your busy day, try out this version of the tasty breakfast meal with under 3 grams of fat.

Nutrition Facts
Serving size–1 burrito
Total servings–4
Calories per serving–202 (Original–320)
Fat per serving–2.5g (Original–19g)

Like the Big Mac, the idea for this breakfast product came from an inspired McDonald's franchisee goofing around with ingredients in the kitchen—in this case, English muffins and a cylindrical egg mold. It was in 1977 that the world's largest burger chain unveiled the Egg McMuffin to a ravenous America on the go: the eat-breakfast-while-driving, morning rush hour workforce with the spill-proof coffee mugs.

Back then, concerns with fat intake were not big on our minds or in the news, so the 12 grams of fat per Egg McMuffin was disregarded. But if you've had your share of greasy breakfast sandwiches over the years and have little extra time one morning, give this cool clone a test. Using egg substitute egg whites and fat-free American cheese, you can still create that signature Mickey D's taste while cutting the fat down to just 2.5 grams per sandwich. Now when you eat two of these you won't make such a dent in your daily fat allotment when the sun is just barely up.

Nutrition Facts
Serving size–1 sandwich
Total servings–1
Calories per serving–217 (Original–290)
Fat per serving–2.5g (Original–12g)

Everyone knows the center of a cinnamon roll is the best part. With that in mind, McDonald's designed a cinnamon pastry where every bite is coated with the same deliciously gooey cinnamon and brown sugar filling that you discover only after working your way through the dry, doughy part of traditional cinnamon rolls. It's sort of like monkey bread, whereby chunks of dough are tossed in cinnamon sugar and then baked in a deep cake pan. The difference with this clone of the McDonald's version is that the filling is mixed with margarine and spooned onto the dough chunks in layers. And you bake this in small, single-serving portions. As it turns out, a Texas-size muffin tin, which has cups that are about twice the size of a standard muffin tin, is the perfect pan for this. You can also use disposable aluminum pot pie pans that many markets carry. Since this recipe makes a dozen servings, dig this: After the cinnamon melts have cooled, cover and freeze them. When you need a quick breakfast pastry or late-night snack, simply remove a melt from the pan, microwave for 35 seconds, or until hot (this is how McDonald's heats it, too), and you're instantly teleported to cinnamon roll paradise.

Cinnamon Roll fans may also want to try my clone recipe for Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls here.

McDonald's huge roll-out of the BigXtra! was another bomb dropped on the battlefield of the burger wars. Burger King took the first shot by introducing the Big King—a pretty good clone of McDonald's signature Big Mac, with a bit more meat. Then Mickey D's fired back with a clone of Burger King's popular Whopper hamburger, with, you guessed it, a bigger beef patty. 20 percent bigger to be exact. That's just under 5 ounces of ground beef, sprinkled with seasoned salt and stacked on a huge sesame seed bun, with the same ingredients as you find piled on the Whopper: lettuce, onion, tomato, ketchup, mayo and pickles. It's very tasty. Especially if you like Whoppers.

Find more of your favorites recipes from McDonald's here.

This McDonald's yogurt parfait recipe is super easy to make, plus it's low fat and delicious. The yogurt in the original is very sweet and creamy like Yoplait. So that's the brand that you should use, although any brand of a vanilla yogurt will work fine (see update in "Tidbits"). If you use Yoplait, you'll need two 6-ounce containers of the stuff per serving. For the granola, just look for one that contains mostly oats. It should be crunchy and sweet, and can also include puffed rice bits. You can make these McDonald's yogurt parfaits a day or two ahead of time. Keep the fruit and yogurt parfairt covered in the fridge, and hold off on the granola topping until just before you serve them or it'll get soggy. Also, try our McDonald's strawberry banana smoothie recipe.

