On 18 February, McDonald’s Japan began selling its third and final installment of the “ American Vintage Series .” Called the American Funky BBQ Chicken and American Funky BBQ Beef respectively, the pair are intended to symbolize the material world of 1980’s America. We’re not really sure how it does that, but meh, when it comes to a new burger flavor the reason for its creation is incidental.
Hungry like the wolf, our material-girl reporter Meg ran, ran so far away to the nearest McDonald’s to take on an American Funky BBQ Chicken for a test taste. Is it worthy to be her brand new lover or will it just be a case of tainted love leaving her doing the reflex over the toilet bowl?
McDonald’s is going all out with an ad campaign announcing the last of the American Vintage accompanied by the synth music of Funky Town. Sure, it’s a song recorded at the end of the 70s just as the mainstream popularity of funk music was waning, but McDonald’s had already honored the 70s with the “Hot & Groovy” burgers a couple of weeks ago.
At first glance the American Funky BBQ Chicken looked American through and through to Meg. A hearty piece of breaded chicken was proudly protruding from underneath crisp lettuce and pickles while resting on top a bed of cheddar cheese and BBQ sauce.
When you hear BBQ sauce and McDonald’s in the same sentence it’s only natural to assume it’s the same sauce enjoyed with Chicken McNuggets. However, McDonald’s Japan promises this sauce to be something totally different and made from a blend of 10 herbs and spices. Everything together looked both bold and delicious and our Meg licked her chops anticipating a great fast food experience. The sauce absolutely had a unique taste with heightened sweetness and spiciness. The special buns also looked fresh and had a pleasant aroma as she held the burger near for her first bite.
BUT! The moment she locked her jaws around the sandwich, something went terribly wrong. All of these tastes together was like a train wreck. The taste of the cheddar was way too mild and laid-back against the overbearing power of the tangy BBQ sauce. And the lettuce? Those green leaves were about as noticeable as the air around her. Even the fresh bread and the breaded chicken were too much together giving the sandwich an over-floury taste at times.
The American Funky BBQ Chicken sandwich ended up being less than the sum of its parts. Meg’s feeling was that this sandwich could have been something great with some better portion control, particularly reducing the sauce and increasing the lettuce. However, she also saw it as a polarizing burger – not one for the masses but something junk food lovers could likely get into the intense taste battle going on within it.
If you’re in Japan and have chance to grab one of McDonald’s new creations, let us know what you thought in the comments section below.
Original report by Meg Sawai
Video: YouTube – whatsupmcdonalds
[ Read in Japanese ]