McDonalds in Italy, it sounds almost sacrilegious. Isn’t fast food one of the seven deadly food sins and isn’t Italy the gastronomic epicenter of the world? I know it sounds unusual but some of the best food I’ve eaten in Italy has been fast food including a sandwich at McDonalds called the matrimonio. McDonalds in Italy is not like McDonalds in the States that is to say il menu in Italy is slightly different. Different enough to take it out of the realm of typical “fast food” into the realm of pretty good food made fast often using locally grown and homemade ingredients. Referred to as the “McItaly menu”, the hamburgers are made with “100 percent Made-in-Italy meat” from Italian cattle breeders in northern Italy, near the town of Modena. Other suppliers carry IGP and DOP status and include leading Italian agricultural consortiums and cheese producers from the province of Asiago.
McDonalds’ il menu items feature Italian products such as extra virgin olive oil, regional cheese, bresaola (air-dried salted beef), speck, artichokes, onions, smoked pancetta and Italian pane. There is a definite Italian imprint on the menu selections. You can order a Parmigiano-Reggiano burger, insalata Bresaola e Parmigiano and my personal favorite, the Matrimonio a perfect marriage of a burger with pecorino cheese and arugula. A close runner up would be the new Adagio Burger, a hamburger sitting on a “mousse” of eggplant with tomato and ricotta salata cheese, more mashed eggplant topped with a bun sprinkled with chopped almonds.