In the coffee war that's been brewing since 2007, McDonald's is emerging victorious by snagging a significant chunk of the $11 billion coffee market away from sector-leader Starbucks. The hamburger chain's McCafe offerings, which include premium cappuccinos, lattes, and iced coffees, scored higher in taste tests according to Consumer Reports magazine, and the drinks come with a lower price tag than comparable beverages at the coffeehouse chain. The Vanilla Iced Coffee appears to be a standout selection at The Golden Arches, and a home clone is simple after you get your hands on some Torani vanilla syrup. Brew up some coffee, chill it, then pour these three ingredients over ice in a 16-ounce glass. The taste of your finished drink will be determined by the quality of your coffee (McDonald's has its own beans), so be sure to brew your best stuff. The better the coffee you start with, the better your clone will taste.

Some petite vanilla scones would be pretty tasty right about now. Check out all my Starbucks clone recipes here.

In 1996, McDonald's set out to target more educated taste buds in a massive advertising campaign for its newest burger creation. We watched while Ronald McDonald golfed, danced, and leisurely hung out with real-life grown-up humans, instead of the puffy Mayor McCheese and that bunch of wacko puppets. Supposedly the Arch Deluxe, with the "Adult Taste" would appeal to those dancers and golfers and anyone else with a sophisticated palate. But let's face it, we're not talking Beef Wellington here. The Arch Deluxe was just a hamburger after all, with only a couple of elements that set it apart from the other menu items. The big difference was the creamy brown mustard spread on the sandwich right next to the ketchup. And you were able to order the burger with the optional thick-sliced peppered bacon. But the pitch didn't work out the way Micky D's had hoped. Sales of the Arch Deluxe were disappointing and the Arch Deluxe was soon a Dead Food. Good thing I cloned this burger when I did.

This recipe clones one of the sauces you get with your order of McNuggets at the world's largest hamburger outlet. Now, instead of shoving a fistful of the little green packs into your backpack, you can make up a batch of your own to use as a dip for store bought nuggets, chicken fingers, fried shrimp, and tempura. It's a simple recipe that requires a food processor or a blender, and the sauce will keep well for some time in the fridge.

Ronald McDonald is an international hero and celebrity. In Japan, since the "R" sound is not part of the Japanese language, everyone knows the burger-peddling clown as "Donald McDonald." And in Hong Kong, where people place a high value on family relationships, he is called Uncle McDonald, or in their language, "McDonald Suk Suk."

These burgers were the original hallmark of the world's largest fast-food chain. In 1948, when brothers Dick and Mac McDonald opened their first drive-in restaurant in San Bernardino, California, it was this simple sandwich that had hundreds of people driving in from miles around to pick up a sackful for just 15 cents a burger.

Them's the biscuits at America's most popular stop for breakfast and a copycat McDonald's biscuit recipe is simple to make with Bisquick and buttermilk.

Psssst. there's a lot more McDonald's recipes over here.

One of the tastiest dipping sauces that you can choose with your order of Chicken McNuggets is this sweet-and-sour creamy Dijon mustard. No longer shall you find it necessary to beg for extra packets of this sauce with your next box of cluck chunks. Now, with just four ingredients, you can from this day forward mix up the stuff at home anytime you want to use it as a spread on savory sandwiches (great with ham!) or as a dipping sauce for your own home-cooked nuggets or chicken strips.

The year 1963 was a big one in McDonald's history. The 500th McDonald's restaurant opened in Toledo, Ohio, and Hamburger University graduated its 500th student. It was in that same year that McDonald's served its one billionth hamburger in grand fashion on The Art Linkletter Show. Ronald McDonald also made his debut that year in Washington, D.C., and the Fillet-O-Fish sandwich was introduced as the first new menu addition since the restaurant chain opened in 1948.

Have you ever wanted to make McDonald's French Fries? Find more McDonald's recipes here.

Update 8/4/19: Current versions of this sandwich come with the bun untoasted. For a classic version, make yours as described below, or skip step 2. Be sure to microwave your finished sandwich for 10-15 seconds to warm up your bun, and steam the sandwich before serving.

It's easy to recreate the flavors of McDonald's annual St. Patrick's Day shake using only four ingredients. The two that make this holiday shake special are the mint extract and green food coloring. Make sure your extract says "mint" and not "peppermint". And if you don't care to have shakes that are green like the real ones, you can forego the food coloring.

