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McDonalds Japan. Not only do they make expensive “high end” burgers now, but they’re also treading on our Amurrrican turf, making “America burgers.” And not just America… “BIG America.” I’m not sure if the “big” is referring to us as a people, the burger itself, or both.

In fact I remember seeing these “Big America” burgers when we were in Japan filming last winter, though none of us tried them. The idea is that each region/state/city gets their own America burger. Of course, not all states are represented, not even by a long shot. Most Japanese, let alone Americans, don’t know what a North Dakota is, after all, and Ohio is just how you say “good morning.” Basically, they’re picking and choosing famous spots from around the US, figuring out a stereotyped feature of that place (missing completely, sometimes), and then putting it in a burger.

Let’s take a look at these “Big America” burgers while we wait for McDonald’s line of “Small Japan Burgers” to be released.

Texas Burger & Texas Burger 2

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This burger’s first run was so popular that it got itself a sequel! The Texas Burger 2 comes back with a “wilder” taste (not sure what to think of that), and has chili beans, bacon, onions, a slice of American cheese, old-fashioned mustard relish, and a quarter-pound of beef. I think the creators of this burger watched one too many cowboy movies.

Yeehaw!

Grand Canyon Burger

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Sadly, they don’t cut the Grand Canyon Burger in half when serving it to you, nor does it contain donkey meat, but it does have an egg McMuffin-like round egg disc, cheddar AND mozzarella cheese, crispy bits of onion, steak sauce, and Big Mac-esque bun and beef layout. Not sure how this has anything to do with the Grand Canyon, but maybe they were going for some kind of Arizona vibe? Even that doesn’t make much sense to me. Maybe if we watch the commercial it will all come together?

No, I’m way more confused now.

Las Vegas Burger

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Once again, I feel like McDonalds failed to capture the essence of the location this burger was named after. They should have a system where they fill one in a million burger containers with money, then at least there’d be some gambling involved. But no, they had to go with LV staples like sauteed sliced beef and onions, lettuce, and cream cheese? That cream cheese is so money, baby.

Broadway Burger

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Broaaadway!! ♬ Nothing sings “Broadway” like mozzarella, bacon cured pastrami-style, mixed vegetables, and a mustard and cream cheese sauce. Okay, I take that back. Many things sing “Broadway” more than the featured Broadway Burger items listed above.

California Burger

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California is a big place, but this burger tries to capture it all, from the sands of Los Angeles to the redwoods of the north. Can you guess what makes this burger “California?” I would have guessed avocado, but came away pleasantly surprised. Between two “artisan” buns there’s a quarter-pound of beef, spicy cheese, bacon strips, tomato slices, and lettuce. This isn’t all that “California,” though, so they up the ante and top it with a special sauce made from red wine that’s actually produced in California! Gotta give this one an “A” for effort, at the very least.

Beverly Hills Burger

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Unlike the “improvement sequels” that we see with the Texas and New York burgers, the Beverly Hills Burger is something unique and different from its geological predecessor, the California burger. This burger’s unique features are: guacamole, cheese, Cesar salad dressing, an egg, and the meat of abandoned chihuahuas. For some reason I don’t see the people of Beverly Hills ever buying or associating themselves with a burger like this.

Idaho Burger

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As if you didn’t see this one coming. The Idaho burger’s special feature? Potatoes. Like, a whole breakfast hashbrown worth of taters, but more circle-shaped. In addition to this is bacon, onions, a quarter-pound of beef, cheese, a peppery sauce, grainy mustard, and an onion bun, because Idaho makes a lot of onions too.

What kind folk you have out there in Idaho!

Miami Burger

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The Miami Burger simultaneously concludes that “all Hispanic people eat at Taco Bell!” and that “Florida is filled with these homogenous Hispanic peoples.” The purpose of this burger is to evoke the feeling of “tacos” and in order to do that they insert tortilla chips, shredded cheese (because that’s so tacos!), a “spicy tomato chili sauce” (sounds like an unholy matrimony of salsa and ketchup), a quarter-pound beef patty, and something that looks like it might be taco meat, but I’m not totally sure. For all I know it’s meat made from a leg that washed up on Miami beach.

Personally, if I were McDonalds, I would have taken the “Florida is filled with retirees” approach and blended the burger into a smoothie and added vitamins to it, but I suppose that would be too much work.

New York Burger

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Kind of a boring burger, to be honest, the New York burger has Monterrey Jack Cheese, bacon, tomato, lettuce, and a grainy mustard. Maybe they realized that this burger wasn’t all that great, which is why they made a sequel to the New York burger and zeroed in on Manhattan:

Manhattan Burger

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They weren’t happy with the New York burger so they made a follow-up. The Manhattan burger has everything that the New York burger has but adds a slice of pastrami and two servings of sour cream sauce to provide a “modern, airy, refined taste.” Mission accomplished? I’m not so sure.

If that McDonalds car was stuck in the middle of the intersection in real New York people would be dead right now. DEAD. Then who would eat your burgers? Fuggedaboudit.

Hawaiian Burger

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Did the Hawaiian burger just blow my mind by not including pineapple in any shape or form? Of all the opportunities that they had to capture the (stereotypical) essence of a geographical location in America, this was their chance! Still, it doesn’t look too bad. The Hawaiian burger features a special gravy, an egg-disc, chopped lettuce, an American cheese slice, bacon, and of course a lot of beef. It looks like they were going for a pseudo loco moco, so I gotta credit them on not going straight for the obvious pineapple cop out.

