McDonald’s revisited: ‘spicy’ disappointment and caramel bliss

September 25, 2020

Fast food has always had a special place in my heart. And by fast food here, I mean places like McDonald’s, KFC, Wendy’s, Burger King, etc. Growing up, I would only have fast food as a treat (on my birthday or to celebrate something), but even as I grew older it still feels like that. In Ukraine, the only fast food chains we really have are McDonald’s and KFC (which only opened in 2012). As a chicken lover, I do prefer KFC to McDonald’s, but McDonald’s will always hold a special place in my heart. Let me fast forward to when I moved to Massachusetts for college and discovered all the other fast food chains and found my new favorite: Wendy’s, largely for their spicy chicken.   

As someone who loves spicy chicken, you can imagine I was very excited to hear that McDonald’s was launching spicy chicken nuggets. I even dragged my boyfriend to McDonald’s so we could try them on the first day they were released. Though I was mentally preparing myself to be disappointed, since no fast food chain really knows how to do spicy properly, it felt like McDonald’s didn’t even try. It seems like they added a tenth of a gram of pepper to their regular nuggets and called them spicy. They really didn’t taste that much different from the regular McNuggets (which to be honest I would probably enjoy more than this new “spicy” misunderstanding). The only spicy thing about the new McDonald’s nuggets is the name. Very disappointing. 

When it comes to comparing the new spicy nuggets to Wendy’s spicy nuggets, I’d say McDonald’s can barely be considered competition. Although Wendy’s nuggets are not as spicy as I would like them to be, at least they have some sort of spice to them. Plus they are cheaper: 10 Wendy’s nuggets cost $2.79, while 10 McDonald’s nuggets cost $4.89, at least in Massachusetts. 

The new spicy nuggets also come with a new Mighty Hot Sauce, which surprisingly, was actually somewhat spicy. But here’s my problem: the sauce completely hides the flavor of the nuggets, so I might as well be eating straight up sauce. It also really tastes like a milder version of sriracha (don’t get me wrong, I love sriracha) but that is not what I expect from a sauce. Like they could at least pretend to make it somewhat unique. This whole new spicy ordeal feels like it was created by an overworked intern in under nine minutes.
However, my trip to McDonald’s was not a total disappointment. While looking at the menu, I also noticed that McDonald’s has a new McFlurry (which happens to be my favorite fast food dessert for over a decade now) with Chips Ahoy and caramel. Now that is the true star of the show. I love vanilla ice cream with caramel in general, but with the crunchy chocolate chip cookie bits, it tasted like heaven in a cup. It was also definitely worth $3.79 (pre-tax). I do have to say that I was unable to finish one by myself because it was a little too sweet, but it was the perfect size to share with someone. This was definitely a much better addition to the McDonald’s menu, and I definitely hope that they will be adding new McFlurries to their menu (like my favorite KitKat McFlurry with chocolate sauce). 

Editor’s Note: This is one of three articles in the series “McDonald’s revisited.”

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