McDonald's Won't Say The Grandma McFlurry Flavor, But Twitter Has A Guess

While McDonald's latest McFlurry is pretty much like every other McFlurry in that it tastes mostly of vanilla soft-serve and sugar with vague overtones of some mix-in or other, the company is being less than upfront about the flavoring. According to the company website, the flavoring agent for the Grandma McFlurry is "smooth, sweet syrup" (as opposed to the lumpy, bitter kind?) mixed with chopped candies of an unspecified type that are nevertheless said to be "reminiscent of grandma's favorite treat." (Gin and tonic? Budweiser?) Leaving aside the inherent ageism and sexism that comes with associating this McFlurry with the whole "Grandma's candy jar" trope, it seems that some X (formerly Twitter) users are not impressed by McDonald's disingenuous attempt to create a mystery about what is essentially a butterscotch (or caramel) candy McFlurry.

One X user speculates that McDonald's is using the "grandma" moniker because it doesn't have the right to use the Werther's name, which would certainly be true if they're using non-Werther's branded candies. This launched a mini-debate among commenters as to whether the Grandma McFlurry flavor is, in fact, caramel or butterscotch and whether there is or isn't much difference between the two. X being X, no real consensus was reached on this topic, but nobody seems to disagree that the Grandma Flurry flavor is anything other than caramel (or butterscotch).

What is the difference between caramel and butterscotch candies, anyway?

Butterscotch and caramel may be as close in flavor as their initial letters are in the alphabet, but there is, in theory, a difference between the two, thus setting the Tweeters all atwitter over the new McFlurry flavor. Butterscotch candies are made with brown sugar, butter, and salt, while caramels include white sugar and heavy cream with the possible addition of butter or corn syrup. However, when it comes to commercial hard candies, the lines begin blurring. Werther's Original candies, which are marketed as hard caramels, include white sugar and cream along with something called glucose syrup (made from either corn or wheat). However, they also contain salt and sugar cane syrup along with a few other not-so-yummy sounding ingredients like whey, soy lecithin, and artificial flavor.

In comparison, there are those generic butterscotch disc candies with ingredients that may include little more than sugar, corn syrup, salt, and various artificial flavoring and coloring agents. No butter in that scotch, and yet, we've all collectively seemed to agree that disc-shaped yellow hard candies are what butterscotch tastes like. So, which of these candies is McDonald's using in its Grandma McFlurries? The fast food giant won't say, and we don't know, but it doesn't make much difference. Overall, the latest McFlurry tastes much like any other McFlurry, and that's all you really need to know (besides where to find a McDonald's where the soft-serve machine is actually working).