The Big Mac That's Found Only In Alaska

When people hear the name Big Mac, they probably can't help but think of one specific place: McDonald's. The hearty sandwich includes two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, and onions on a sesame-seed bun, as the McDonald's menu (and ubiquitous jingle) proudly states. 

In a written history of the Big Mac, Love Food reveals that the popular menu item was created in 1957 as a solution for steel-mill workers (the chain's key demographic at the time) that weren't satisfied with smaller burgers the chain had to offer after a long day of manual labor. It was originally sold under names like the "Blue Ribbon Burger" and "The Aristocrat" until an advertising secretary came up with the sandwich's now infamous name.

But the cool thing about McDonald's is that you can get different preparations of must-have items like the Big Mac depending on where you are on the globe — or even just in the US. Bored Panda rounded up 20 unique Big Macs from around the world, noting the different options available to travelers should they care to venture to an overseas McDonald's to get their hands on a burger they wouldn't otherwise be able to try. For example, there's the Maharaja Mac in India, which swaps out the two all-beef patties with chicken patties for religious reasons (per The Daily Mail) and, in Greece, a Greek Mac that can be prepared with chicken or beef and comes with tzatziki sauce, lettuce, and tomato on pita bread.

Even in Alaska there is a specialty Big Mac different from the other American states that really lives up to its "big" distinction.

Alaska's Denali Mac is a bigger Big Mac

The Visit Anchorage site lists many items that are exclusive to — and made in — Alaska, including millennia-old Ulu knives, craft spirits, wines, beers, and very fresh seafood. And while these are all well and good, the state's famous Big Mac also deserves important recognition.

Alaska is home to a different kind of Big Mac, called The Denali Mac. The specialty burger "honors America's biggest state with its meaty grandiosity" (according to Forbes), grand enough to mimic its mountain namesake. The specialty burger, originally added to the menu at Alaskan McD's in 2006, was first named the McKinley Mac after Mount McKinley, North America's tallest peak and the star of the Denali National Park in southern Alaska. 

Though, after Mount McKinley was reinstated with the name Denali, an initiative by former president Barack Obama as a nod to the state's indigenous roots (via Tampa Bay Times), McDonald's followed the president's lead. And in 2016, they renamed the McKinley Mac the Denali Mac, and tweeted about it to make it official (via Anchorage Daily News).

The interesting thing about the Denali Mac and its popularity in the state is the fact that most Alaskans don't identify with larger corporations, per Forbes. "Alaskans are an idealistic and fiercely independent people who are extremely proud to live in the Last Frontier. Because of their geographic distance and isolation from the Lower 48, Alaskans have a distinct preference to the 'local favorite' and are very wary of 'outsiders' — especially large corporations," says a rep for McDonald's Alaska. So having an Alaskan-themed burger that proudly represents their heritage has been a huge boost to the brand in this state.

The nutrition of a Denali Mac

The Denali Mac is basically your average Big Mac, but with bigger patties and more secret sauce to pay homage to the state's extra-large size. Says a spokesperson for McDonald's Alaska, per Forbes, "Ask anyone who's ever lived in Alaska, and they'll tell you that Alaska is just different."

According to Reader's Digest, with this specialty burger, McDonald's was "seeking to prove that 'everything's bigger'" in Alaska by using "two quarter-pound patties instead of the traditional 1.6-ounce patties and throw[ing] in some extra special sauce for good measure."

And there's no denying it lives up to its namesake. Especially when you consider the oversized nutritional values. According to McDonald's official site, a Denali Mac is packed with a whopping 840 calories, 51 grams of fat, and 47 grams of carbs. And it also has an astounding 50 grams of protein from all that meat. Compare this to a regular Big Mac, which has 550 calories, 30 grams of fat, 45 grams of carbs, and 25 grams of protein (per McDonald's) and you can really see the difference. If you live in Alaska, or plan to visit, it may be worth the splurge.