Wednesday, April 21, 2004

McDonald's Local Fare: Shanghai

I enjoy visiting McDonald's Restaurants when I am travelling.

Before you get on your high horse and proceed to lambast me with Fast Food Nation trivia, realize that I don't care. It's food that I have chosen to eat. Nothing more, nothing less. And quite truthfully, unless you've been out of the country for more than a few months before, you can't possibly understand how exciting it is to see the golden arches. So hush, this isn't the point of my story.

My love for foreign McDonald's is not really based around their food. I am simply in awe of their logistical excellence that enables them to sell a Big Mac seven thousands miles away from headquarters that tastes exactly like the one you would get in San Francisco. However, what I really enjoy is how they let franchisees localize their menu to suit regional tastes. This localization takes many forms, but my favorite is what I call "Featured Foreigner Food (FFF)." I used to call it "Fuzzy Foreigner Food," but I was the only person that got the Bill Murray reference. Basically, it appears to be a Mikey Ds rule that each country can develop and sell one special dish that suits the local culture. I seek out FFF menu items for their high amusement value.

Shanghai's FFF menu item is: Shrimp McNuggets ! 12RMB (~ $1.50USD)

I didn't have the balls to try this particular FFF, as I follow this strict rule: Never eat seafood at a fast food restaurant. I will try to dupe a local into reporting on the quality of this particular FFF (look for future reports on the topic).

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