Food

McDonald’s Fruit and Maple Oatmeal — I’m Retching!

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McDonald’s — your brainwashing won’t work on me!

“Doesn’t the ‘Fruit’ in McDonald’s ‘Fruit and Maple Oatmeal’ imply more than one fruit?” I mused, desperately searching for something besides the apple dice that I was finding in the murky mess. The picture on the poster outside had promised both brown and yellow raisins.

McDonald’s Fruit and Maple Oatmeal is none too appetizing as it sits, swamp-like, in its shorty cup.

I’d watched as the cashier had prepared my penurious breakfast by pouring hot water from the coffee machine into a cup that looks like it was designed to hold only half a cup of joe. She peered into the cup and stirred hesitatingly, as if she didn’t really know how to make instant oatmeal.

I’d forced myself to order the 290-calorie Fruit and Maple Oatmeal ($1.99) even though it was advertised on the menu board next to a gleaming picture of the Big Breakfast With Hot Cakes, which consisted of three pancakes, scrambled eggs, biscuit, sausage, and deep-fried hash browns, and weighed in at 1,350 calories ($4.65). The Big Breakfast had looked so much more appealing.

The oatmeal sat dull and gray in the cup, with a consistency more liquid than it should have been. Here and there a bit of green or red apple skin glinted, but it did little to dispel the idea that I was about to eat something emptied from the sink trap.

The consistency doesn’t improve much as it sits, and the whole thing could use a little milk. Wait! Then it wouldn’t be vegan.

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Don’t get me wrong, the oatmeal didn’t taste bad — but it didn’t taste good, either. The grains themselves, reduced to pieces the size of a sesame seed, had no flavor, but I could taste something vaguely like brown sugar. Yes, there was a slight artificial maple flavor, but it wasn’t as annoying as it often is in commercial waffle mix.

I dutifully spooned up the gray goo, every bit of it, patting myself on the back for only eating 290 breakfast calories. On the other hand, I often make oatmeal at home, then sluice it with maple syrup and a bit of milk. My oatmeal tastes a million times better. I started to feel a little nauseated as I climbed on my bike for the pedal home.

And where the hell are my raisins?

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