CLOSE
Original image
Getty Images

15 International Menu Items from American Fast Food Restaurants

Original image
Getty Images

As a way to accommodate cultural and regional tastes, many American fast food restaurants have to change some of their menu items (or come up with new ones) when they expand to other countries. Here are 15 examples.

McDonald's

1. Beer

SixthSeal

In McDonald's restaurants in some European countries—including Germany, France, Austria, and Switzerland—you can buy beer in 8-oz and 12-oz sizes. Heineken provides McDonald’s with beer, but local breweries (such as Kronenbourg Brewery in France) also supply the fast food chain.

2. The McArabia

McDonald's

The McArabia is a pita sandwich with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and garlic mayonnaise served in many Middle Eastern countries, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and parts of Pakistan. The McArabia comes in two varieties: grilled chicken or grilled kofta (ground beef or lamb), wrapped in pita bread.

3. Spicy Paneer Wrap

McDonald's

Since a majority of Indians are vegetarian, McDonald’s India caters to their tastes with meatless options like the BigSpicy Paneer Wrap, which is made up of paneer patties (a type of Indian cheese) wrapped in a grilled tortilla and served with mustard, mayonnaise, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and various herbs and spices.  

4. Chicken McDo and Spaghetti

McDonald's

Offered at McDonald’s Philippines, the Chicken McDo is a single piece of fried chicken—usually a leg—served with spaghetti topped with meat sauce.

5. McLobster

McDonald's

The McLobster is served at a number of McDonald’s locations throughout Canada. The sandwich consists of Atlantic Lobster meat, diced celery, shredded lettuce, and salad dressing, served on a hotdog-style bun. It’s offered as a summer seasonal menu item.

See Also: 10 Secret Menu Items from Fast Food Restaurants

6. The Mega Mac

McDonald's

The Mega Mac is really a double Big Mac. Instead of two all-beef patties, you get four. You still get the special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, and onions served on a sesame seed bun—it’s just bigger. The Mega Mac is not officially available in the United States, but you can order the sandwich in many countries around the world, including Australia, China, Japan, Turkey, and Singapore.

Pizza Hut

7. Crown Crust Pizza with Cheeseburgers

Pizza Hut

The Crown Crust Pizza is a pizza with mini-cheeseburgers baked into the crust. It resembles a crown (hence the name) and is topped with beef, lettuce, tomato slices, and drizzled with special Pizza Hut sauce. If cheeseburgers aren’t your thing, you can order the pie with a chicken fillet crown instead. The menu item is available at various Pizza Hut restaurants in the Middle East.

8. Stuffed Pan Pizza

Pizza Hut

Introduced in April 2014, Pizza Hut Philippines offers a Stuffed Pan Pizza with BBQ chicken and cream cheese baked inside of its crust—which takes up a third of the pizza’s size. The crust is almost like an empanada, but inside of a pizza.

9. Hot Dog Stuffed Crust Pizza

Pizza Hut

While you can only get cheese in stuffed crust pizza in America, you can now have hot dogs baked into a stuffed crust in the United Kingdom. Pizza Hut UK started to sell Hot Dog Stuffed Crust Pizza in 2012 and now imported the menu item to Canada. It comes with your choice of Heinz Ketchup or Heinz Honey Mustard Dip.

See Also: The Meanings Behind the Weird Symbols on 20 Beer Labels

Burger King 

10. Chicken Nugget Burger

Burger King

Instead of a burger patty, the Chicken Nugget Burger is made of Burger King’s chicken nuggets served between a hamburger bun with lettuce, mayonnaise, and spicy sauce. The menu item is only available at Burger King UK, but a variation of the sandwich with barbeque sauce is offered in Germany.

11. Pumpkin Burger

Burger King

Burger King Japan offers a Pumpkin Burger, which contains two slices of kabocha (a type of squash), bacon, lettuce, an all-beef patty, and a creamy nut sauce made from peanuts, cashews, sesame seeds, almonds, and hazelnuts. They also offer a "pumpkin bomb," which is just 10 slices of pumpkin.  

12. X-tra Long Burger

Burger King

In some European markets like Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands, you can order a X-tra Long Burger from Burger King. The big sandwich consists of three all-beef patties laid out horizontally on a long sesame seed bun. The Chili Cheese X-tra Long Burger is served with chili-cheese sauce and jalapeños and is offered in all three countries, while the Rodeo BBQ version with barbecue sauce, cheese, and onion rings is only available in the Netherlands.

Taco Bell

13. Egg-citing Cheesy Burrito

Taco Bell

This burrito is made up of scrambled egg crumble, chopped onions, and gooey cheesy potatoes served inside of a large grilled tortilla. The burrito is offered at various Taco Bell India locations.

Dunkin’ Donuts

14. Dry Pork and Seaweed Donuts

Dunkin Donuts

Topped with dehydrated pork and seaweed pieces, this donut is a mixture of salty and sweet tastes from Dunkin' Donuts China.

See Also: The Original Locations of 15 Famous Food Chains

15. Wasabi Cheese Donuts

ColtMonday

Dunkin' Donuts Singapore offers a Wasabi Cheese Donut, which is green and is described as having a spicy cheese flavor.