Try my recipe for McDonald's newer Oreo Shamrock McFlurry here.

Update 3/14/17: For a thicker, mintier shake add only 1 cup of milk. If your blender can't mix it up, add 1/4 cup of milk at a time until it blends. Also, the new Shamrock Shakes have whipped cream and a cherry on top.

If you're like me, that "limited-time" the McRib Sandwich is on sale is much too limited. But that's okay. If you've got a food processor you'll never have to go without the taste of the saucy sparerib sandwich that's dressed with pickles and onions and served on a soft, warm sandwich roll. The food processor is essential for grinding up meat that's been cut away from the bones of a large rack of uncooked pork spareribs. Once you shape the meat into patties and freeze it, you'll be able to make cloned McRibs any time you want in your own kitchen in less than 10 minutes. Follow these steps exactly and you will be shocked at how similar your home version tastes to the real McRib McCoy.

Check out Todd's video demo: How to clone a McRib.

Brothers Dick and Mac McDonald opened the first McDonald's drive-in restaurant in 1948, in San Bernardino, California. When the brothers began to order an increasing amount of restaurant equipment for their growing business, they aroused the curiosity of milk-machine salesman Ray Kroc. Kroc befriended the brothers and became a franchising agent for the company that same year, opening his first McDonald's in Des Plaines, Illinois. Kroc later founded the hugely successful McDonald's Corporation and perfected the fast food system that came to be studied and duplicated by other chains over the years. The first day Kroc's cash register rang up $366.12. Today the company racks up about $50 million a day in sales in more than 12,000 outlets worldwide, and for the past ten years a new store has opened somewhere around the world an average of every fifteen hours. The double-decker Big Mac was introduced in 1968, the brain-child of a local franchisee. It is now the world's most popular hamburger and it is super easy to duplicate at home. You can use Kraft Thousand Island dressing for the special sauce, or follow the link in the Tidbits below to a recipe for cloning the special sauce from scratch.

For a live demo of the McDonald's Big Mac Recipe, check out this video.

Hold an entire breakfast in two hands and bring it right up to your face for a bite. Here's a clone for the Spanish Omelet Bagel from the Golden Arches. Check out my other clones for the Ham & Egg, and Steak & Egg Bagels in Even More Top Secret Recipes. All three sandwiches use the easy-to-make secret dill mayo-mustard sauce, cloned here with just two ingredients. The only requirement is that you have a small 6-inch skillet to make the omelette for each sandwich. This McDonald's Spanish omelette bagel sandwich recipe makes four sandwiches, so you'll be able to feed the whole crew.

This is fun, right? Check out more of my copycat recipes for McDonald's favorites here.

What is the McDonald's sign referring to when it says "Over 100 billion served?" That's not the number of customers served, but the number of beef patties sold since McDonald's first opened its doors in the forties. A hamburger counts as one patty. A Big Mac counts as two.

McDonald's sold its 11 billionth hamburger in 1972, the same year that this sandwich, the Quarter Pounder, was added to the growing menu. That was also the year large fries were added and founder Ray Kroc was honored with the Horatio Alger Award (the two events are not related). In 1972, the 2,000th McDonald's opened its doors, and by the end of that year McDonald's had finally become a billion-dollar corporation.

Find more of my McDonald's copycat recipes here.

McDonald's enlisted Destiny's Child, Venus Williams, and Bob Greene (Oprah's trainer) to kick off its balanced lifestyles campaign in the spring of 2005, starting with this salad and the tagline "Get a fruit buzz." Most of the recipe is no big secret: two kinds of sliced apples, red seedless grapes, and low-fat vanilla yogurt. If there is a secret ingredient it's the candied walnuts which we can clone from scratch using honey, peanut oil, sugar and vanilla.

If you like Big Macs you'll love this snack wrap that tastes exactly like the world's most famous hamburger. The same basic ingredients found in a Big Mac are wrapped into a medium flour tortilla for a surprisingly tasty quick eat that's easy to copy at home. Inside each of these wraps is half of the hamburger patty that's used on the chain's Quarter Pounder, so by cooking up a quarter-pound of ground beef that's been formed into a patty you'll be able to whip up two cloned McDonald's Mac Snack Wraps in a snap. Say that three times fast.

