REVIEW: McDonald’s Grandma McFlurry

The cruelest words you can hear in a McDonald’s are, “The ice cream machine is broken,”… but a kindly guardian grandmother must have been watching over me on my most recent visit because no technical difficulties came between me and the new Grandma McFlurry.

Yes, I can hear you scratching your head from here. The new what now? So, I’m just going to come out and say it—the ambiguous name has to be a reference to the Werther’s Original hard candies that just seem to universally, perpetually, magically accumulate in the homes of people of a certain age, right?

Or maybe not, because, unlike those classic caramel treats, the new geriatric-named McFlurry (whose true flavor was sneakily never actually mentioned in the initial press release, drumming up quite the mystique) has turned out to be butterscotch-based.

Atop the creamy pillow of vanilla ice cream, there are both butterscotch crumbles and a butterscotch swirl. In my McFlurry, the crumbles rested pretty much entirely on top, and while there was some syrup there too, I found that most of it quickly sunk to the bottom. That meant that mine didn’t look much like the promotional image—a bountiful, evenly-swirled beauty with alternating layers of copious syrupy gold—but the ratio of toppings to ice cream was great, and the taste was even better, so I had nothing to complain about.

Though some grandmas have a reputation for being crotchety, this treat made me feel more crochet-y—as in so joyful that, like a tender-hearted elder, I felt the urge to craft a sweater for my (not-yet-existent) grandchild. My McFlurry was sweeter than Grandma’s cookies. Yet with such a well-rounded creaminess, plus a tinge of saltiness from the butterscotch, that the sugariness never overwhelmed.

The ice cream had a silky texture and a full flavor, but of course, the butterscotch bits were the stars of the septuagenarian-inspired show. For me, the crumbles, in particular, knocked it out of the park/nursing home. As I mentioned, I went in with hard candy on the brain, so it was a pleasant surprise to find that these, while solid, were also unexpectedly tender: crumbly and satisfyingly yielding when I bit down but practically melt-in-your-mouth when I didn’t. They reminded me of the inside of a Butterfinger bar, and while they don’t contain any peanut butter, the orange-y color, crackly texture, and sweetness certainly felt familiar (and delicious). (And speaking of comparisons, I also found the whole thing to smell, comfortingly and nostalgically, just like Waffle Crisp cereal.)

As for the syrup, it was thinner than I would have thought but still retained an impressively rich taste. In fact, the blending together of the runny syrup with the ice cream that started to melt and pool at the bottom of the cup resulted in a malty, cereal-milk-esque experience that I really enjoyed.

No matter what exactly the Grandma McFlurry reminds you of, I think it pulls off its job of evoking warm, cozy, happy memories perfectly. No matter your age, gender, or preference in seemingly-endlessly-refilled household candies, I suggest you slide on your slippers, grab your walker, and embrace your inner senior citizen at McDonald’s today.

Purchased Price: $6.19
Size: Regular
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 600 calories, 12 grams of fat, 340 milligrams of sodium, 102 grams of carbohydrates, 86 grams of sugar, and 11 grams of protein.

REVIEW: McDonald’s Bacon Cajun Ranch McCrispy

If you want a fast food crispy chicken sandwich with Cajun flavors, you can, of course, get one at Popeyes. But you can now get one at McDonald’s for a limited time because it has rolled out a new Bacon Cajun Ranch McCrispy.

McDonald’s newest chicken sandwich features a crispy chicken fillet, crinkle cut pickles, three half strips of applewood-smoked bacon, and a Cajun ranch sauce on a potato roll. There’s also a deluxe version that includes lettuce and tomatoes. It’s a slight variation of last year’s limited time only McCrispy offering: the Bacon Ranch McCrispy.

The headlining ingredient, the creamy Cajun ranch sauce, is more spicy than flavorful, but that heat ain’t ragin’. I’d put it at a three on my personal 10-point spicy scale, which is below the Spicy McCrispy. Though the sauce is applied to both buns, I wish the spices used had a bit more punch because the Cajun flavors aren’t too noticeable when eating the sandwich as a whole, especially when I get a bite of the crinkle cut pickles. After trying the sauce on its own, I thought it might’ve been better as a fry or McNuggets dipping sauce instead of a sandwich condiment.

