For all the snobbery over fast food, McDonald’s commands a certain respect for the uniformity and consistency of its products, the reassuring knowledge that a Big Mac will taste the same in Spain, South Africa or Switzerland. But the odd American tourist who decides to use a lunch abroad to investigate a foreign-run Mickey D’s franchise will find that while the menu’s staples remain unaltered, subtle additions have snuck their way on to those illuminated boards above the counter. In Japan, for example, intrepid lowbrow foodies can sample such local delicacies as the shrimp patty Ebi-Filet or the sauce-drizzled Chocolate Fries. It’s all comfortingly familiar in its slight novelty, just different enough to add mild flavor to the mélange of sameness.
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