Now the only thing missing is spam. Lots and lots of delicious spam.

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There you have it. I summed up the answer to “what is America” via McDonalds hamburgers eaten in Japan based off of American places. If this trend continues, I can only imagine what they’ll come up with next. Maybe a crab/salmon/oil burger from Alaska (that actually sounds good)? Or what about an Oregon burger that’s topped with kale and kombucha? Maybe they could even do a North Dakota burger where you open the box and there’s nothing there. The possibilities are endless!

If McDonalds Japan were to do a burger based off your state/city/region/province/country/landmark, what do you think they would do? Not so much what they should do, but how will your location be stereotyped in burger form? Let me know in the comments.

Bonus: Here’s a papercraft I came across of that weird McDonalds RV that’s in all the “Big America” commercials.

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Bonus Wallpapers!

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[2560x1600] • [1280x800] • [1280x800 Animated] • [700x438 Animated]

  • Sholum

    Surprisingly, the egg disk is probably the best thing on there in terms of origin. I don’t know about now, but originally, McDonald’s (I don’t know if they originated the idea or not) made egg disks by cracking eggs into a form on the griddle. It’s less messy than the traditional fried egg on toast (with bacon or sausage).

  • Sholum

    South Carolina burger: small beef patty (just enough to be called a burger) with every major form of pork available. Don’t forget onions and peppers (and squash, but that might be beyond McDonald’s). Real barbeque sauce (mustard base instead of tomato). Finally, a grit cake on the side, because corn is where it’s at.

    Of course, that actually sounds like it might taste good, so it probably wouldn’t happen. More likely they’d come up with some kind of shrimp and grits thing. Only a little of the grits would be white, but they’d be so loudly white that everyone thinks they’re the majority and says they hold the other grits under their thumb, ’cause that’s the kind of reverse racism that exists here. The shrimp would be almost non-existent due to the over-fishing that’s been happening. Add some steamed oysters for the ‘what?’ factor and call it a day.

  • Lizzy

    The burger will be so stacked with ingredients, they shall call it the sears/willis tower burger!

  • Cory

    Saddest part of the burgers is they don’t cook the bacon properly at Japanese McDonald’s. I always see slimy pink bacon from the review videos I watch of these burgers.

  • Raymond Chuang

    I’m surprised that KFC’s “Double Down” is still with us considering all the arguments over its nutritional value when it was first announced that went national very quickly.

  • Raymond Chuang

    Interestingly, McDonald’s Japan does make a decent “burger” called the Gurakoro burger (based on a shrimp “korokke” patty), their version of the “korokke pan” commonly sold in Japan. Sold only in the first two weeks of December every year, it’s like to McDonald’s Japan what the McRib to the McDonald’s here in the USA.

  • ‘Merica king

    American’s don’t even have burgers this good, WTF JAPAN!

  • Joseph Watson-MacKay

    Any idea when they might re-release these burgers?
    I tried and loved the Hawaiian and Texas burger when I tried them in 2010. I’d love to try them again if possible.

  • belgand

    It might be lazy, but a California burger is pretty easy: avocado, monterey jack, whole wheat bun and you’re done. It’s just part of the American food lexicon that “California” means “with avocado” just like “Hawaiian” means “with pineapple”.

    Then again I know of a particular SF-based local chain whose “San Francisco” burger is sauteed mushrooms and onions with blue cheese. Which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

  • Tako

    The Southwest Virginia burger would have coal for buns. Inside, one would find a rich array of condiments (including coal dust, crushed coal, and coal chunks) surrounding a big, juicy hunk of 1/3 pounder coal. God, I want one!

  • Gabriel

    I have to stay that the stereotypes are strong though. This is how foreigners think we actually eat in a lot of places. I live in the south and I have to say I rarely see anything like this.

  • Jennifer Richardson

    Oh yeah, I was just joking around, but people definitely don’t all eat like that around here (including me, these days). I live in Austin now, so we’ve got tons of vegetarians and all kinds of different eating styles, and even in my hometown people mostly don’t eat like that anymore. My dad eats like a stereotype because he is a stereotype: he’s an old cattle rancher with old cattle rancher friends who eat and smoke and drink exactly like he does, and they all get together at the beer joint to have heart attacks together in the afternoon. And then once it gets dark, they go spotlighting for something edible to shoot, just as a nice alternative to the dozens of cows they’ve consumed that week. But they’re a dying breed, and I definitely don’t want to give the impression that they’re an accurate representation of all Texans or Southerners.

  • noOneImportant

    I think they havr been making these for about 3 years now. Every burger is out for a week or so iirc. Imho except for the idaho burger, there is nothing worth eating.

    Well the idaho burger is better than that for me. When it comes out I always eat Mcdonalds 5days that week.

    Normally get a big mac once a month and chicken nuggets.

  • diana zarur

    Chicago burger would have everything combined xD

  • Rachel Shook

    I’ve been living in Japan a long, long time now, so I missed this mass of meat from KFC… But if McD makes a Kentucky burger, this is what it will look like. When I tell people I’m from Kentucky, the ONLY response I ever get is, “Kentucky Friedo Chicken!” Never mind that Kentucky bourbon is insanely popular here (and that the Japanese whiskey company Suntory is getting ready to buy Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark for 13.6 billion dollars…)! At least California got wine sauce. (T_T)