I ran across this ad from a 1964 magazine. My goodness, how times have changed. I love how they proudly proclaimed they could now be found “throughout the Rocky Mountain area.” These days, according to Wikipedia, “The McDonald’s Corporation is the world’s largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants, serving around 68 million customers daily in 119 countries across 35,000 outlets.”
Maybe I’m a little crazy, but the proportions of the meal look different. The bag of fries looks almost as big as the burger. I won’t even go into the whole “100% pure beef” claim. That was then and this is now.
I was surprised to learn that McD’s wasn’t the first fast-food restaurant in America. Actually, that title goes to White Castle, of the famous sliders. White Castle was founded in 1921 in Wichita, Kansas – at the corner of First and Main streets. How all-American can you get?
Far more interesting, I think, is the not-remotely-American versions of the Big Mac that can be found around the world. In Egypt, for example, you can order a McFalafel. In Indonesia, all meals are certified halal, and you can order McRice and McSoup, a chicken flavored soup with bits of croutons and vegetables, to go with your McSatay, a hamburger with satay sauce and Buryam.
In Japan, your Teriyaki McBurger will be made with ground pork patties, mayonnaise, lettuce, and teriyaki sauce, and you can dip your Ume (Chicken) Nuggets in plum sauce. Menu items in the Philippines include McSpaghetti, Chicken McDo, Burger McDo, and the Hamdesal – a Pandesal bun with pineapple glaze syrup, mayonnaise, and Canadian bacon served with scrambled eggs, cheese, or both.
McDonald’s in Cyprus sells the Greek Mac, a Big Mac variant with pita bread and tzatziki sauce, and the Greek Chicken, a Greek Mac with chicken patties instead of beef. A shrimp burger is also sold during the period of Lent when Orthodox Christians (of which I am one) don’t eat meat. Clearly, I am living in the wrong country.
That 47-cent price tag, though! I ran that through an inflation calculator, and it turns out that’s equal to about $3.57 in 2015 dollars. I’m not sure where the data is based on, because here in Alaska the typical regular-sized meal (with a Coke, not a shake) costs double that, easily.
In any case, sorry if you’re craving a burger now. I know I am .Some things never change.