Fast Food - Cooking's F word ... or is it?

Fast Food – Cooking’s F word … or is it?

So many times you see on the television or in magazines ways to do food better and cheaper than most fast food outlets. There’s good reason for this: most fast food is quite frankly appalling.

It’s bad because it’s made en-mass to feed as many people as fast as possible and turn a profit. Dubious quality meat, the cheapest cheese, “garden salad” that’s about as garden salad as wet flavoured cardboard, pseudo-bread washed down with watered-down soft drink. And yet we all gravitate to this muck because it’s convenient, quick, easy, and it doesn’t leave as much as a dent on the wallet as eating out at some ritzy high end cafe establishment. Sure there are plenty of middle of the road places that take about half the time as a ritzy cafe to produce your meal, and are about half the price of this, but it’s still not as cheap as that massive franchise chain that can bang them out a minute at a time for peanuts and with a massive compromise on quality.

I will admit, from time to time I’m happy to accept this reduction in quality just because I’m in town, it’s been a hard day at work and I badly need just … something to fill the growling void in my body known as my stomach. Just recently I went into a nearby McDonalds to grab something and there was advertising on the boards for a new range of burgers in light of the FIFA world cup being just around the corner and good ol’ Maccas sponsoring them. I picked up the host nation inspired “Brazil”, just to try something different. My first bite was … better than I anticipated, and I was stunned to find an actual garden salad in the burger. In fact I believe my exact words when I saw a piece of carrot fall out of the bottom of the burger was (kids cover your ears) “Holy shit! It’s an actual piece of carrot!”. The burger itself was delicious higher grade beef infused with corn kernels and kidney beans, a spicer than normal tomato salsa-ish kinda sauce, mayo, CRISP lettuce that actually had crunch to it, all packed into a bun with a pretty cleverly scored artistic pattern of a soccer ball on it. I was without too much faff, very impressed. I hadn’t come across a McDonalds “diamond in the rough” since the Lamb burger (If you read this, Maccas, BRING IT BACK PLEASE!) – So much impressed that after tweeting my satisfaction to the lads at Mcdonalds NZ they kindly sent me a couple of vouchers to try the rest of the line. Top move!

Having recently cashed these vouchers in which were included with a note to let them know how I felt about the other two, I suppose this is filling my end of the bargain. The other two burgers are the Argentina, which is kind of like a fancy double quarter-pounder upgraded with a rather nice salsa instead of the usual tomato sauce and same soccer ball bun, and the France, a crispy McChicken-esque burger with better lettuce, a very nice seeded mustard sauce … and soccer ball bun. While they didn’t wow me nearly as much as the Brazil did, they both showed that even a gigantic fast food franchise chain like McDonalds in New Zealand can actually pump out something pretty decent, for a good price, lightning fast. And while the Argentina was very much Argentina – meat meat and more meat, something else to enhance it would’ve been nice. Maybe spicing up the beef or something. France was about right for me. Maybe a slightly stronger mustard next time, but I know that I’m more of a fan of hot and spicy than most people, and adding more would probably blow people’s heads off.

Thanks again to McDonalds for sending me the vouchers. I look forward to more “diamonds in the rough” out of your establishments.