Major fast-food chains have global reach, and in most cases they tailor their menus to incorporate local tastes and cultures. In Japan, for example, Burger King sells a Premium Black Kuro Burger with squid ink-flavored ketchup, and in India, where a large percentage of the population doesn’t eat beef, McDonald’s sells the Maharaja Mac, which replaces the beef patties with chicken.
Click Here For the 5 Craziest McDonald's Pies Slideshow
And while it makes perfect sense to sell sandwiches and burgers tailored to the local audience, it might not be obvious that desserts also get the global treatment. In honor of National Pie Day, we’re taking a look at five of the craziest McDonald’s pies from around the world.
For our list, we chose the ones that are legitimately flabbergasting. Who would have thought that in Japan pies would be filled with mashed potatoes and bacon? That’s certainly bridging the snack/dessert divide. And while cherry, chocolate, lemon, peach, strawberry, and pineapple pies all grace McDonald’s menus somewhere on Earth, they’re just not as jaw-droppingly surprising to encounter.
While every McDonald’s location sells the classic apple pie, which was first introduced by Knoxville owner/operator Litton Cochran in 1968, offerings in some countries are truly unique (you can find photos of some of their crazier offerings on their Flickr and Pinterest pages). In Latin America alone, for example, you’ll find a chocolate mousse, banana, passion fruit, and chocolate-filled "Brigadeiro" pie. But the craziest of all? Why, that would have to be the one filled with sweet cheese, of course.
Read on for the craziest pies you’ll find on a global tour of McDonald’s.
Dan Myers is the Eat/Dine Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @sirmyers.
McDonald&rsquos Sells A Guava And Creme Pie That Pairs Perfectly With A Big Mac
Everyone raves about a Big Mac or fries from McDonald's&mdashas they should&mdashbut the true stars in my heart are the pies. Of course, you've got your classic apple, and seasonal offerings like Holiday Pies, but it turns out there is another offering out there that you may not have tried: Guava and Creme Pie.
These pies have been around in select McDonald's for a while now, but since they recently popped up on menus again, we thought we'd give them the spotlight they deserved. well, actually, Instagrammer @JunkFoodOnTheGo did by posting a photo of them.
Each pie is made with traditional McDonald's pie crust and stuffed with guava and cream cheese filling and JunkFoodOnThoGo described the guava filling as "slight tartness and almost [a] floral fruity flavor." The whole thing sounds like a match made in heaven.
It looks like they first popped up in 2016 in South Florida, according to TrendHunter, alongside other regional Baked Apple Pies in California and Cherries 'N Creme Pies in Michigan, so if you want to get your hands on one of these pies, living in Florida is probably your best bet.
Since these pies are only available at select locations, the rest of the people in the comments pretty green with jealousy. "Oof that looks so good," one person wrote. "I could go for one of these rn," another wrote.
For the rest of us who are not in South Florida, well, it's time to fire up the hand pie recipes and get baking.
Courtesy of McDonald's
If you have a slight obsession with McDonald's Southwest Buttermilk Crispy Chicken salad, we're sorry to break the news: salads are not on the menu right now. We aren't sure for how long, but after consulting multiple menus from McDonald's locations, it doesn't seem like salads are making a comeback anytime soon. For now, it looks like you'll have to order some chicken nuggets and sprinkle them on top of your salad at home.
The 5 Craziest McDonald’s Pies - Recipes
Check out some unbelievable Buddakan dishes you can make at home!
Crab and Pork Soup Dumplings
"Soup dumplings are pretty traditional for the New Year," says Ray. "Opulent ingredients are a sign of wealth and prosperity. The shapes of the dumplings are meant to look like gold nuggets."
Seafood Hot Pot with Green Curry
Replete with red snapper, scallop, shrimp, Manila clams and rock lobster tail, this seafood-packed plate represents abundance. "The Chinese word for fish is a homonym for the word for surplus it symbolizes increased prosperity," says Ray. "The opening of their shells represents the opening of new horizons."
Longevity Noodles with Sea Urchin Butter
"Longevity noodles symbolize a long life the longer the better." Try this savory, wok-tossed recipe at home for a long life.
Looking for more ways to celebrate the Chinese New Year? Consider throwing a Chinese New Year Dumpling Party!
