The joy of eating at McDonalds around the world

Some say eating at McDonald’s abroad is cheating, that true travellers should fully immerse themselves in the local cuisine. But there’s plenty you can learn about a country by visiting the local McD’s.

The best meal I’ve ever eaten wasn’t in a Parisian bistro or at a hawker’s stand in Bangkok, it was in Jordan, by a roundabout in Aqaba. I ordered a Ramadan McFeast, comprising a Big Mac, a Quarter Pounder, a Filet-O-Fish, a shovelful of chicken nuggets and a Coke big enough to take a footbath in. I vanquished it all as soon as the sun sank on the far shore of the Red Sea.

I’ve eaten in the Hong Kong branch that will host your McWedding, and sipped frothy weissbier to the soundtrack of oompah in a Munich restaurant. Watching boats along the Seine, I’ve scoffed the Royale with Cheese – the French version of the Quarter Pounder, so-called because the French don’t do pounds and ounces (though they don’t do ‘Royales’ either).

Some bemoan that it’s a boring world when you can get a Big Mac everywhere from Ireland to Indonesia, but chances are they didn’t know you can only find McNoodles in Austria or a McSpaghetti in the Philippines. But of course, there’s more to burger gastronomy: it’s one of my life’s ambitions to try samurai burgers with dyed-red buns, or the ‘Windows 7’ burger, which has seven patties teetering between the bun halves. These, I’m told, I’ll only find in Japan. At Burger King.