Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Gurakoro: Japan McDonald's Winter Treat

For a limited time in winter, only at Japanese McDonald's



So I've written about seasonal treats found uniquely at Japanese McDonald's.

This winter, I want to talk about what is possibly my most favorite seasonal treat; the "Guratan Korokke Baagaa," (グラタン・コロッケ・バーガー) or translated back into non-Japanese, "Gratin Croquet Burger"

Or, "GuraKoro" (グラコロ) for short.

So what is it?

It's so uniquely Japanese, yet it's a conglomeration of a Japanese take on many things.

Let's take apart its name. So first, before anything, you need to understand what the Japanese call a "gratin."

For any Americans out there, you've probably heard of "potatoes au gratin," which is a dish consisting of potatoes baked in cream, topped with bread crumbs and cheese so that they form a crust when baked in an oven. According to the interwebs, it's a cooking technique that originated in France.



In Japan, a "gratin" is a similar dish cooked with macaroni and some sort of meat instead. The typical Japanese "gratin" or "guratan" (グラタン, taken from its original French pronunciation "[ɡʁatɛ̃]", it sounds rather like"gratong" for those who couldn't care to learn the International Phonetic Alphabet [IPA] just to read this word), has macaroni and shrimp in it.



It is usually served in a special "guratan" dish that tends to be oval in shape.

Guratan in and of itself is delicious.

The first time I ate it was as an exchange student back in 2001.

My host mother made it for me one day after hearing me go on and on about how I missed a nice bowl of macaroni and cheese.

After tasting this, though, it became my go-to comfort food in Japan, as it's rather hard to find macaroni and cheese in a box like you normally would in the United States.

So now that you know what a "guratan" is, let's take a look at a "korokke."

A "korokke" (コロッケ, from the French word "croquette") is basically any variety of breaded, fried foods. It tends to be a patty filled with potato, though they may also have meat or vegetables in them.



The "Guratan Korokke Baagaa" then, is a sandwich consisting of a breaded, fried patty with a creamy macaroni hand shrimp filling on two fluffy buns.


It's basically macaroni and cheese on a bun, which is why I love it.

They're only available a limited time during early winter, and you could miss it if you put it off, so I always make sure to grab one as soon as I see it come out.

Your normal variations of this burger are with or without cheese, and I tend to get it with cheese for an extra-cheesy treat.

In recent years, McDonald's Japan has released a different variation of this burger, along with our normal varieties for those who prefer the classics of course.

In the past I've tasted a real good one topped with Italian (or at least what the Japanese call "Italian") tomato sauce.

This year, they've decided to put "beef stew" on it, so I thought I'd give it a try.



I must say, it was rather good.

I wonder how they'll decide to serve it next year...

Related Posts:

Early Autumn Treat: McDonald’s Japan’s Otsukimi Burger

McDonald’s Japan Seasonal Treat – Otsukimi Pai

Love the Grand Mac

TSUKIMI: A Japanese Autumn Tradition