Happy Tasting Day is on the other side of the world, and here’s the menu to prepare for it:
• Little Dutch Fish n’ Chips. One of the £1 crowns says it has Dungeness crab (or “straw” as the name implies), although it doesn’t. Just some chopped up pieces of shrimp, which taste like a battered version of toastcrunch. They are processed around a jute carton, so have only a little bit of fish; I don’t think it has a ton of crab in it, but the idea of raw seafood is now seriously compromised.
• Strawberry Champagne Caramelised Onion Jr. This is paired with a Strawberry Heart Cones, which has more weighty sweet-sour bits on the sides than almost anything on our menu now. I’m a fan of deep-fried stuff, but this has a ridiculous amount of sugar to it, and like all of McDonald’s phthalates-laden stuff it’s soft as molasses, but then again, in 2019 that’s no bad thing.
• Bacon Fries. These have a VERY foul scent, and they’re breaded in some weird plastic mix, but the Fudgesicle (think bedazzled half-frozen cherries, with an edge of sweet tater tots) filling is very bland.
• Signature Chicken Chicken Club. As the name suggests it has “chicken” on the side, and then what? No chicken! This is basically a tofu burger, which isn’t actually much of a deal – it’s sad enough to make me want a vegetarian burger from McDonald’s – and therefore it’s pointless: every ingredient I have a vague sense of connection with but have either been genetically manipulated from afar or are hollowed out in an unfortunate way.
• Hot Pockets Mega Four. When you open up the box you’re greeted with the sight of a phallic white condom, an excruciatingly ironic moment in that a phallic cone of food exists. Aside from this grossness there’s also the fact that they’re spread over two doughnut holes, and not even the one old people in your age group might order any more. Still, they’re basically pizza rolls.
• Bacon Yule Log. In a real conversation about sexual orientations, one might say that instead of attempting to rectify the whole of human history with one single, hilariously embossed creation of an exotically rendered bundle of meat, the best thing to do is basically just give up. Do not try to do it, people.
• Chicken Poutine. The luscious cheese curds and fries that come on this colourful yet unimaginative carb-fest could possibly be the weirdest deep-fried thing I’ve ever eaten. Or they could be the most polarising, too.
• Bacon Lime Gribbles. The gooey-lovely thing you’re given is the best thing I’ve ever had at McDonald’s. And you’re reminded of the usual list of adjectives when you eat them.
• Smoked Salmon Macarons. When I studied French at school it was Sibylle Lenoir’s Brooklea GÃ¢uÃ©r. As a beer lover, a pork lover, a vegetable lover and an overall food lover, I took an instant fascination with smoked salmon and macaroons, so my gateway to the reality of (very strange, incredibly lovely things I like) began with these sweet little things. They give the same sensation as a cigarette. Or a champagne glass.
And so it’s Happy Hours here on the other side of the world, where barbecues were invented, where peace and freedom are on the menu and biscuits are off. And what does the menu look like for 2022? Take a look at this brilliant Guardian article for what to expect.