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McDonald's Israel 'Big America' Series Reviewed

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Mcdonalds Big America

by Erik R. Trinidad

Not everything is kosher in the state of Israel -- certainly not at McDonald's. Granted there are some kosher McDonald's in the country, but many locations don't fully observe Kashrut -- which is a good thing for the many secular people in the country who can't resist a slice of cheese atop their burger patties. Like in many parts of the world, McDonald's tweaks their menu to the local palates and culinary traditions --McDonald's Israel has served McKebab and McFalafel in the past, for example -- but in the past year McDonald's has broadened its scopes while letting everyone know what it really think of the USA: burgers named for America are big.

The Claims: Two burgers introduced last summer headline the "Big America Series": the "Big New York" and "Big Texas." Each has a 5-inch patty with a little over half a pound of beef in it -- that's bigger than any of the burgers actually served at McDonald's in the USA -- and it's comprised of ribeye and short rib (another novelty when compared to the States). The Big Texas adds on lettuce, thick slices of tomatoes, pickles, grilled onions and barbecue sauce (645 total calories), while the tribute to the Big Apple, the Big New York, adds on lettuce, tomato, pickles, red onions and a tangy kind of French dressing (595 calories). Both are served inside a big sesame seed bun.

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The Analyses: Certainly there's much more to Israeli and Middle Eastern cuisine than imperial American fast food chains, although on a recent trip to Israel, I couldn't help but investigate on how a locally-owned McDonald's pays tribute to the country of its parent company. However, the "Big America Series" is nothing new; McDonald's Japan has released for the third time, its Big America burger line, honoring America's Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Broadway, and Beverly Hills. Israel takes on Texas and New York in a big, albeit generic tasting way. Sure the patty is good -- the beef really stands out, especially when compared to America's version -- plus the vegetables seem firm and crisp. However, the onions and the barbecue sauce in the Big Texas are the only close thing to replicating an American experience -- if any at all, other than the fact you're eating a hamburger. The Big New York isn't as bold in flavor; what lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, red onions, and French dressing do for a "New York" experience is lost on me. If I were to grade them, the Big Texas gets a B+ while the Big New York a B-. Anyone offended should take those grades with a grain of salt -- to put on the Big New York.


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Big New York

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Big Texas

On a side note, while we're on the subject of Big America, did you know a German convenience food company makes a line of frozen pizzas called "Big Americans" found in many supermarkets across Europe? Two in the line honor Hawaii and Texas. If that's something to be proud of America, be proud. If not, it doesn't matter because that's how many countries are going to think of you anyway.

Also on HuffPost:

The worst fast food creations of 2011:

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  • Domino's Stuffed Cheesy Bread

    Plain old stuffed crust? That's so last decade -- at least according to <a href="http://www.thedailymeal.com/dominos-ipad-app-makes-you-pizza-hero?utm_source=huffington%2Bpost&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=years%2Bmost%2Bover%2Btop%2Bfast%2Bfood%2Bdishes" target="_hplink"><strong>Domino's Pizza</strong></a>. Earlier this year, the chain rolled out a line of "Stuffed Cheesy Bread" that's full of "cheese, cheese, and more cheese." In fact, the breads -- which come in Spinach and Feta, Bacon and Jalapeño, and plain Cheese -- contain as much cheese as an entire medium pizza. <em>Related:</em> <a href="http://www.thedailymeal.com/most-bizarre-pizza-toppings-slideshow-0?utm_source=huffington%2Bpost&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=years%2Bmost%2Bover%2Btop%2Bfast%2Bfood%2Bdishes" target="_hplink"><strong>Most Bizarre Pizza Toppings</strong></a> <em>Photo Credit:</em> © Jeff Padrick/Klug Studio

  • KFC Cheesy Bacon Bowl

    A bowl can hardly contain "layers of your favorites" without including bacon. Or so was the logic at KFC, which added bacon as a limited-time topping to <a href="http://www.thedailymeal.com/kfc-debuts-cheesy-bacon-bowls?utm_source=huffington%2Bpost&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=years%2Bmost%2Bover%2Btop%2Bfast%2Bfood%2Bdishes" target="_hplink"><strong>the chain's line of "Famous Bowls."</strong></a> How did they do it? Well, they took a 680-calorie combo of mashed potatoes, corn, Popcorn Chicken, gravy, and cheese -- then added bacon. <em>Related:</em> <a href="http://www.thedailymeal.com/fast-food-you-cant-find-america-slideshow-0?utm_source=huffington%2Bpost&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=years%2Bmost%2Bover%2Btop%2Bfast%2Bfood%2Bdishes" target="_hplink"><strong>Fast Food You Can't Find in America</strong></a> <em>Photo Credit:</em> © brandeating

