Does McDonald's New Dipping Sauce Taste Like Anime?

WcDonald's Sauce tastes mostly like Chinese takeout.

McDonald's is now officially an anime meme come to life. The fast food chain recently dropped a new flavor of McNugget dipping sauce named after "WcDonald's," a cheeky fictional depiction of the company often seen in anime shows since, without proper licensing, McDonald's official name can't legally be represented in fictional settings. With this new offering and manga-inspired packaging, McDonald's is now in on the joke. So what does anime taste like, exactly?

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The original announcement proclaiming the debut of the new sauce says that "The unique combination of ginger, garlic and soy with a slight heat from chili flakes packs an energetic blast of flavor in every bite." How delightfully Asian-sounding.

How does the new Savory Chili WcDonald’s Sauce taste?

The new WcDonald's savory chili sauce is translucent orange-brown in color, and is flecked with visible bits of chili flakes. The sauce is thick, sticky, and glossy, and clings tightly to each McNugget dipped into it. For a sauce named after an inside joke that only anime fans understand and which McDonald's is aiming to wring money out of, we're off to a great start.

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Considering two of the top three ingredients in this condiment are sugar and corn syrup (the other is water), of course this sauce is sweet—but it's also heavy on the soy sauce, garlic, and ginger flavors, with a little bit of spicy heat that lingers without overstaying its welcome. I wouldn't describe it as kick-your-ass levels of spicy, just pleasantly so.

The dominant notes are mainly soy sauce and garlic (and sugar), and combined with the heat, it reminds me of the same sauce you'd find on an order of the Chinese takeout staple General Tso's chicken. Its flavor is strong, especially the salt levels—so strong, in fact, that it completely eclipses the taste of the McNugget itself, and almost makes you feel like you're not even eating what could be identified as McDonald's.

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That's not a bad thing; personally, I think that's what makes the sauce fun. I'm so used to McDonald's tasting like the same old thing every time I have it, and a nudge in any culinary direction seems pretty novel.

As for the anime tie-in, though I'm not terribly familiar with the intricacies of Japanese food, I think the decision to make the sauce spicy was a bit odd. Japanese cuisine doesn't exactly have a reputation for being fiery (though the food of my Korean heritage does!), and the whole promotion revolves around integration with a Japanese art form. But hey, since this is a fairly conceptual product, maybe there's some wiggle room for interpretation. I guess these animated characters like chili peppers?

If this whole WcDonald's thing doesn't make sense to you, that's fine; you're just not its intended target. Like a lot of current marketing pushes, this one's targeting a young audience that loves specific TV series, music, and movies.

And if you feel like you're not in on some inside joke, that's okay; I don't watch anime often aside from a stray movie here or there, so I'm here shrugging my shoulders too. I'm just glad to say the sauce is a fun vaguely Asian-tasting departure for McDonald's (or should I call it WcDonald's?) and for me, that's what really matters. Just keep a drink on hand for when the salt starts to kick your ass.

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