If I were living in the US, going to McDonald's would not be blog-worthy. But in France it's sort of like visiting the US embassy. I know this is not the culinary higlight of my country. But it's just that sometimes you get a craving for those tastes you've known all your life, and when you walk into the restaurant you feel a bit like you're at home.
So today I treated myself to Le petit chicken, since the McChicken was out of stock. An order of fries and a vanilla milkshake. I guess I decided to go all out. It was only 11 so I had to wait a bit for my sandwich. But I went ahead and started eating my perfectly hot fries. Black-eyed Peas "Pump It" was playing, and I was bopping my head. There were so few people in there anyway so I didn't care too much. All in all it was a tasty little lunch.
So how is McDonald's different in France? First of all they call it "McDo". And if I say McDonald's to a French person they often give me a look that means "Quoi?/What?" But frankly it just doesn't sound right saying it any other way. And if you order a Happy Meal (which I sometimes do- there's no shame in that, right?!) the choices for the desserts are a yogurt drink or a little packet of apple slices and grapes or an apple sauce. Now it's been a while since I got a Happy Meal stateside, so you'll have to tell me if they have the same desserts.
I noticed they've got a new side dish now called "petites tomates" which is basically a packet of cherry tomatoes. All in an effort to make "McDo" more McHealthy for the French. If you ask the average French person if they like the food there, they'll probaly scrunch up their face and say, "C'est pas bon./It's not good." Like maybe if they were to admit it was kind of good they'd get their nationality revoked. They may be a little right when they say it's not so hot though. I'm convinced the quality is better in the US. The lettuce is crisper, the meat juicier. So my theory is (and yes, I have given this enough thought to have a theory), that they made it a bit inferior just so the French wouldn't go crazy for it. At any rate, a number of French who've visited the US (including my husband who's rather picky...) agree that it's better stateside.
So think of me the next time you crunch down on your deliciously golden fries...