Yes, another McDonald’s review. I couldn’t help myself – when I first saw the advertisement for the burger with truffle, I knew I had to try it. For those unacquainted, truffles are the fruiting body of a subterranean fungus and are usually found around tree roots (usually oak or hazelnut). Sometimes described as ‘gourmet mushrooms’, truffles have an intense, pungent, earthy aroma and are used in very small amounts to add their unique flavour to food. They are also – along with caviar and saffron – one of the three most expensive foods in the world, which is why it’s so surprising to see them being used at the golden arches.
It was a hot day, I’d just finished two sets of tennis (I lost 4-6 6-7) and didn’t fancy the prospect of eating in my car, so I walked into the air-conditioned fast food restaurant and made my order. The Gourmet Angus Truffle & Cheese burger came in a medium combo with fries and a Coke for $13.65, making it by far the cheapest truffle experience of my life. Value? That depended on how much truffle had gone into the burger, which was what I was about to find out.
The Coke was as expected for postmix – flattish but refreshing and a welcome sugar-hit after the exercise. The fries were moderately crispy and perfectly salted, but warm rather than hot and a little dry and under-greased – clearly they hadn’t just been taken out of the deep fryer. Still, even the worst McDonald’s fries are pretty tasty, so I ate the lot.
The Gourmet Angus Truffle & Cheese burger came in a glossy brioche bun that was toasted on the inside and filled (top-to-bottom) with truffle aioli, Parmesan cheese, baby spinach leaves, a thin Angus beef patty, a bacon rasher and caramelized onions. Before taking a bite I noticed there was a subtle but definite truffle aroma and upon opening the burger up to have a look, there appeared to be some visible shavings of truffle in the aioli. Checking the ingredients on the website, I discovered the truffle came in the form of a truffle and mushroom salsa, so it’s hard to know whether the dark flecks were actually truffle or mushroom. The brioche bun was sweet, soft, cakey and quite dry – perhaps not as fresh as it could have been. The aioli was tangy and rich with definite truffle flavour that was stronger than I’ve tasted in restaurant dishes costing several times the price. The bacon was lean and chewy but tasted good and wasn’t too salty, while the baby spinach was nice and fresh and worked well with the other flavours. I’d worried that the Parmesan might be too assertive a flavour but it was surprisingly mild, while the caramelised onions were a nice touch and provided a welcome hit of umami.
The Angus patty was very well done and had moderate beef flavour, but it was extremely dry. If you’ve been paying attention you’ll have noticed there’s a theme here – dry beef in a dry bun with dry cheese, lean bacon, a few spinach leaves and a smear of rather rich, thick aioli. Without the Coke to wash it down, the burger would have been nearly impossible to eat. While it had some very good flavours, the eating experience let it down, which leaves me saying the McDonald’s Gourmet Angus Truffle & Cheese is…
Have you tried a Gourmet Angus Truffle & Cheese? If so, what did you think? Have you eaten truffle before? Comment below and let me know.