  • Starbucks' Trenta Drinks

    Fast-food excess is hardly reserved for food alone. Take Starbucks' Trenta-sized cups, the veritable Big Gulps of coffee consumption, which each contain 31 ounces of caffeinated brew to pour down your gullet. And if caffeine-induced twitching <a href="http://www.thedailymeal.com/how-healthy-are-your-kids-healthy-snacks-slideshow?utm_source=huffington%2Bpost&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=years%2Bmost%2Bover%2Btop%2Bfast%2Bfood%2Bdishes" target="_hplink"><strong>isn't enough of a health risk</strong></a>, consumers should be advised to pace themselves: The cups are actually larger than the typical human stomach. <em>Related:</em> <a href="http://www.thedailymeal.com/how-eat-well-while-training-marathon-slideshow?utm_source=huffington%2Bpost&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=years%2Bmost%2Bover%2Btop%2Bfast%2Bfood%2Bdishes" target="_hplink"><strong>How to Eat Well While Marathon Training</strong></a> <em>Photo Credit:</em> © <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/scelera/" target="_hplink"><strong>Flickr/samantha celera</strong></a>

  • Denny's Maple Bacon Sundae

    What's more horrifying than an ice cream sundae that features vanilla soft serve, maple syrup, and bacon bits? An entire menu of creations based on the same bacon-centric principle. Denny's, however, has gone there: <a href="http://www.thedailymeal.com/20-food-topics-just-wont-die-slideshow#7?utm_source=huffington%2Bpost&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=years%2Bmost%2Bover%2Btop%2Bfast%2Bfood%2Bdishes" target="_hplink"><strong>The chain's "Baconalia!" menu</strong></a> included that cringeworthy sundae, along with a triple-decker BLT, Bacon Meatloaf, and Bacon Flapjacks. <em>Related:</em> <a href="http://www.thedailymeal.com/20-food-topics-just-wont-die-slideshow?utm_source=huffington%2Bpost&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=years%2Bmost%2Bover%2Btop%2Bfast%2Bfood%2Bdishes" target="_hplink"><strong>20 Food Topics That Just Won't Die</strong></a> <em>Photo Credit:</em> © <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/aloha75/" target="_hplink"><strong>Flickr/Sam Howzit</strong></a>

  • Burger King Stuffed Steakhouse Burger

    If fast food has taught us one thing, it is this: Any food item can be stuffed inside any other. <a href="http://www.thedailymeal.com/burger-king-rolls-out-premium-hamburger?utm_source=huffington%2Bpost&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=years%2Bmost%2Bover%2Btop%2Bfast%2Bfood%2Bdishes" target="_hplink"><strong>Burger King's Stuffed Steakhouse Burger</strong></a>, introduced earlier this year, is a prime example. Not content to simply put cheese atop a burger patty, the chain stuffed bits of Cheddar and jalapeño inside the beef, for "an experience you can see and taste in every bite." <em>Related:</em> <a href="http://www.thedailymeal.com/burger-king-debut-new-fries?utm_source=huffington%2Bpost&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=years%2Bmost%2Bover%2Btop%2Bfast%2Bfood%2Bdishes" target="_hplink"><strong>Burger King to Debut New Fries</strong></a> <em>Photo Credit:</em> © <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/theimpulsivebuy/" target="_hplink"><strong>Flickr/theimpulsivebuy</strong></a>

  • Pizza Hut's Big Dinner Box

    Pizza Hut's "epic-size" repast offers up two medium pizzas, <a href="http://www.thedailymeal.com/americas-best-buffalo-wings-slideshow?utm_source=huffington%2Bpost&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=years%2Bmost%2Bover%2Btop%2Bfast%2Bfood%2Bdishes" target="_hplink"><strong>eight wings</strong></a>, and five breadsticks -- in one convenient box! For the low prize of $20, ravenous diners might be tempted to scarf down the entire thing themselves, but please, make this one a family affair: The items in a single box are estimated to contain around 5,000 calories. <em>Related:</em> <a href="http://www.thedailymeal.com/10-fast-food-favorites-made-healthy-slideshow-0?utm_source=huffington%2Bpost&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=years%2Bmost%2Bover%2Btop%2Bfast%2Bfood%2Bdishes" target="_hplink"><strong>10 Fast Food Favorites Made "Healthy"</strong></a> <em>Photo Credit:</em> © <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/aloha75/" target="_hplink"><strong>Flickr/Sam Howzit</strong></a>

