Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Washington Post Features

October 9, 2012

The 10 best McDonald's meals you won't find in the U.S.

McDonald's has over 32,000 locations in 119 countries, and part of its international success is due to clever attempts to appeal to local customers by inventing food tailored to their tastes. From Paris to Delhi, here's a list of the top ten McDonald's meals Americans are missing out on.

India: BigSpicy Paneer Wrap

This fast food take on a common Indian street food is both spicy and vegetarian, making it a hit at the 271 McDonald's locations in India. Made with breaded paneer, a type of South Asian cheese, the BigSpicy Paneer Wrap is one of many vegetarian McDonald's innovations, which have been so successful that the chain plans to open two all-vegetarian locations in India next year.

Japan: Ebi Filet-O

Part of McDonald's Japan President Eikoh Harada's push to tailor food to Japanese taste, the Ebi Filet-O generated sales of 10 million in the first three months after its launch in October 2005. Made with breaded shrimp, this Japanese version of the classic Filet-O-Fish is modeled after the traditional Japanese dish of shrimp tempura and costs around $5.70 in Tokyo.

Turkey: Kofteburger

The Kofteburger is the McDonaldization of kofte, a type of Turkish kebab made with mint and parsley. So authentic that even the bun is sprinkled with parsley, the Kofteburger has been a hit with Turkish customers, and as one American visitor put it, "it's good but it doesn't taste like a burger . . . it tastes very . . . Turkish."

Thailand: Samurai Pork Burger

The name says it all. Featuring a pork patty marinated in Teriyaki sauce and smothered in peppers, the Samurai Pork burger is McDonald's attempt to put a Thai twist on the classic Big Mac, although the fast food giant may be a little off the geographical mark on this one. As one customer asks, "Why does it have a Japanese name when I'm in Thailand?"

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