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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

McDonald's Makes Big American Burgers in Israel, Inaccurate British Burgers in America

Posted By on Tue, Jul 12, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Remember last month when we looked at the totally wrong versions of American regional flavors McDonald's foisted on the U.K.?

Well, they're at it again, this time in Israel and right here in our American back yards!

Yesterday McDonald's announced that it's introducing two new American-themed burgers in their Israel restaurants. The burgers are so big that one news outlet referred to them as "meatloaf". They weigh close to a half-pound apiece -- which seems fairly normal in the states, but it's about one-third bigger than most burgers sold in Israel. The burgers will be made from ground rib eye.

At least the toppings are more representative of their regions than the ones offered in Britain. The Big New York is topped with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onion and Royal Sauce. The Big Texas forgoes the Royal Sauce for barbecue sauce and adds an onion ring instead of onions.

click to enlarge The Big New York burger plops down at McDonald's restaurants in Israel. - MCDONALD'S
  • McDonald's
  • The Big New York burger plops down at McDonald's restaurants in Israel.

Meanwhile, on this side of the Atlantic, McDonald's is butchering the hell out of British burgers.

In suburban Chicago, McDonald's is test-marketing what the company calls an "English Pub Burger". It's a part of the "Angus Third-Pounder" line and includes bacon, grilled onions, steak sauce, Dijon mustard, and cheddar and American cheeses on an "artisan roll."

Last we checked, Dijon mustard originated in the Dijon region of France, and American cheese is from, uh, America.

So what does a real British burger contain?

Gourmet Burger Kitchen operates more than 50 restaurants in the U.K. Although its burgers seem more high-end than those at most fast-food joints, they exhibit a pretty consistent fondness for mayonnaise, and the cheese options never veer into processed territory. It's England. They invented cheddar, Stilton, Gloucester and Pantysgawn (which Gut Check will be the first to admit has never crossed our lips. We just like the name).

Oscar's Diner in Telford models itself after 1950s American diners, but toppings are mayo-centric and cheeses are much better than McDonald's.

That said, Oscars does offer an American-style competition burger: two pounds (!) of beef, a half-pound hunk of chicken (!!), six slices of bacon (ho-hum), two potato waffles (?), four onion rings, lettuce, onion and pickle.

And no mayo.

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