How I Bought A Meal With Discontinued Money From France, Israel & The U.K. (& 10 CUCs from Cuba)

You wouldn’t know it from looking at their website (well, unless you go all the way down to their Newsroom page), but McDonald’s has just launched its Worldwide Favorites Menu in the United States. And to celebrate (or maybe just advertise) it, they would accept any amount of foreign currency as payment. Of course, there was a catch – the offer was only good on Wednesday, June 6th, from 2pm to 5pm.

McDIntl
PC: McDonald’s

Fortunately, I had the time. And the coinage.

The Worldwide Favorites Menu includes:

  • Stroopwafel McFlurry (The Netherlands): Our creamy vanilla soft serve, mixed with a rich caramel swirl, featuring authentic chopped Dutch Daelmans Stroopwafel caramel waffle cookie pieces. Cookies and soft serve? Yes please.

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    PC: McDonald’s
  • Grand McExtreme Bacon Burger (Spain): A quarter pound** of 100 percent fresh beef*** topped with thick cut Applewood smoked bacon, smoky McBacon Sauce, real Gouda cheese and slivered onions served on a freshly toasted sesame seed bun.

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    PC: McDonald’s
  • Tomato Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich (Canada): Made with a grilled or crispy all white meat, juicy and tender chicken, the Tomato Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich is topped with tomato & herb sauce, creamy mozzarella cheese, slivered onions, fresh lettuce and sliced Roma tomatoes served on a freshly toasted artisan roll.

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    PC: McDonald’s
  • Cheesy Bacon Fries (Australia): Look familiar? That’s right, Cheesy Bacon Fries are back! After such a positive customer reaction to Australia’s Cheesy Bacon Fries in the U.S., they’re taking a victory lap. Don’t miss our World Famous Fries topped with real cheddar cheese sauce and chopped Applewood Smoked bacon

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    PC: McDonald’s

“Have an extra Euro laying around? Found a Japanese Yen in that old travel fanny pack? Wondering what to do with that Rupee from last summer’s trip to India? Start rummaging under those couch cushions, take that spare foreign currency you have, and head around the corner to your nearest participating McDonald’s,” McDonald’s said in a statement.

Being me, I wanted to only use coins that we had doubles of. And moreso, if I could, I wanted to use coins that either didn’t exist anymore, or were virtually impossible for Americans to get. Well, fortunately, Joe has saved a lot of coinage from various countries he’s visited. Even more fortunately, I collected coins as a kid.


With all that, I was successful – I found a 1/2 French franc (replaced by the Euro in 1999) , 1 Israeli agora (it was currency from 1960 to 1980, had wavy edges and made of 97% aluminum), 1 pound from the U.K. (we’re written how money in the U.K. eventually expires. This one had.) and 10 CUCs from Cuba. The latter is still in use but with the recent changes in the ability of U.S. citizens to go to Cuba, I figure it’s pretty much discontinued for Americans, right now.

So anyway, I went to my local McDonald’s during the designated time frame. The Worldwide Favorites Menu was on their regular “order your food” menu screen, but it wasn’t going to let me pay in foreign coinage, so I had to go to the cash register to order and pay.

The girl at the cash register was aware of the program (I had several articles ready, in case she didn’t believe me that I wanted 2 sandwiches, a McFlurry and Aussie fries for the price of 4 worthless-in-the-U.S. coins), although she had to get the OK from her manager to let me get all 4 items (it’s supposed to be one per person. I was prepared to go to 4 McDonald’s to get everything if need be, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to ask, and it worked).

Food in hand and coolers in the car, I packed everything up and visited Joe at work so we could share in the spoils of our very cheap and quasi-exotic (heavy on the quasi) McDonald’s meal.

Here’s what we got:

Stroopwafel McFlurry (The Netherlands)

Probably my favorite of the 4 new menu items. It was a typical McFlurry but had a lot of nice sized Stroopwaffel pieces. It also had a caramel ribbon, which added some more sweetness. I was not the least bit surprised that it didn’t come in the plastic cup as displayed in the model photo ;-).

Cheesy Bacon Fries (Australia)

I’ve always liked McDonald’s fries – I like them thin and I like them a little on the soft/greasy side and McDonald’s doesn’t disappoint. Now take those and add bacon and cheese on top. It’s every bit of deliciousness that you would expect. Aussies know what they’re doing ;-).

Grand McExtreme Bacon Burger (Spain) and Tomato Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich (Canada)

I was not really a fan of either sandwich, to be honest. I generally don’t eat McDonald’s hamburgers because they’re too greasy for my tastes and the Grand Extreme Bacon Burger was no exception. The Tomato Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich wasn’t a greasy, but it tasted like there was just too much going on. I took a couple of bites of each and let Joe finish the rest. 😉

Anyway, if you’d like to try out the Worldwide Menu, they’re available at participating McDonald’s for a limited time. You won’t be able to pay with Deutschmarks, Sheckels or Loonies anymore (not even Canadian pennies) in the U.S. anymore, but if you want to pretend to be using rarely-seen-in-the-U.S. currency, a $2 bills should still be fine (although I’m sure they’ll give you side eye for those…and for Sacagawea coins, too).  It’s like traveling to another country and eating their form of McDonalds, but without leaving the country!

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

 

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