As for the other ingredients, if you’ve had a McCrispy, you know what to expect. The chicken fillet has a pleasant thickness, and most of the chicken’s crispiness is at the edges. The crinkle cut pickles have a tasty tang, and the potato roll adds some sweetness. I’m also glad this sandwich includes bacon, not only because of its salty and meaty flavor but also because its addition allows some rhyming in the menu item’s name. We need more rhyming in product names.

McDonald’s Bacon Cajun Ranch McCrispy is a somewhat satisfying twist on the original premium chicken sandwich, although now that I think about it, more specifically, the Spicy McCrispy. While it may not outshine Popeyes’ chicken sandwich, the addition of bacon and the new sauce does help elevate it to a tastier option than the original McCrispy.

Purchased Price: $7.59*
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 630 calories, 33 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 85 milligrams of cholesterol, 1650 milligrams of sodium, 49 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 11 grams of sugar, and 33 grams of protein.

*Because I live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, things are a bit pricier here. You’ll probably pay less than I did.

REVIEW: McDonald’s Savory Chili WcDonald’s Sauce

What is WcDonald’s?

Well, in Japan, it’s Wakudonarudo, and it’s been a part of anime and manga culture for many years to, I imagine, skirt trademark laws. But McDonald’s decided to transport all of us to the WcDonald’s universe by offering the Savory Chili WcDonald’s Sauce.

Here’s what McDonald’s had to say about it:

So savory and bold! The new Savory Chili WcDonald’s Sauce is a delicious, sticky sauce straight from the WcDonald’s universe. It gets its unique characteristics from the unmistakable aroma and fiery warmth of ginger, lingering umami from garlic and soy sauce with a little punch of heat from chili flakes. It’s the perfect dipping sauce for a 10 piece Chicken McNuggets and our World Famous Fries.

While I didn’t try it with McDonald’s fries, I dunked six McNuggets into it and it is definitely not wiggity wiggity waku, I mean, wack. While I enjoyed it and would probably get it again, something about it bothered my taste buds.

The ginger and soy sauce stood out the most, with hints of garlic. All those flavors were nice, but by the fourth or fifth McNugget, it started to get too salty, which I imagine was caused by the soy sauce and miso. It’s similar to when I dip my sushi into soy sauce for too long, creating a salty bite that takes away from the flavors that should stand out. Even the sauce’s sweetness didn’t help temper the saltiness enough. As for its heat, it didn’t kick my taste buds as hard as last year’s Sweet & Spicy Jam or Mambo Sauce, but it was significantly hotter than my usual Hot Mustard. Although, it wasn’t even spicy enough to make me forget about the saltiness.

Along with the sauce, McDonald’s also created a manga surrounding this new sauce that you can read by scanning the QR code on specially marked bags or in the photo above.

This Savory Chili WcDonald’s Sauce is good enough that I see myself getting it again while it’s still around. The flavors are there, but I thought its saltiness brought it down. Maybe folks like it salty in the WcDonald’s universe.

Purchased Price: $4.69 for 6-piece McNuggets
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 container) 50 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 260 milligrams of sodium, 11 grams of carbohydrates, 9 grams of sugar (including 9 grams of added sugar), and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: McDonald’s Sweet & Spicy Jam Sauce and Mambo Sauce

McDonald’s Hot Mustard is my default sauce. I’ve dipped my Chicken McNuggets in them for the past, um, I can’t remember how long. It’s extremely rare for me to deviate from that, although there was that brief dark moment when McDonald’s discontinued it and brought it back. My sauce swaying also happens when the Golden Arches offers new dips. The latest are Sweet & Spicy Jam and Mambo.

