Despite a phenomenally gutsy performance and arguably the best goal of the tournament thus far, Australia went down to the Netherlands 2-3 this morning. Our chances of advancing beyond the group stage of the 2014 World Cup have now been dashed. Sniff. Ah well, let's see if McDonald's World Cup burgers are capable of delivering a better endgame.
Over the past few weeks, McDonald's has released a volley of limited-edition menu items to coincide with the 2014 World Cup. Among the team-themed morsels on offer are the Brazil beef burger, the Australia chicken burger and the Argentina double beef burger which we'll be judging shortly. But first, a bit about the burgers.
Note: If you don't care what your fast food looks like and just want to know about the taste, check out our World Cup burger Taste Test.
The Brazil burger comprises a beef patty with beans, corn and capsicum topped with lettuce, carrot, mayonnaise and tomato salsa.
Curiously, it's called the Brazilian Burger in other markets. Presumably, the change was made due to a certain Aussie slang word for female genitalia - 'Brazilian Burger' clearly sounds like a bald variant.
The Australia Burger consists of a crispy chicken patty, sweet chilli lime/creamy buffalo sauce and lettuce.
As we noted in an earlier taste test, none of these ingredients evoke Australia. We're not sure why McDonald's didn't simply bring back its McOz or Lamb burger. Odd choice.
The Argentina Burger is the latest edition to the Wold Cup range. It comes with double beef, double cheese, pickles, onions and "zesty" tomato salsa sauce.
In other words, it's basically a Double Quarter Pounder with different sauce.
All three burgers come with a specially designed bun that resembles a soccer ball complete with a spherical patchwork of hexagonal panels. (This is called a 'truncated icosahedron pattern', fact fans.)
In terms of nutritional value, the World Cup burgers aren't especially healthy, even by McDonald's standards. The Brazil burger packs in 2410kJ of energy while the Australia burger contains 2500kJ. This is surprisingly high when you consider that neither burger contains any cheese. The Argentina burger, meanwhile, weighs in at a hefty 3690kJ. We're pretty sure this makes it the fattiest burger on McDonald's entire menu.
The World Cup burgers talk up a good game, but how do they actually fare on the pitch? Let's take a look at each in turn.
We'll give McDonald's this: the World Cup burger buns actually do look like soccer balls; albeit squashed and deflated ones. The Argentina burger's likeness to the poster is pretty spot on in that regard.
Unfortunately, the rest of the burger fails to follow through. As you can see, the beef patties appear thinner than in the marketing image and the cheese is a mess of molten goo. Mind you, this is true of most fast food burgers we've tested.
Not a complete disaster, but hardly a world class effort. (On an unrelated note, this one actually tasted better than the others.)
Truth Rating: 6/10
This is probably the most faithful representation of the three burgers. The meat is appropriately thick and juicy looking, the condiments are in the right place (i.e. on top of the patty instead of below it), and you can actually see the bits of corn and junk inside the beef.
Unfortunately, the Brazil Burger loses points for its lazy construction. Takeaway Truth has certainly seen worse assemblies though -- as a look at our 2013 Hall Of Shame will attest. All in all, the Brazil gave a decent performance hampered by some sloppy footwork. The best of an average bunch.
Truth rating: 7/10
Oh dear. It would seem McDonald's was barracking for Australia to bomb in the World Cup, if this burger is anything to go by. Disgustingly sloppy assembly, a noticeably smaller chicken patty and an inexplicably deformed bun all conspire to make this the worst burger of the bunch. Instant red card.
Truth rating: 4/10
Which fast food franchise or menu item would you like us to tackle next? Let us know in the comments section below.