SHAMROCK SHAKE PIE
Another one of those early weird dessert combos was this Shamrock Shake Pie! I recently made a video of it and decided the photos needed an update.
If every year around this time you start craving a Shamrock Shake, you are going to want to make this pie! It is so easy, fast, and delicious. I love a good no bake pie. It doesn’t get much easier than that. Another great no bake pie that has become super popular recently is my No Bake Baileys Chocolate Pie.
Where You Can Get It: China
What’s black and white and odd all over? The half-sized Black and White Burgers at McDonald’s China, named for their colored buns. The black one is dyed with squid ink, and the white one is covered in black sesame seeds. And although you may have thought they were burgers (because that is what they’re called) the white one is really just a fried chicken sandwich. What they do have in common is a scoop of mashed potatoes and slices of bacon because the sandwiches weren’t already weird enough.
A Brief History of McDonald’s Apple Pie
McDonald’s apple pie has commanded the attention of the American dining public for years, going through numerous iterations in its nearly 50-year history. Perhaps better described as a hand pie, the pastry-wrapped apple-filled treat’s story starts with its debut in the late 1960s, runs through a fried-versus-baked debate, and ends in the present day with another attempt to make the dessert healthier.
Over the years, the fast-food chain has created more than 40 variants of the apple pie with assorted fillings, including strawberry, pineapple, and pumpkin. Outside the U.S., popular flavors include taro (China), sweet corn (Thailand), and berries and currant (UK). Here’s a quick look back at the McDonald’s apple pie story.
The recipe for McDonald’s apple pie came from a Knoxville, Tennessee, franchisee named Litton Cochran, who had opened that city’s first McDonald’s in 1960. The apple pie was the first dessert added to the McDonald’s menu in 1968, the same year that the fast-food company introduced the Big Mac. The original recipe and turnover-style pie was fried to crispiness with a light golden color and served hot in a folded cardboard carton.
In the 1970s, the McDonald’s apple pie inspired a new McDonaldland character, according to Mental Floss: the Apple Pie Tree. (The tree and the other McDonaldland characters that were introduced at that time, including Officer Big Mac, Grimace, and the Hamburglar, were retired in 2003 Ronald McDonald is the chain’s only mascot currently.)
McDonald’s made the decision to discontinue the fried pies in 1992, opting instead for a baked version to appeal to customer preferences and dining trends. Today, the baked pies are filled with six varieties of apples the company says are handpicked and grown in the U.S.: Fuji, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Rome, Gala, and Ida Red. In 2016, McDonald’s tasked a culinary team with creating a new recipe for the pie that used sliced apples instead of diced and swapped the standard solid top for a more decorative lattice-top crust. Versions of this pie were tested in Southern California and North Carolina before they were introduced nationwide. Then in 2018 the apple pie got a modern makeover: The new recipe contains less sugar and fewer ingredients overall, the company says, including real butter and additional cinnamon for more flavor.
McDonald’s lattice crust pie McDonald’s
Though McDonald’s fried pies have been gone for 25 years, nostalgia for the original lives on.
“The crunchy outer crust and the hot sweet filling inside is a match made in heaven. The pies were really apple turnovers in the shape of a golden-flaky rectangle,” the pie blog Everything Pies wrote in one post. For some, the new baked version never really replaced the taste of that crispy, fried crust.
Eric Greenspan, the chef behind the now-closed Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese in Los Angeles, found a treasure trove of McDonald’s original apple pies a few years ago while at a trade show in Chicago, according to Los Angeles magazine. Greenspan met a man connected to a vendor that supplied the pies to McDonald’s, and the chef tells Eater he was able to acquire cases of those original pies to put on his restaurant’s menu.
“People flipped out. We didn’t sell as many as we thought we would, because frankly it’s still fried apple pie after a grilled cheese sandwich. It’s aggressive,” he says. Even so, Greenspan says some fried pie aficionados came out to the restaurant for a taste of the unofficial fan favorite dessert.
“I’ve always believed in the saying that if you can’t make it better, you should buy it. Nobody makes something better than that,” he says. “It’s the bubbles. When you fry them, they bubble up.” It’s true that when that original recipe was deep-fried, tiny bubbles pocked the surface, creating a unique potato-chip crispness.
