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Burger watch: McDonald’s launches new sandwiches inspired by regional flavors

(Relaxnews) – Eggplant-topped hamburgers created by a Michelin-starred chef and Korean barbecue burgers are some of the latest sandwiches being rejigged at McDonald locations around the world as part of a worldwide trend of regionalizing signature fast-food items.

Last month, McDonald’s Italia was able to recruit a three-starred Michelin chef, Gualtiero Marchesi, to help develop new sandwiches for the chain. While, as The Independent in the UK points out, Marchesi’s new job drew sneers and snide comments from his culinary brethren, his creations are reaching millions of consumers around Italy.

Among the latest offerings from the octogenarian, is the McItaly Adagio burger, topped with an eggplant ‘mousse,’ salted ricotta and sliced tomatoes on an almond bun.

His earlier creation, the Vivace, was topped with bacon, salted spinach, marinated onions and mayo with mustard seed.

Both are available until November 15.

Meanwhile, on October 21, Japanese outlets launched a KBQ Burger, a meat-heavy burger that starts with a beef patty and is topped with Korean-style bulgogi or marinated beef, chopped lettuce, cheese and gochujang, a spicy Korean red pepper paste, reports Burger Business.

The new sandwich caters to the cult-like popularity of spicy Korean cuisine among Japanese consumers.

Over in Germany, McDonald’s restaurants are likewise on an Asian kick with the flavors of Japan and Thailand reinventing sandwich flavors.

Current offerings include Wasabi Beef burgers made with Chinese cabbage, carrots, a spicy wasabi sauce and Asian-style barbecue sauce and a Thai Curry Chicken topped with paprika and Thai curry sauce.

While not as bold in flavor as its arch rival, Burger King in the US launched a regionally-inspired burger for a limited time this past summer with its California Whopper sandwich, made with guacamole, Swiss cheese, and bacon. And Canadians are able to add a ladle of gravy and a side of cheese curds to their order of fries, for the quintessentially French-Canadian dish, poutine.

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