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McDonald’s Is Bottling (and Giving Away) Its Big Mac Sauce

Plus, can burnt fries really be dangerous for your health?

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Photo: Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

Return of the Mac
As marking gimmicks go, it’s a good one: Fast-food behemoth McDonald’s announced yesterday that it will give away 10,000 bottles of its Big Mac Special Sauce during an in-store promotion this week, marking the first time stateside that the sauce will be encased in a plastic bottle for consumers to apply at will. The promotion, available at participating stores on January 26, follows a similar Australian promotion in early 2016, which saw the chain release 4,000 500mL bottles for retail sale, then sit back and marvel at the social media fervor as the limited-edition product immediately sold out. (Not surprisingly, bottles of the sauce later hit Australian online auction sites.)

This latest Mac giveaway is timed to help sell two new Big Mac burger sizes, but demand might inform future McDonald’s decisions: In October 2016, McDonald's filed a US trademark application for the phrase “Mac Sauce,” launching speculation that bottled versions might eventually be destined for retail shelves. Or, you know, you can always make it yourself.

Should burnt fries be a crime?
Overly burnt french fries are annoying thing to arrive to your table — but are they dangerous? The UK’s Food Standards Agency is considering adopting “enforcement measures” that would penalize restaurants for serving overly browned potatoes, which it argues contain high levels of "cancer-causing" acrylamide. Acrylamide is a chemical that forms in potatoes during high-temperature cooking, but according to scientists and critics, the link between human consumption of acrylamide and cancer is vague at best. (The US Food and Drug Administration, FWIW, offers no “specific maximum recommended level or action level” regarding consumption of acrylamide, though it does note “reducing acrylamide levels in foods may mitigate potential human health risks.”) Sounds like American fries might be safe for now.

Speaking of safe...
Since raw cookie dough is the best part of cookies, New York City now has a shop dedicated to a (safe-to-eat) version of the treat. As Eater NY reports, DŌ makes its debut today, serving cookie dough as one would normally serve ice cream: in a cup, cone, or as part of cookie-on-dough-on-cookie sandwiches.

WORTHY READING: Ever wonder if the Totino’s name branded across your favorite freezer pizza was a marketing creation? It’s not — Mental Floss offers this brief history about Rose Totino, the first-generation Italian-American behind the million-dollar food brand. Fact: She first gained traction for her business by cooking for PTA meetings. [MF]

VIDEO INTERLUDE: If you haven’t had breakfast yet, you’re really going to want these Brazilian breakfast crepes:

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