It was in the late seventies, shortly after McDonald's introduced the Egg McMuffin, that the food giant realized the potential of a quick, drive-thru breakfast. Soon, the company had developed several new breakfast selections, including the Big Breakfast with eggs, hash browns, and sausage, and this morning meal in a tortilla, first offered on the menu in 1991.

To honor the International Day of Peace on September 21, 2015, Burger King published an open letter to McDonald's in The New York Times and Chicago Tribune proposing that the two burger giants call a cease fire on their "burger wars," and honor the day by joining forces to sell a one-day mash-up of their two famous hamburgers at a pop-up shop located in Atlanta—the halfway point between the two cities where the chains' headquarters are located (Chicago and Miami). The letter stated that the "McWhopper" would include "All the tastiest bits of your Big Mac and our Whopper, united in one delicious, peace-loving burger." Burger King spent some significant time and money on the campaign, building a beautiful website and super slick YouTube video, but unfortunately the proposal fell flat. McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook responded with his own open letter stating, "We love the intention, but think our brands could do something bigger to make a difference." In other words, "Thanks, but no thanks." He ends his letter with a biting p.s. that reads, "A simple phone call will do next time." Ouch.

It looks like there won't be a real McWhopper in our near fast food future, but that doesn't mean you can't still taste one for yourself. Or, at least a clone of one using this Top Secret Recipe which I assembled from information found on the McWhopper website and the hack recipes I created years ago for the Big Mac and Whopper. If you like both of those sandwiches I promise you that your efforts will be rewarded here. This is a really good burger.

Included in the recipe below is my new, improved hack of McDonald's secret sauce from the new book, Top Secret Recipes Step-by-Step, plus the full assembly instructions for the burger. The Whopper is built with a flame-broiled patty, so you'll need a grill for that, and the Big Mac patty can be cooked in a pan on your stovetop. The bun sizes are different for each of these burgers, so if you want it to be authentic, you'll need to buy a package of small sesame seed buns and a package of large ones. Slap together the six components from each of the two burgers and even though the two halves taste great on their own, when combined these ingredients make a delicious and unique hamburger that unlike any you've had before.


12. When it comes to sides, you can go traditional with some french fries or try the "potatoes," which are thick-cut potato wedges.

For authenticity, "potatoes" should be pronounced "poe-tah-toes" when you order them. They come with a "creamy deluxe" ("creemee duhlewxe") sauce, which is sort of a creamier mayo with chives in it. It's very good. If you want to go the lighter route, you can also order cherry tomatoes as a side, although I've never actually seen anyone do that.


5. Hershey's chocolate

Toronto, Canada - May 8, 2012: This is a studio shot of Hershey's Creamy Milk Chocolate made by Hershey's isolated on a white background. (iStock)

The chocolate wars were going strong at around the turn of the century, with innovators like Hershey and Mars going after the big English manufacturers like Fry, Rowntree's, and Cadbury for market dominance. When Hershey finally nailed the formula for milk chocolate, after three years of trial and error, he kept it a proprietary secret and released the first Hershey’s Bar in 1900, cementing his place in chocolate lore. The exact formula for Hershey’s milk chocolate is still a mystery today.


11. Burger King

Envious of McDonald's success, Burger King was the next major fast-food chain to give breakfast a go. After some initial floundering, Burger King unveiled the Croissan'Wich n 1983. As the name suggests, the sandwich, which is still served today in many variations, was served on a croissant, and included egg, cheese, and sausage, bacon, or ham. For many smaller-town Americans, Burger King's Croissan'Wich was their first experience eating a croissant—a culinary rite of passage indeed.

Of course, the croissant of the BK Croissan'Wich isn't exactly as magnifique as the croissants you'd find at a quaint cafe on the streets of Paris. The Croissan'Wich croissant is soft and often served flattened, but hey, a croissant is a croissant, oui?

