McDonald's Korea Sells Curly Fries, And We're A Bit Jealous

Besides McDonald's well-known burgers like the Big Mac and the Quarter Pounder, there's no more famous item on the chain's menu than its french fries. The crispy, golden, straight-cut potatoes are an ideal companion for any main, and they're even delicious as a snack on their own. But American fry lovers may be a bit envious when they learn about a particular McDonald's offering available in South Korea: curly fries.

These have been on the menu of McDonald's Korea since at least 2017, but they've also been available in other countries across Asia — like Malaysia, the Philippines, and Japan — for at least a decade, seemingly on an on-and-off basis. They were also part of McDonald's menu in Ireland before the start of the pandemic, and in early 2021, fans even began a petition for the chain to bring them back. In appearance, they look like classic curly fries that are similar to other fast food versions of the treat, like those sold by Arby's or Jack in the Box. They also taste similar to other chains' renditions, though they're best when hot and fresh.

McDonald's offers many french fry varieties worldwide

Many customers adore McDonald's curly fries, but those watching what they eat may want to note that these fries are higher in sodium than regular fries from the Golden Arches. A medium order of South Korean McDonald's curly fries contains about 340 calories and 772 milligrams of salt. In contrast, a medium order of McDonald's fries in the U.S. contains 320 calories and 260 milligrams of sodium.

This isn't the only unusual aspect of the fries. McDonald's also partakes in a unique way people in South Korea eat their fries — with a delicious and very popular honey butter dipping sauce. Frequent international travelers may also have encountered other unique McDonald's french fries from around the world that aren't available in the U.S. Canada can chow down on poutine (fries with gravy and cheese), the Dutch receive a packet of paprika and herbs to shake on their potatoes, and Indian locations sell potato wedges seasoned with a distinctive masala spice blend. While there are no signs McDonald's curly fries will appear on American menus any time soon, they certainly seem to provide a delicious twist on a familiar favorite in South Korea.