Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt is said to be a big fan of pork. It's also been said that when Bolt was in Beijing for the 2008 Olympics, he ate nothing but McDonald's Chicken McNuggets. Now with McDonald's China introducing the lovechild of pork and McNuggets, maybe Usain Bolt might just come back to China.
Earlier this month, McDonald's China released something strange and delightful. They released the Spicy Pork McBite; the child of a pig god and the lord of McNuggets, the Spicy Pork McBite is something that should've been created ages ago. A pork product in nugget form. It's a golden fried kernel of edible delight.
For the purposes of this review, I will be referring to the snack based on my translation of its Chinese name 脆辣猪猪球 (cui la zhu zhu qiu), Spicy Porky Balls — or just Porky Balls.
These Porky Balls aren't much to look at. In fact, to the untrained eye they resemble Popcorn Chicken. They're breaded, they're crunchy, and they're fried. In terms of size, each kernel of is about half the size of a Chicken McNugget. It takes about three to equate to the amount of meat in a McNugget, two if we count the breaded parts.
On the inside, instead of white meat, we're given the dark meat portion of the hog. Personally, I prefer the dark meat on both Chicken and Pork, this fascination with white meat kind of escapes me, but I digress. Internally, it looks like the meat was ground and then balled up, battered and fried. It's not like a whole chunk of pork, and it's good that it isn't.
In terms of taste, these porky balls are delicious. There is just the right amount of spice and porky greasy goodness in every bite, though I would have to say that it's a bit on the spicy side, since it leaves a burning sensation in the mouth. While I mentioned that it had a greasy taste to it, these porky balls aren't very greasy on the outside. They make perfect gaming companions as they aren't that messy.
The ground pork on the inside has a smooth texture to it. Similar to eating a McNugget, there isn't much resistance when you bite into a porky ball.
Since they're already flavoured, these spicy balls don't come with any sauces. So for the purpose of this review, I ordered a five-piece McNugget meal with sweet and sour sauce. The porky balls work well with the sweet and sour sauce, the tangy and sweet flavors pairing very well with the spicy balls and actually alleviating the burning aftertaste. Sadly, the same can't be said for ketchup. These spicy porky balls do not go well with ketchup.
While these spicy porky balls are great, they come in huge portions. I wasn't able to sit down and eat my large order in one sitting. On top of that, they don't sit well or reheat well. When they're cold they become spicy balls of fried flour. There isn't much pork flavour. A small order, on the other hand, is too small and there aren't enough. It's like the Pringle's commercials of the 90's, "once you pop you just can't stop", at least until they get disgusting.
These spicy porky balls are a smart idea. I'm surprised they weren't implemented earlier, particularly by McDonald's in China; considering that Chinese people consume tons and tons of pork, and that McDonald's China has been adding foods with Chinese elements (rice dishes!!!) to their menu, this should've come much earlier. They don't taste asian, they don't look asian, they're just really good spicy porky balls.
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