A March 2007 McDonald's promotion in Beijing (STR/AFP/Getty Images)
(USA TODAY) -- What's the first thing that pops into your head when someone says
breakfast? Eggs, sausages and bacon, maybe some pancakes or waffles, with a side of butter biscuit? As the most important meal of the day, it's vital you get your daily fix of nutrients, or fats, from your breakfast. After all, it's hard to go wrong with the staple of eggs and bacon or a bowl of cereal!
That's why McDonald's, the quintessential American export, is a haven for traveling Americans. While it's always great to leave the shores and explore the culinary delights of another country, sometimes you just want to return to a good ol' cheeseburger, especially if you've been trying local delicacies for a little too long. Rampant globalization has been a godsend for getting a slice of home.
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With a McDonald's ever-present in nearly every country in the world, home is never too far away. But occasionally, even the global American standard paves way for local culture, even at an American institution like McDonald's. Across the Atlantic or the Pacific, things can get a little weird ...
The Daily Meal has previously covered unique McDonald's meals and Happy Meals around the world, but it seems not even the mundane choice of breakfast is safe from customization. While you can still generally get an order of eggs and sausages, also expect to see a few items on the menu that are most certainly local.
Among the unique items is a soup-based pasta in Hong Kong, a full vegetarian burger and a veg pizza puff in India, a selection of breads in Brazil, sandwich with goat cheese in Norway and a Filet O'Fish in Japan.
1. Grilled Chicken Twisty Pasta, Hong Kong
Mac and cheese sounds about right. But what about macaroni in a soupy broth, with chicken strips? A Hong Kong favorite, this breakfast served at McDonald's is actually an adaption of a local dish, served at casual Cantonese restaurants and fast-food shops.
2. Veg Pizza McPuff, India
In a land where eating beef is generally against the primarily-Hindu population's belief, and even meat is sometimes forbidden, a puff pastry in the form of a vegetarian
pizza has taken shape.
3. Filet-O-Fish, Japan
While it may seem strange to the average American, as the largest eaters of fish in the world, it's no surprise that the regular Filet-O-Fish is available for breakfast in Japan (as well as in many East Asian countries including Hong Kong). In Japan, fish may be consumed for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
4. Pão Na Chapa and Pão De Queijo, Brazil
A slice or two of toast is a good start to the day, but McDonald's in Brazil also serves a couple of varieties of bread a-la-carte, including the Pão Na Chapa, served with butter, and Pão De Queijo, with cheese.
5. Sandwich with goat cheese, Norway
From time-to-time, McDonald's also has the propensity to be fancy, moving beyond
traditional American Kraft cheese and serving an open Norwegian sandwich with goat cheese.
6. Corn sticks, Israel
In a recent effort to be healthy, McDonald's around the world has started offering corn cups in place of fries or hash browns. The Israel version takes the corn back to its
crispy McDonald's roots, deep-frying the corn sticks. The sticks are specially available on the Happy Meal breakfast menu.
7. McToast Shoko (Chocolate), Germany
Who says breakfast has to be savory? Add a bit of sweet flavor with a chocolate
toast, served at McDonald's in Germany. The toast is made of loose wheat pancakes, while the chocolate is chocolate in its most heavenly form -- creamy milk chocolate.
8. Spicy Chicken Muffin with Egg, Egypt
The classic Sausage McMuffin with Egg gets an Egyptian twist, where chicken is popular and dominates the breakfast menu. The crisp chicken patties are lightly seasoned with herbs, and served with the usual egg and cheese, wrapped in an English muffin. For the mild-food lovers, there is also a "regular" Chicken Muffin with Egg available.
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