Since the Croissan'Which, Burger King has beefed up its breakfast menu to include everything from breakfast burritos to sourdough breakfast sandwiches. Some of these items, like the French Toast Sticks with hot syrup, are winners — though we're pretty partial to our own five-ingredient version of those. Others, like the pancakes, which are frozen and reheated, are predictably ehhhh.


You Can Buy McDonald&rsquos With Foreign Currency This Week

The special deal on June 6 celebrates Mickey D's launch of its worldwide favorites menu.

Have you ever come back from a wonderful vacation abroad only to realize that you have a bunch of coins or small bills that aren’t worth converting back to US dollars? Ever wanted to get use them only to remember that they’re essentially worthless unless you travel thousands of miles? Do you like fast food from foreign countries?

If you’re a well-traveled McDonald’s fan who answered yes to those questions, it’s finally time to cash in. For a very limited time only, McDonald’s will be celebrating the launch of its “Worldwide Favorites” menu by letting US customers transact in international currencies. All you have to do is fork over some foreign coins or cash to get your hands on a Stroopwaffel McFlurry (Netherlands), Tomato Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich (Canada), Cheesy Bacon Fries (Australia) or Grand McExtreme Bacon Burger (Spain).

Watch: 5 Reasons McDonald&aposs Coke Tastes Better

“Have an extra Euro laying around? Found a Japanese Yen in that old travel fanny pack? Wondering what to do with that Rupee from last summer’s trip to India? Start rummaging under those couch cushions, take that spare foreign currency you have, and head around the corner to your nearest participating McDonald’s," said a McDonald’s statement referenced by USA Today.

You’ll have to be on the ball if you want to take advantage of the deal. It starts at 2 p.m. (local time) on Thursday June 6th, and ends at 5 p.m. that very same day. The good news is that it doesn’t sounds like it matters at all what kind of currency you bring in. And if you’re short on foreign money but long on free time and love a good deal, McDonald’s suggests you 𠇎xchange [dollars] for some foreign currency at your local currency exchange retailer” according to Restaurant Business Online.

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to buying a Grand McExtreme Burger with all the Iraqi Dinar I’ve been hoarding.


Souplantation Has Shared Its Best Recipes for You to Make at Home Since They Are Closed Permanently

Souplantation — also known as Sweet Tomatoes outside of Southern California — has unfortunately had to permanently close its doors amid the coronavirus pandemic. Fortunately, superfans can keep the spirit of the buffet chain alive with their at-home recipes.

Over the years, Souplantation has periodically posted some of their most popular soup and salad recipes on their blog. Some favorites include Chicken Pot Pie Stew and Pumpkin Bisque Soup. The blog also showcases numerous salad variations and multiple 700-calorie menus that can easily be replicated with common pantry and produce items.

Along with in-store staples, the Souplantation blog features some fun recipes for special occasions like Baked Potato Nachos for game day. It also includes various helpful posts including a soup and salad pairing guide — the handy guide can help you spice up your meals if you&aposve run into a rut in the kitchen while social distancing.

The parent company for Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes made the difficult decision to shutter all 97 locations and lay off its workforce, Garden Fresh Restaurants CEO John Haywood confirmed to the San Diego Union-Tribune on Thursday.

“The FDA had previously put out recommendations that included discontinuing self-serve stations, like self-serve beverages in fast food, but they specifically talked about salad bars and buffets,” Haywood said. “The regulations are understandable, but unfortunately, it makes it very difficult to reopen. And I’m not sure the health departments are ever going to allow it."

Haywood said the company has been losing roughly $1 million a week after temporarily closing down Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes outposts nationwide mid-March. He estimated that the amount would have been more had the buffet chain pivoted to operate under a takeout model.

In 2016, Garden Fresh Restaurants filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and closed dozens of Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes locations, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Souplantation was first founded in 1978 in San Diego as an endless soup and salad buffet bar. The eatery was bought up by Garden Fresh Restaurants in 1983, who expanded the franchise outside of California. All locations outside of California were named Sweet Tomatoes.