McDonald's in the UK quite frequently releases these 'Taste of America' burgers, and every year I've seen them I've thought, "how silly".
First off, McDonald's...c'mon. You are basically a taste of America, so why gild the lily?
More importantly though, the toppings and states seem to have been randomly generated and slopped together.
See this round-up on BrandEating for more information on each burger.
Today I'll be focusing on the Chicago Supreme-the burger I share the most geographic connections with. I'm from the Midwest (Indiana, to be precise) and while the region isn't really known in any positive way for our food, Chicago at least gets some cred for pizza, hot dogs, and sausage.
This burger in no way is related to Chicago deep dish pizza, Chicago hot dogs, or Italian beef with peppers. Ergo, it is in no way representative of any food that Chicago is known for.
That it is, yes- but which of those varied toppings has anything, anything to do with Chicago? Beef is eaten in Chicago, lettuce is tolerated in Chicago, and all the rest serve various purposes across the nation--not just in Chicago. By the way, McDonald's, if you have to describe your 'mayo' as 'cool', you've done it all wrong.
The tomato salsa was not spicy -really it felt like it was just chunky, smoky ketchup- and was very weird mixed with mayonnaise. If you're doing salsa, why not substitute sour cream? Or better yet, forget salsa all together and put some sport peppers on this, or some relish, or something. Something people associate with Chicago, maybe.
The bacon was limp, soft, and fatty, the kind of bacon never even found in the USA, much less a beloved taste of A'murrca.
The cheese was inoffensive, and exactly like the cheese in a Big Mac from Chicago so...accuracy.
That bun was very stupid, I spent decades in the USA and was never offered a chili, chive and sesame bun. It ended up just tasting like a sesame bun.
Don't get me wrong, this burger was most certainly edible if you like McDonald's, and the smoky salsa did make it taste a bit different than just a classic burger, but I would've preferred a Big Mac.
It just had nothing to do with Chicago, and wasn't even a well-paired group of toppings. You might be thinking, 'Chelsea, it's McDonald's. What did you expect?' Well, from one of the top-grossing businesses on Earth, I would've anticipated at least glance at Wikipedia during R&D. Or to not bother calling it a specific state's burger, because there is no city in America represented by salsa and "cool mayo", least of all Chicago.
Now, where's that Indiana burger?