McDonald’s sells ‘youtiao’ in the US: New Donut Sticks almost identical to traditional dough sticks, Chinese say

Donut Sticks debuted on the McDonald’s menu on February 20.
Business Insider

We all know soy milk goes best with youtiao, but what about youtiao with a cup of cappuccino, and maybe even an egg mcmuffin or a hash brown?

A new breakfast item debuted by McDonald’s in the US has caught the attention of Chinese social media users. Donut Sticks, which debuted on February 20 in America, are being compared to traditional Chinese dough sticks, also known as youtiao.

The treats, about the size of an adult finger each, look like mini replicas of youtiao – a breakfast food commonly eaten by Chinese communities all over the world.

Often paired with a cup of soy milk (or a bowl of beancurd pudding in Singapore), youtiao is so well-loved that singer JJ Lin has even written a song titled “soy milk and youtiao“.

Traditional Chinese youtiao (left) and Donut Sticks from McDonald’s in the US.
The New Paper, Business Insider

According to How, a Chinese talk show programme on YouTube, McDonald’s version of the youtiao is firmer and much smaller in size.

While Donut Sticks are usually covered in cinnamon sugar, one of the hosts says that they can be custom ordered without the topping. Without the sugar topping, the similarity in taste of a Donut Stick to a Chinese youtiao goes up to “95 per cent”, she says.

The hosts also tried dipping the donut sticks (without cinnamon sugar) into soy milk, and were surprised by how tasty it was.

Some people have even commented that Donut Sticks taste even more like the real deal than the youtiao sold at some Chinese restaurants in the US, the hosts say.

According to McDonald’s website, Donut Sticks are made of enriched flour, water, butter, vegetable oil, sugar, vital wheat gluten, salt, milk, yeast and other ingredients.


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A couple of weeks after McDonald’s launched the item in the US, the topic “McDonald’s in America is selling youtiao” gained traction on Weibo, attracting over 210 million views and 12,000 discussions by March 14.

Interestingly, McDonald’s does sell youtiao as a breakfast item in its China stores.

McDonald’s China

Watch a taste test of the Donut Sticks in the video below:

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