Donald McDonald’s – The Clown, The Burger and The Fries

It’s always seemed odd to me, that the mascot for one of the biggest fast food chains in the world  is an eerie looking clown. Menacing eyes, baggy pants and ginormous shoes that make them fall over, all the time – what’s the point?

And, let’s face it, Stephen King’s ‘It’ with Pennywise as it’s creepy star lurking in the gutter, hasn’t helped this stigma. It’s the stuff of nightmares if you ask me.

Clowns have always had mixed reviews – you either love ‘em or loathe ‘em – much the same as Maccy D’s I suppose, so maybe that’s why it was chosen as their corporate mascot?

By and large, McDonalds is McDonalds, wherever in the world you happen to be. A Big Mac, Chicken McNuggets or a Quarter Pounder all served up with French fries – all slightly tepid and droopy if you don’t order just as they’ve come off the conveyor belt.

But when a Maccy D’s is served piping hot, it can really hit the spot (usually best served after a hangover, alongside a vat of coca-cola).

However, there’s one big difference in Japan. Ronald McDonald is known as Donald McDonald (Donarudo Makudonarudo).

The reason? A lack of a clear “r” sound in Japanese enunciation.

McDonalds in Japan is a bit more expensive than its counterpart in the US, but has added specialities such as the Teriyaki McBurger, with ground pork patties, mayonnaise, lettuce, and teriyaki sauce, and Shaka Shaka Chicken, a fried chicken strip served in a paper pouch, with cheese or pepper seasonings to shake in the bag. 

These are served with a reasonably sized drink to accompany the meal – a medium-size in the U.S., which is 21oz of liquid, is an ounce more than Japan’s large-sized drink. And of course, the American’s like everyone over-sized, so you can also order a bucket sized coke should you wish!

 Part of travelling the world for McHeads is discovering the local differences.

You can enjoy a glass of wine with your burger in – where else? – France.

Or enjoy a Rentang (bean) Burger in Malaysia.

We’ve all looked through the Lonely Planet Guide when travelling to a new country, circling all the restaurants that serve the local cuisine.  But, as any traveller knows, there’s nothing quite like a no fuss, cheap, fast meal when you’re tired and starving.

We’ve all done it, and quite frankly, it’s sometimes a welcome treat to have a taste of home.

But no-one can yet explain why a beef pattie is known the world over…. As a hamburger.