McAloo Tiki-300 - McDonald's India.

McIndian Menu Items In Toronto? Sign the Petition!

There are few more culturally diverse countries in the world than Canada. And new(er) Canadians are standing up and demanding recognition and respect in fundamental ways. Like demanding McIndian mains in Canada…

McSpicy Paneer Burger - © McDonald's IndiaMcSpicy Paneer Buger: One of 6 new Indian items Toronto
area new Canadians want on the menu…

No, this isn’t just a repeat of the previous paragraph. Please have patience… There are few more culturally ‘branded’ communities than the Indian enclave in Brampton, north and west of Mississauga, just west of Toronto. There’s nothing wrong with that. Quite the contrary. It means there are few place outside India where you can go to find out about the culture of the sub-continent. And, naturally, the food!

With fully 33 percent of the population there being rooted in East India, it’s no wonder that some of the folks are missing some their traditional faves on restaurant menus. Nowhere are they missing that taste of home than at our equivalent of the rich Indian street food tradition – the fast food scene.

One notable point pf convergence

There is one logical point of convergence where Indian and North American traditions meet: McDonalds. There are many McDonald’s locations all over Asia, and they’re really popular. One reason is, they have freely adapted versions of Indian grab-and go foods to their take-out menus. Yes, you can get some global favourites at McD’s in India. But there’s no Beef or Pork, due to religious and cultural prohibitions. And other North American traditions just haven’t caught on.

So it makes sense that a petition that threatens to become a major deal has been mounted on, to have favourite items from the Indian McDonald’s master menu included on he Brampton McMenu.

Wanna try…

… delicacies such as:

  • McAloo Tikki
  • McSpicy Paneer Burger
  • McVeggie Burger
  • Piri-piri fries
  • Veg Pizza McPuff
  • McSpicy Chicken burger

Only 6 items. Not an unreasonable number, for sure. And some really popular flavours, even among non-Asian mainstream diners here. Can they be provided at prices comparable to traditional North American premium menu items? Sure.

The most important considertion

The most important point behind the petition is that folks of Asian extraction in Brampton feel there aren’t sufficient familiar Asian menu items in the vegetarian column there.

“We love it when our guests care enough to tell us about their McDonald’s favourites here in Canada and from around the world,” a McSpokesperson told Yahoo! News Canada in an email. “We are committed to offering a variety of menu choices in our restaurants and continue to listen to our guests to understand their needs, changing trends and evolving tastes.”

It’s been around for a couple of years more or less. But it hasn’t gained a lot of traction until recently, when it began to get mainstream media attention. A parallel Yahoo! poll shows that (so far, anyway) 37 percent of respondents agree with the petition that feel McDonald’s (Canada) needs more vegetarian options. But 54 percent say ‘No’.

Well see what folks say after the petition has been in the spotlight for a few more weeks…

My take

I often say, I’d like to see more ‘overseas’ McMenu options available here in Canada. And the U.S., for that matter. Seems it’s only a matter of common sense that Asian-rooted Canadians should agree! (I indulge in a little self-aggrandising humour, there…) Nevertheless, I also have a strong feeling that, as petition sponsor Anuj Patel says, “There are variety of options that we would love to be introduced in Canadian McDonald’s menu which would cater to the vast majority of [the] vegetarian population residing in Brampton.”

I’ve now done my part, giving the petition all the mainstream media push I am capable of giving it… There were just over 3,200 signatures on the thing as of earlier today. We’ll keep an eye on the situation for you…

~ Maggie J.