Note: Due to an overwhelming response to our blog post on McDonald’s and its gluten-free buns debut in Spain, we asked our Madrid correspondent Maricarmen Escamilla to do a taste test for us. Spanish speakers can find their celiac blog here.
McDonald’s in Spain has some history offering gluten-free products. In January 2011 it announced there would be gluten-free “Deluxe Fries”. Then in May 2011 it announced that gluten-free buns would be available with its hamburgers in all their restaurants. This announcement caused a huge BRAVO! amongst gluten-free Spanish diners.
We were honored that Triumph Dining reached out to us and thrilled that they offered us the opportunity to do this taste test for their loyal readers.
Both burgers contain meat, tomato, lettuce, cheese and mayo. The burger with the GF bun comes in a yellow box. The GF bun is pretty good. However, as it happens with most of gluten-free bread, it’s a bit crumbly.
My husband Alberto (not celiac) tried both burgers and found there was no material difference in in the taste between the two, the only difference being the sesame seeds and the consistency of the bun.
McDonald’s initiative to offer gluten-free products in Spain has been well-received in the general media, gluten-free lifestyle blogs, forums and social media. The restaurant manager told us that gluten-free products are selling successfully, especially with kids because in Spain it is very popular to celebrate birthday parties in McDonald’s.
McDonald’s has similar quality standards and products all over the world. However, there are some differences in every country so you should be sure check the nutritional information when you travel abroad. For example, during our last visit to the US we noticed that barbecue sauce was not gluten-free while it is in Spain.
As of today we can find the following gluten-free products in McDonald’s Spanish restaurants.
- McRoyal Deluxe
- Big Mac
- Garden salad
About fries: all their fries are gluten free (regular and deluxe). At the beginning, only regular ones were gluten free and sometimes you could found one deluxe in your bag. This was a problem, but not anymore. All fries are gluten free and they don’t cook any breaded chicken in that oil. They fry breaded products in a separated fryer.
- French fries
- Deluxe fries
- Gazpacho (cold tomato soup – only available in summer)
- Olive oil & vinegar (for the salad)
- Deluxe sauce for Deluxe fries
- Curry, Caesar and barbecue sauce
- Balsamic vinaigrette
- Spicy mustard
- Chocolate sundae (with peanuts)
- White chocolate sundae (with peanuts)
- Yogurt with fruits
- Apple slices
- Apple slices with Nocilla
There are no gluten-free options for breakfast.
We really hope McDonald’s will keep expanding their gluten-free product offering to other countries because it’s a practical option for eating every now and then and because it pushes competitors to consider adding gluten-free meals too.
- Maricarmen Escamilla