According to McDonald’s, the Sweet & Spicy Jam is a jammy red pepper sauce with a Szechuan peppercorn kick and extra heat from cayenne pepper, and finished with apple cider vinegar. It’s McDonald’s first-ever breakfast-inspired dipping sauce in the US. While the chain recommends trying it with various breakfast menu items, it’s available all day. Mambo is a tomato-based, sweet, spicy, and vinegary. It’s inspired by the popular condiment found at many Washington DC restaurants.

The first thought that came to mind after trying the Sweet & Spicy Jam was Panda Express, probably because of the Szechuan peppercorns. And at the same time, I thought it tasted like a spicier version of something else McDonald’s has offered. It’s sweet, peppery, spicy, and a little something else. It warmed the back of my mouth but didn’t become anything more than mild. After scraping whatever I could from the container with a rigid French fry, proving that I enjoyed it, I thought about it and realized it’s like a spicy sweet & sour sauce.

As for the Mambo Sauce, I should start with a full disclosure: This is my first experience with it (it’s also known as mumbo sauce) since I live on the opposite side of the country from where it’s famous. But Mambo is instantly the most fun Chicken McNuggets sauce name to say. It’s much spicier than the Sweet & Spicy Jam and has a slight fruitiness that I think might be pineapple. But it tastes like a sweet and peppery barbecue sauce that happens to make my head sweat a little.

I wanted to end this review by typing that the Sweet & Spicy Jam is my new jam, but I’d be lying because Hot Mustard is still my jam, er, mustard. Both new sauces are tasty takes on the pairing of sweet and spicy, and I enjoyed them equally. They’re definitely worth a try if you enjoy that flavor combo.

Purchased Price: Comes with 10-piece Chicken McNuggets
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: Sweet & Spicy Jam – 80 calories. Mambo Sauce – 60 calories. No other information is available on McDonald’s website.

REVIEW: McDonald’s Peanut Butter Crunch McFlurry

After years of having an occasional new McFlurry offering, there’s been a flurry of limited time McFlurry varieties over the past few years. There have been at least two annually since 2019. McDonald’s new Peanut Butter Crunch McFlurry is the second new blended treat this year from the Golden Arches. It follows the Strawberry Shortcake one that came out in the spring. So there’s a good chance we’ll have to wait until 2024 for a new variety.

The Peanut Butter Crunch McFlurry is described on the McDonald’s site as a crispy cereal mix and chocolatey peanut butter cookie pieces in vanilla soft serve. While that sounds delicious, if you look through the mix-ins’ ingredients list, there are “peanut butter creme cookies,” “fudge coated peanut brittle,” “chocolate peanut butter yummy chow” (no, fo’ reals), and “peanut butter cereal squares” listed, which makes it even more enticing.

And it’s not just appealing on paper. Looking at it from above, the dessert looks inviting, with a generous helping of cereal, cookies, and yummy chow floating on the white soft serve. If the image above doesn’t make you want to instantly dive in with a spoon, I don’t know if we can have a relationship. However, I will be the Snack Grinch here and say, as good as this looks in my photos and as intriguing as the ingredients list reads, this McFlurry is okay.

The cereal and cookie pieces were crunchy, but unfortunately, it’s not very chocolatey or peanut butter-y, even with a decent amount of mix-ins on my spoon. That’s fine if you want a treat that’s not too cloying, but I want a little indulgence here. I want something as enjoyable as a McDonald’s Hot Fudge Sundae, and I’m not quite getting that with this. Though, there were a couple of moments when the cereal, cookies, yummy chow, or a combination of the three sort of tasted like a waffle cone. Also, one last thing about the mix-ins. Like a good cereal, they maintained their crunch in the quickly melting soft serve after I took pictures.

McDonald’s Peanut Butter Crunch McFlurry is a nice change of pace if your usual After Mac treat is an Oreo or M&M’s McFlurry. It’s not going to knock your socks off. But if you’re wearing crew socks, it might make them slide down your calves slightly.

Purchased Price: $4.59
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 510 calories, 16 grams of fat, 10 gram of saturated fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 220 milligrams of sodium, 78 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 47 grams of sugar (including 47 grams of added sugar), and 12 gram of protein.