Other like-minded fans have tried to recapture that texture. Food obsessive J. Kenji López-Alt, the culinary director of Serious Eats, documented his own personal experiment in 2012. He procured two of today’s standard baked apple pies and fried them, first at 375 degrees Fahrenheit, which proved too hot, and then at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for three minutes, which resulted in a pie that had “a crisp crust with the deep, burnished hue that immediately took me back to my childhood.”
Here’s a look back at the evolution of the McDonald’s apple pie:
1968: Apple pie joins the menu
The first McDonald’s apple pie was deep-fried and served hot in a cardboard sleeve. Since then, McDonald’s has released more than 40 variants of its apple pie, featuring numerous other fillings, different cooking methods, and lattice or plain tops.
1971: McDonald’s introduces the Apple Pie Tree
McDonald’s introduced a flock of McDonaldland characters, including an Apple Pie Tree, the Hamburglar, Grimace, and Ronald McDonald, among others. The tree was a background character, often seen behind the core group with apple pies hanging from its branches. It was part of a brand marketing campaign and appeared in restaurant play areas around the country. McDonaldland characters (excluding Ronald McDonald) were retired in 2003.
1992: Baked pies
McDonald’s decides to replace its traditional fried pie with a baked version, causing some upheaval among its fan base. The chain also adds a baked cherry pie.
2011: The pie family grows
McDonald’s sells cherry, peach, strawberry, pumpkin, and sweet potato versions of its pie, in addition to a special holiday recipe.
2012: Pies get fancier
McDonald’s introduces a lineup of Signature pies, which kicks off this year with a strawberry and crème pie. The company also introduces a s’mores pie.
2013: More new pie flavors
McDonald’s runs tests of a new mixed berries and lemon pie, a cherries and crème version, and a peaches and crème pie.
2014: Fried pies make a (minor) comeback
Chef Eric Greenspan put a fried apple pie on the dessert menu at his now-defunct LA restaurant Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese after connecting with a vendor that sources the pies for McDonald’s.
2016: Welcome back, lattice-top
In 2016, McDonald’s began testing a new pie recipe that utilized sliced apples rather than diced and swapped the plain solid top for a more decorative lattice-top crust.
2016: The pie lineup expands further
New flavors released include strawberry and crème, cherry, cherries and crème, blueberries and crème, guava and crème, peaches and crème, pumpkin and crème, and sweet potato and crème.
2018: The apple pie’s modern makeover
In September 2018 McDonald’s unveils its latest attempt to make the apple pie healthier: The new recipe contains less sugar and fewer ingredients overall, including real butter, and adds additional cinnamon for more flavor.
Behold The Craziest Pizzas From Around The World
KFC raised the bar on it's fried chicken game overseas.
This wack-a-doo pizza combines crust, cheese, salad, fries, and a random assortment of dressings and pizza toppings. It's a trainwreck, to say the least.
Pizza Hut in Australia is giving new meaning to "stuffed crust" by embedding eight mini meat pies in the crust. This is definitely a meat-lovers pizza.
McDonald’s unveils the Egg White Delight McMuffin
McDonald’s will be rolling out their Egg White Delight, a yolk-free version of their Egg McMuffin breakfast sandwich, in locations nationwide starting April 22, the company has confirmed to The Daily Meal.
The breakfast sandwich, which contains 250 calories (compared to the Egg McMuffin's 300) was tested in Atlanta and Austin markets last November.
The egg whites are cooked free-form on the griddle with a spatula (as opposed to the more common microwaved version sold by competitors including Dunkin’ Donuts), and will join a slice of white cheddar cheese and Canadian bacon on a whole-grain English muffin. Egg whites will also be made available on all the other breakfast sandwiches the company offers.
"We’ve been listening to our customers, and they want premium options," McDonald’s external communications manager Tyler Litchenberger told The Daily Meal. "We can’t just limit egg whites to one menu item. We want to provide variety, and the ability to customize anything. We’ll even not add salt to your fries if you want."
The company will also be introducing a few additional menu items within the next few months: Premium McWraps in three varieties — chicken and bacon, chicken and ranch, and sweet chile chicken — will be available nationally March 18, and McCafé blueberry pomegranate smoothies will hit menus May 15.
People are terribly upset over this McDonald’s recipe change
MCDONALD’S fans in the US are up in arms after the fast food giant altered the recipe of an iconic menu item.
McDonald' s McAloo Tikki.
