“I don’t understand Americans’ taste.”
The zeitgeist has arrived: after being hyped up for so long, McDonald’s has finally brought its notorious Szechuan sauce to China, Locals, however, aren’t lovin’ it.
A bit of back story: McDonald’s originally created the dip in 1998 as tie-in with the Disney movie Mulan, and it was name-dropped by the American cartoon Rick and Morty in April 2017. Fans of the series petitioned for the fast-food conglomerate to bring it back, and they did in October that same year, launching a highly limited run in select locations around the US.
It was a shit show. The sauce sold out almost immediately, and fans, some of whom were lining up since 4 a.m., protested, overran some restaurants, and even rioted. Police had to be called to some locations. McDonald’s eventually apologized for not stocking enough, and rolled out the condiment in all their American branches last month.
That sauce is now here. Mickey D’s is calling it wanghong zanjiang (网红赞酱), or internet-famous sauce, but there isn’t any Rick and Morty branding. Instead, mountains and pandas is printed on the packaging as a vague nod to Sichuan, and you pay ¥10 for the pleasure of enjoying it. At least it comes with five pieces of nuggets.
The real question is: in the land of mala, what do Chinese people think about it? Not much, it seems, judging by comments on Weibo. “It’s more like soy sauce,” commented tangzhansushu (唐斩俗叔), while yeda (叶大) called it salty and not spicy. “I don’t think it taste good,” wrote xiaoshoushuishu (小兽睡睡), but Chocberry had the last word: “I don’t understand Americans’ taste.”