McDonald's Dipping Sauces Just Got Really Interesting

Sweet & Spicy Jam and Mambo Sauce arrive at McDonald's on October 9.

McNuggets are about to get a lot more interesting: McDonald's just announced the release of two new dipping sauces joining its condiment lineup for a limited time, available starting October 9. The company has been increasingly dabbling in dipping sauces, having previously debuted the Cajun and Sweet Chili sauces alongside the BTS Celebrity Meal, and recently offering Big Mac sauce in dipping tubs for a short time. The two latest sauces feature new and regional flavors—and both are pretty intriguing.

McDonald’s new dipping sauces, explained

One of the new sauces is the first-ever McDonald's dipping sauce inspired by breakfast, while the other is a highly specific regional condiment.

  • Sweet & Spicy Jam: A sweet red pepper dipping sauce that's kicked up with cayenne pepper and Szechuan pepper, finished with apple cider vinegar. It's the first sauce from McDonald's that is breakfast-inspired.
  • Mambo Sauce: A regional tomato-based condiment beloved in the Washington D.C. area (also known as mumbo sauce), this one features a blend of vinegary, spicy, and sweet flavors.
  • These two dipping sauces are each interesting in their own way. The inclusion of Szechuan pepper in the Sweet & Spicy Jam, for instance, is notable because of this pepper's distinct citrus-like flavor and numbing qualities. Yes, numbing qualities. If you've ever had Szechuan food, you already know that it provides that buzzy feeling in your mouth. Note that this is in no way related to McDonald's infamous Szechuan Sauce, which caused its own unfortunate kind of buzz when it was reintroduced in 2017.

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    The Mambo Sauce is unique for a different reason: its regional specificity. It's a staple around the Washington D.C. area, and it's sort of like a blend of barbecue sauce and sweet & sour sauce. You can find bottled versions of it at some supermarkets here in Chicago, but you really have to look for it, since it's not super common across the country and its availability varies by region. Having used the bottled stuff at home, I can confirm it's good, especially paired with fried chicken.

    October 9 is right around the corner, so if you're a Chicken McNuggets fan (or just an avid dipper in general), you'll be able to experience the new flavors for yourself pretty soon. McDonald's other recent menu items, while solid, haven't been nearly as adventurous, so I'm really looking forward to these.

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