Canadian McDonald’s New McPoutine Has a Genius Secret

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It has nothing to do with the high-oleic sunflower oil in the gravy. Photo: Courtesy of McDonald's Canada

Following the dismal-seeming Summer of the McHomard, McDonald's Canada has come back swinging with the launch of its McPoutine at outlets throughout Canada. Yes, sure, the cheese curd likely has some nebulously industrial origin story, and the gravy likely contains more autolyzed yeast extract, modified tapioca starch, high-oleic sunflower oil and hydrolyzed corn protein than any actual meat-based product, but really, this poutine sort of seems like new territory for the chain. Why? It's the first time in recent memory that photos posted by customers look anything even remotely like the heavily edited and airbrushed versions used in advertisements. In fact, several of the photos customers are taking look better than the official company photo.

Take this one for starters: McDonald's own poutine glam shot, sent from the company's official Twitter, looks inherently cheesier than the jazzy menu photo.


Some might argue that it even sets an artificially low bar, because, well, look at this customer's poutine peeking out of its cute little box.


Awww. Looks pretty decent. This one, too.


But wait, this one has too much curd.


This one has way too much gravy.


And this one has way too much Bieber.


And they don't all look great. This McPoutines is sort of pallid.


And this one's dangerously wan.


But then there are these beauties...





... which look way better than one might expect, and in any event, all right for flash-fried spuds doused with blobs of pale cheese and gravy in a paper box.

Therein lies the secret, maybe: In its box, McDonald's McPoutine is a pretty much monochromatic composition, making it ideal for any smartphone camera with a just few filters. It's a rare fast-food item that photographs well, particularly with an edit or two. McPoutine cleans up especially nicely, too, on Instagram.

Unlike, say, the McLobster, which has to be gussied up to look good and go over well, this may be the first fast food made for social networks, especially in an age of scandalous McRibs, shredded lettuce grandstanding, and dumb Frosty machine stunts. The fries for McPoutine may be all wrong and the concoction itself may end up tasting not all that great, but the photos look decent enough to get passed around. After that, to borrow a technical expression, everything else is gravy.

Vive le McPoutine libre: McDonald’s re-introduces fries, gravy and cheese curds dish on menus across Canada [National Post]
Earlier: 21 Strong Reactions to McDonald’s McLobster Sandwich, Now Available in Ontario