By now, you’ve probably heard that McDonald’s has been selling its most sought-after signature sandwich sauces in bottles. Customers can finally bring home bottled versions of Big Mac Sauce, McChicken Sauce, and Filet-o-Fish sandwich sauces, but there’s a catch: The product is only available in Canada. From a statement by Adam Grachnik, a spokesman for McDonald’s Canada:
“With this launch, Canadians will now be able to experience the world famous sauces they love at home.”
Until this launch, the fabled McDonald’s have been available only on McDonald’s sandwiches — and tough to track down otherwise. In January, the fast-food chain offered 10,000 bottles of the Big Mac sauce in the U.S. for the first time, which saw eBay prices ranging from $20 to $25,000.
Since the mass-market bottled sauces have only been available in Canada, American consumers (and food bloggers) have been left yearning for a taste of the signature spreads. Today, thanks to our reader and friend Sean in Victoria, we’ve gotten our hands on a few smuggled bottles of each one of the sauces. And by “smuggled,” we mean “sent via Canada post with appropriate customs declarations made and import duties assessed.”
Each 355 mL plastic squeeze bottle is shelf-stable and unrefrigerated until opening, and each bears the familiar “Golden Arches” McDonald’s logo, with the addition of a red Canadian maple leaf in the center of each. The stark black labels feature a glamor shot of each sandwich, as well as text in both English and French. But enough looking at them. Let’s give them a taste:
Filet-o-Fish (Filet de poisson)
While the hot smear of tartar sauce isn’t typically what we find most addictive about the legendary Filet-o-Fish sandwich (everyone knows it’s the steamed bun and the half-slice of cheese, that keeps you coming back), the sauce does have a unique flavor that can’t be replicated with ordinary mixtures of mayo and relish.
The bottled Filet-O-Fish sauce contains egg, onion, capers, vinegar, and something called “mustard flour,” which probably all contribute to its hard-to-pin-down taste. There is also a unique quality to the pickles that McDonald’s uses, that are tough to find in stores for your own copycat versions; the taste is unmistakably “McDonald’s,” and the viscosity (thanks to the abundant Xanthan Gum) would be tough to otherwise replicate in your home kitchen.
Eagle-eyed readers may notice that this sauce looks an awful lot like “mayonnaise,” and that’s because that’s exactly what it is. Erm, maybe not exactly. The label refers to the McChicken spread as a “Mayonnaise Style Sauce,” which lends an inexplicable air of mystery to the sauce; until now, we had always thought of sauce as being either mayonnaise, or NOT mayonnaise. There are impressively few ingredients, and almost all of them are what you’d be including in mayonnaise you’d make at home or that you’d find in a regular old jar of Hellmann’s. If pressed, we’d say that there is an ever-so-slight “Salad Dressing” sharpness, but otherwise, this is standard-issue mayonnaise, in a McDonald’s label. Bonus points for teaching us to refer to McChicken sandwiches as “MacPoulets,” however, which sounds bougie AF.
Big Mac Sauce
Because, really, isn’t that what we’re all here for? Having a bottle of Big Mac sauce almost makes you feel like you have magic powers; wave a wand, squirt some sauce, and instantly make any run-of-the-mill backyard burger taste just like a Big Mac. THAT’S the kind of America we want to live in. The bottled Big Mac sauce delivers perfectly on that promise, packing a big punch of that legendary Big Mac flavor that sets your brain’s pleasure receptors on fire and gets the salivary glands in the back of your jaw working overtime.
In spite of our attempts to copy the sauce at home, it’s never quite the same as that magical McDonald’s formula, and McDonald’s has delivered it perfectly in this bottled version. It’s exciting stuff, and we plan to apply it to everything (Big Mac Burritos! Big Mac Kettle Chips! Big Mac ‘n’ Cheese!) until either the bottle runs out, our having a big belly full of mayonnaise starts to make us feel not that great.
All three sauces deliver signature McDonald’s taste, but the Big Mac Sauce and, to a much, much lesser degree, the Filet-O-Fish Sauce, are the standout winners here. There haven’t been any plans announced to begin distributing the McDonald’s bottled sauces here in the United States, but we sincerely hope they appear on our shelves soon.
In the meantime, if you are traveling up north, or have friends who can hook you up with a few bottles of the Big Mac sauce, it is well worth the time and expense. For now, we are off to spread some Big Mac Sauce on some otherwise worthless steamed broccoli.