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The Kaufman Critique: Keeping Passover real at McDonald's

It’s been over a year since the last Kaufman Critique was published.  It’s not that I haven’t been to restaurants lately, more of a time issue.

And certainly, writing about McDonald’s isn’t the best comeback post, but hey – maybe it’ll get me back into the food-groove.

Anyway, it’s Pesach. The holiday I hate the most. Because of that whole bread thing. Pointless.

McDonald’s, though, doesn’t agree. And McDonald’s would know. They know a thing or two about… money. So, what do they do during Pesach, when it comes to buns? Well, as you may or may not know – McDonald’s is divided into Kosher and non-Kosher brancיes in Israel. But most of them offer Kosher buns. In fact, they limit the menu to meals with kosher buns. So, you can’t get a Big Mac, for example. You can only get a Royal (Quarter pounder in the States).

But — you can get it with cheese.

So you can keep Kosher, but not really Kosher.

I always find this little ritual that McDonald’s does every year to be very telling of Israeli society. And corporate capitalism, too.

Nonetheless, critique-wise this bun is actually pretty good for a Kosher for Pesach bun. One usually expects something chewy that doesn’t digest well, but here, the McDonald’s scientists have done it again. Light, fluffy – and none of that Pesach smell and aftertaste of the usual dodgy buns. Bravo and Chag Sameach!

The Royal (called the Deluxe during Pesach) (photo: Ami Kaufman)

The somewhat over-brown Kosher for Pesach bun. No sesame seeds... (photo: Ami Kaufman)


Kosher Deluxe - with cheese (that yellow plastic square on the right) (photo: Ami Kaufman)



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    1. anonymous moose

      “But — you can get it with cheese.
      So you can keep Kosher, but not really Kosher.”

      You have to admit there’s something charming about this. If there was no religious coercion, we would all be taking tourists to see the McDonalds kosher-for-passover cheeseburger, and thinking it’s adorable. Obviously, the people eating these cheeseburgers do not keep kosher, but apparently enough of them care enough to ask for kosher-for-passover buns — this is exactly a sign of cultural judaism — like having Friday dinner with kidush, and then going to a soccer game on Saturday. As long as it’s self-aware, it sounds great to me.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Mike

      Keep the meat, sell me the kosher for Passover bun at the supermarket.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Carl

      Deluxe? Haven’t you got any trades descriptions laws over there … .. .

      Reply to Comment
    4. Piotr Berman

      Perhaps when the cheese is plasticky enough it does not violate the prohibition on milk products touching meat?

      Reply to Comment
    5. Danny

      Is pink slime kosher? I wonder…

      Reply to Comment
    6. sh

      1) What’s wrong with eating lehem oni for a week?
      2) The cheese is plasticky enough, Piotr.

      Reply to Comment
    7. @sh – maybe a day. but a whole week? lama mi met? 😉

      Reply to Comment
    8. Noah h

      I see fries in one of your pictures. I’m in the states and it’s passover. I don’t keep kosher but I keep Pesach. Can I eat the fries? Please let me know

      Reply to Comment