People in the US are upset over an altered recipe for a fan favourite. Source:AFP
IF there’s one thing people don’t like, it’s having their favourite treat food tinkered with.
Cast your mind back to the outrage when Arnott’s changed the recipe for Barbecue Shapes. The country almost went on strike.
A similar air of disquiet is brewing in the US over McDonald’s changing the way they produce their Hot Apple Pie dessert.
The original hot apple pie from McDonald's. Someone has been wise and created a hole so the extreme heat can escape. Source:Supplied
Many people have a nostalgic attachment to this iconic menu item. The deep fried crunchy “pastry”, the chunks of spiced apple (did anyone else hear the rumour that the chunks were actually apple-flavoured potato, because it was cheaper?) and the scalding sugary sauce that left an acute burn in the corner of your mouth.
McDonald’s decided to ruin everyone’s childhood favourite by making it “healthier” and baking the apple pie instead of deep frying it.
They also really pushed the envelope by decreasing the sugar content.
The new baked apple pie … it also has a lot less sugar. Source:Supplied
“Our new freshly baked Apple pie recipe is in line with other positive changes we have made,” Tiffany Briggs, a McDonald’s spokesperson, said in a press release. “We removed, for example, artificial preservatives from our Chicken McNuggets and switched to real butter in our breakfast sandwiches because those changes matter to our guests.”
“Likewise, our new apple pie is made with fewer ingredients such as sugar, sliced 100-percent American grown apples and a bit of cinnamon to the filling for flavour to give each one that homemade taste our customers love,” Briggs continued.
According to People, the pies, which clock in at 240 calories, are now covered in lattice-style crust and sprinkled with a sugar topping. The % American grown apples” used inside are a variety of Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Rome, Gala, Ida Red and Fuji.
To put it bluntly, many of the customers are NOT happy.
@McDonalds I don’t even know what to say. Where’s the green box? Where’s the apple PIE. The Franken-Strudel you have offered 2 nite is yet another example of big business sticking it to the common man!! You know what I’m talking about @Mazzios!! #lowbudget pic.twitter.com/kON8sQMGOT— Jason Lindley (@The_Mr_Lindley) September 12, 2018
Those new apple pies from McDonald’s are nasty.— K a y l a (@KayElizabeth__) September 18, 2018
What happened to @McDonalds “Baked” fried apple pies? These taste too healthy. )— Briggie (@Miss_BusyB) September 17, 2018
I don't know one person who likes the new @McDonalds apple pie. PLEASE bring the old ones back— Matt (@mattgoody20) September 18, 2018
I don't know one person who likes the new @McDonalds apple pie. PLEASE bring the old ones back— Matt (@mattgoody20) September 18, 2018
@McDonalds Just heard about the changed apple pies. Why try to make a pie healthy and change the recipe? A pie isn't supposed to be healthy. Welp guess @tacobell can have my money. They have good apple empanadas.— West (@WokenWest) September 18, 2018
1. Nurnburger (Germany)
If you go to a McDonald’s in Germany, you can get a McBeer with a Nurnburger, too, if the Nurnburger is brought back soon. Or just stick with the usual type of McDonald’s drink, such as soda or coffee. So, what’s a Nurnburger? It kinds of sounds like a famous race track called the Nurburgring, but it’s very different. The Nurnburger is a special sandwich that includes a trio of sausages from Nuremburg on a fluffy bun. It’s the perfect choice for fans of bratwurst and other German-style sausages, or just sausages in general. The sausages are mini-sausages, so the sandwich isn’t an overwhelming size, but it’s still a hearty choice. Sadly, this specialty sandwich seemed to be a limited-time thing at German McDonald’s locations. It doesn’t seem to be on the menu at present. While it’s one of the most famous McDonald’s international menu items, we all need to wait for McDonald’s Germany to bring it back and that might happen. In the meantime, we can travel to Germany and order 5 Chicken Wings, Grid Potatoes, a McToast Bacon, or 5 or 8 Chili Cheese Snackers, plus the usual burgers and stuff. Now that you know more about McDonald’s international menu items that get plenty of press, you may wish you could tour around and try these items. Some aren’t on the menu anymore, but lots are still available, and the ones that have been taken off the menu may reappear. Fast food should be an occasional indulgence, but many people eat it regularly. People love learning about fast food from other countries, including international menu items from McDonald’s.