K-Pop! It’s everywhere! You cannot go by a single damn day without some K-Pop related trend on Twitter ruining your life. It isn’t news by any means that K-Pop is conquering the music world in a way not seen since the British Invasion, but what is news is the BTS meal at McDonald’s. The Beatles sure didn’t get a McDonald’s tie in, did they?
McDonald’s has been doing tie-in meals as a “thing” for a while now, starting with the wildly popular Travis Scott meal and following up with the somewhat less popular J Balvin meal. Now McDonald’s has teamed up with the most popular band in the world, the K-Pop boy group BTS to make an all new meal. What could go wrong with the biggest fast food restaurant teaming up with the biggest pop group? Well, a lot, probably, but we’re going to have to find that out ourselves.
Let’s get this straight. Do not buy the BTS meal, even if you are a K-Pop fan. We’re serious about this, okay? It’s just a chicken nugget combo meal, nothing special, and there’s no savings to be had. There’s nothing BTS related aside from the bag, and you can just ask for them to give you your meal in a BTS bag and they’ll probably do it. The only real reason to get the BTS meal is for the special sauces, and you can just ask for those with anything else. What is the point of the BTS meal? The Travis Scott meal and J Balvin meals were at least good deals – the BTS meal is not. Just get ordinary nuggets, please.
But the sauces are worth reviewing, even if the rest of the meal isn’t. I mean, you know what Chicken McNuggets are like, right? Everybody’s eaten them at some point in their lives, unless you haven’t. The two sauces are a “Cajun” and a “Sweet Chili” sauce, both of which are very vague sounding. We had no idea what to expect out of a Cajun sauce, because Cajun cuisine is so wide and varied it could mean practically anything, but for the Sweet Chili we thought it’s probably gochujang flavored. Once we got the lid off of the sauces, we figured we were spot on with the Sweet Chili, but the Cajun sauce stupefied us by being bright yellow.
You know what the Cajun sauce is? Dijon mustard. It is, without a doubt, spicy Dijon mustard. It’s almost exactly like Mardi Gras Mustard from Popeyes, complete with a horseradish-y kick. It’s actually very good with the McNuggets. The best pairing for the dry, salty McNugget is a sauce with sweetness and a bit of a tang, like Sweet & Sour or Honey Mustard, so the Cajun sauce is absolutely perfect. If this were a default option for McDonald’s we’d get it every single time. But it’s only limited edition and you have to ask for the fucking tie-in meal to get it. Which is fine, we guess.
But it’s the Sweet Chili sauce that caught our eye. Our assumption was right: it does taste like gochujang! It’s a sweet and mildly spicy sauce with that undertone of garlic funkiness that makes real gochujang taste so fucking good when added to pretty much anything. It is possibly the perfect sauce for dipping chicken nuggets into, beating out every other dipping sauce we’ve ever had at McDonald’s. We fully expect copycat recipes of this one to pop up soon. We can only hope it’ll supplant the wretched Rick and Morty sauce from the public consciousness.
Both of these sauces are very good, but they’re no reason to get the BTS meal, nor are they even a reason to start listening to BTS. In fact, we’ve never listened to a single BTS song before. We’re going to go listen to a BTS song right now, as a matter of fact. Hang on.
Okay, we listened to “DNA”. It was fine. The only other K-Pop song we have listened to before this one was “Russian Roulette” by Red Velvet, because that was in Trolls World Tour, and we like that one a lot more. I mean, it’s fine, I guess. It’s definitely pop music. It’s way too overproduced in a way that would make Phil Specter blush. It’s definitely what the most popular band in the world sounds like right now. It makes sense for the 2020s that this is what music is now.
So, yeah, the BTS meal. It sucks. The sauces are good, but the BTS meal sucks. The K-Pop industry sucks. The fast food industry sucks. I am sure that the individual BTS boys are fine people who are pleasant otherwise but their music kind of sucks too. But I doubt that it’s their fault.