Original image
iStock // Ekaterina Minaeva
arrow
technology
Man Buys Two Metric Tons of LEGO Bricks; Sorts Them Via Machine Learning
Original image
iStock // Ekaterina Minaeva

Jacques Mattheij made a small, but awesome, mistake. He went on eBay one evening and bid on a bunch of bulk LEGO brick auctions, then went to sleep. Upon waking, he discovered that he was the high bidder on many, and was now the proud owner of two tons of LEGO bricks. (This is about 4400 pounds.) He wrote, "[L]esson 1: if you win almost all bids you are bidding too high."

Mattheij had noticed that bulk, unsorted bricks sell for something like €10/kilogram, whereas sets are roughly €40/kg and rare parts go for up to €100/kg. Much of the value of the bricks is in their sorting. If he could reduce the entropy of these bins of unsorted bricks, he could make a tidy profit. While many people do this work by hand, the problem is enormous—just the kind of challenge for a computer. Mattheij writes:

There are 38000+ shapes and there are 100+ possible shades of color (you can roughly tell how old someone is by asking them what lego colors they remember from their youth).

In the following months, Mattheij built a proof-of-concept sorting system using, of course, LEGO. He broke the problem down into a series of sub-problems (including "feeding LEGO reliably from a hopper is surprisingly hard," one of those facts of nature that will stymie even the best system design). After tinkering with the prototype at length, he expanded the system to a surprisingly complex system of conveyer belts (powered by a home treadmill), various pieces of cabinetry, and "copious quantities of crazy glue."

Here's a video showing the current system running at low speed:

The key part of the system was running the bricks past a camera paired with a computer running a neural net-based image classifier. That allows the computer (when sufficiently trained on brick images) to recognize bricks and thus categorize them by color, shape, or other parameters. Remember that as bricks pass by, they can be in any orientation, can be dirty, can even be stuck to other pieces. So having a flexible software system is key to recognizing—in a fraction of a second—what a given brick is, in order to sort it out. When a match is found, a jet of compressed air pops the piece off the conveyer belt and into a waiting bin.

After much experimentation, Mattheij rewrote the software (several times in fact) to accomplish a variety of basic tasks. At its core, the system takes images from a webcam and feeds them to a neural network to do the classification. Of course, the neural net needs to be "trained" by showing it lots of images, and telling it what those images represent. Mattheij's breakthrough was allowing the machine to effectively train itself, with guidance: Running pieces through allows the system to take its own photos, make a guess, and build on that guess. As long as Mattheij corrects the incorrect guesses, he ends up with a decent (and self-reinforcing) corpus of training data. As the machine continues running, it can rack up more training, allowing it to recognize a broad variety of pieces on the fly.

Here's another video, focusing on how the pieces move on conveyer belts (running at slow speed so puny humans can follow). You can also see the air jets in action:

In an email interview, Mattheij told Mental Floss that the system currently sorts LEGO bricks into more than 50 categories. It can also be run in a color-sorting mode to bin the parts across 12 color groups. (Thus at present you'd likely do a two-pass sort on the bricks: once for shape, then a separate pass for color.) He continues to refine the system, with a focus on making its recognition abilities faster. At some point down the line, he plans to make the software portion open source. You're on your own as far as building conveyer belts, bins, and so forth.

Check out Mattheij's writeup in two parts for more information. It starts with an overview of the story, followed up with a deep dive on the software. He's also tweeting about the project (among other things). And if you look around a bit, you'll find bulk LEGO brick auctions online—it's definitely a thing!

Original image
© Nintendo
arrow
fun
Nintendo Will Release an $80 Mini SNES in September
Original image
© Nintendo

Retro gamers rejoice: Nintendo just announced that it will be launching a revamped version of its beloved Super Nintendo Classic console, which will allow kids and grown-ups alike to play classic 16-bit games in high-definition.

The new SNES Classic Edition, a miniature version of the original console, comes with an HDMI cable to make it compatible with modern televisions. It also comes pre-loaded with a roster of 21 games, including Super Mario Kart, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Donkey Kong Country, and Star Fox 2, an unreleased sequel to the 1993 original.

“While many people from around the world consider the Super NES to be one of the greatest video game systems ever made, many of our younger fans never had a chance to play it,” Doug Bowser, Nintendo's senior vice president of sales and marketing, said in a statement. “With the Super NES Classic Edition, new fans will be introduced to some of the best Nintendo games of all time, while longtime fans can relive some of their favorite retro classics with family and friends.”

The SNES Classic Edition will go on sale on September 29 and retail for $79.99. Nintendo reportedly only plans to manufacture the console “until the end of calendar year 2017,” which means that the competition to get your hands on one will likely be stiff, as anyone who tried to purchase an NES Classic last year will well remember.

In November 2016, Nintendo released a miniature version of its original NES system, which sold out pretty much instantly. After selling 2.3 million units, Nintendo discontinued the NES Classic in April. In a statement to Polygon, the company has pledged to “produce significantly more units of Super NES Classic Edition than we did of NES Classic Edition.”

Nintendo has not yet released information about where gamers will be able to buy the new console, but you may want to start planning to get in line soon.

SECTIONS
BIG QUESTIONS
arrow
BIG QUESTIONS
SECTIONS
WEATHER WATCH
BE THE CHANGE
JOB SECRETS
QUIZZES
WORLD WAR 1
SMART SHOPPING
STONES, BONES, & WRECKS
#TBT
THE PRESIDENTS
WORDS
RETROBITUARIES