  • Dunkin' Donuts Sausage Pancake Bites

    If you're craving a pancake and sausage breakfast, but just can't find the time, <a href="http://www.thedailymeal.com/dunkin-debuts-new-holiday-items-45?utm_source=huffington%2Bpost&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=years%2Bmost%2Bover%2Btop%2Bfast%2Bfood%2Bdishes" target="_hplink"><strong>Dunkin' Donuts</strong></a> discovered a solution in 2011. An order of the chain's Sausage Pancake Bites offered diners three nuggets of flapjack dough that each enclosed a sausage link. A trio of nuggets also managed to enclose 20 grams of fat, more than most doughnuts. <em>Related:</em> <a href="http://www.thedailymeal.com/mcdonalds-magic-window-menu-slideshow?utm_source=huffington%2Bpost&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=years%2Bmost%2Bover%2Btop%2Bfast%2Bfood%2Bdishes" target="_hplink"><strong>McDonald's Menu Mash-Up</strong></a> <em>Photo Credit:</em> © <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/theimpulsivebuy/" target="_hplink"><strong>Flickr/theimpulsivebuy</strong></a>

  • Taco Bell Doritos Locos Tacos

    Think outside the bun -- and the conventional taco shell. In an apparent bid to include as much junk as possible in a single meal, <a href="http://www.thedailymeal.com/taco-bell-looks-reinvent-taco?utm_source=huffington%2Bpost&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=years%2Bmost%2Bover%2Btop%2Bfast%2Bfood%2Bdishes" target="_hplink"><strong>Taco Bell</strong></a> used California and Ohio residents as guinea pigs to test shells made entirely of Doritos' nacho-flavored chips. The cheesy delicacy might be introduced nationwide next year, when, presumably, the chain will also swaps burrito wraps for potato chips. <em>Related:</em> <a href="http://www.thedailymeal.com/chicos-tacos-love-story?utm_source=huffington%2Bpost&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=years%2Bmost%2Bover%2Btop%2Bfast%2Bfood%2Bdishes" target="_hplink"><strong>Chico's Tacos: A Love Story</strong></a> <em>Photo Credit:</em> © thatsnerdalicious

  • Friendly's Ultimate Grilled-Cheese BurgerMelt

    Why eat one sandwich, when you can eat three? The KFC Double Down may have replaced a burger bun with fried chicken, but this year, Friendly's managed to outdo even that monstrosity. They swapped out a cheeseburger's bread with two entire grilled cheese sandwiches. This gastronomical innovation, not surprisingly, is also a caloric nightmare: 1,500 per sandwich(es). Even that <a href="http://www.thedailymeal.com/no-happy-ending-friendlys?utm_source=huffington%2Bpost&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=years%2Bmost%2Bover%2Btop%2Bfast%2Bfood%2Bdishes" target="_hplink"><strong>doesn't seem to be helping the company</strong></a> -- the 76-year-old family-dining brand filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Oct. 5, and is scheduled to be auctioned Dec. 22. <em>Related:</em> <a href="http://www.thedailymeal.com/no-happy-ending-friendlys?utm_source=huffington%2Bpost&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=years%2Bmost%2Bover%2Btop%2Bfast%2Bfood%2Bdishes" target="_hplink"><strong>No Happy Ending for Friendly's</strong></a> <em>Photo Credit:</em> © <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/zombieite/" target="_hplink"><strong>Flickr/zombieite</strong></a>

  • Denny's Mac 'N Cheese Big Daddy Patty Melt

    Leave it to Denny's to create a sandwich that has <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/01/dennys-mac-n-cheese-patty-melt_n_945390.html" target="_hplink"><strong>both mac 'n cheese and hamburger meat</strong></a> as ingredients...and sauce and more cheese. This gutbomb was part of Denny's "Let's Get Cheesy" menu, and cheesy it is indeed. We fear what the chain will come up with next, given that this calorie-laden meal has twice the calories as a stick of butter. <em>Related</em>: <a href="http://www.thedailymeal.com/americas-best-buffalo-wings-slideshow?utm_source=huffington%2Bpost&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=years%2Bmost%2Bover%2Btop%2Bfast%2Bfood%2Bdishes" target="_hplink"><strong>America's Best Buffalo Wings</strong></a> <em>Photo Credit</em>: Denny's

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