It's no surprise that McDonald's customers love a range of condiments to create endless flavor combinations -- from classics like the spread on a Big Mac to Sweet 'N Sour sauce or fan-favorite limited time launches like Szechuan, the Golden Arches knows the recipe for success when it comes to developing a secret sauce.
On Tuesday, McDonald's announced two new limited-time additions to its condiment menu: a first-ever breakfast-inspired sauce -- Sweet & Spicy Jam -- and Mambo sauce, which both hit menus nationwide Oct. 9.
Sweet & Spicy Jam, Mambo dipping sauce added to McDonald's menu
First up is Sweet & Spicy Jam, a jammy red pepper sauce made with a Szechuan peppercorn kick and cayenne pepper, and balanced with sweetness from apple cider vinegar to bring sweet heat to the breakfast menu. The McDonald's culinary team recommends adding this first-of-its-kind condiment to Bacon Egg & Cheese Biscuits, hash browns and Sausage McMuffins.
Second is McDonald's new Mambo sauce, is a tomato-based, sweet, spicy and vinegary sauce that's inspired by a regional Washington, D.C.-area staple with a rich history, beloved at chicken shack and Chinese food eateries alike. This sauce is a perfectly spicy addition to Chicken McNuggets and the McCrispy Chicken Sandwich, as well as McDonald's classic french fries.
McDonald's Chief Marketing Officer Tariq Hassan helped unveil the two new sauces alongside McDonald's chef Mike Lingo and James Beard Award-nominated Washington D.C.-based chef Jerome Grant this week.
"How do we impact the taste of culture?" Hassan asked at the unveiling event on Tuesday, discussing what led McDonald's to this launch. "To celebrate what could appear to be a little packet, but has so much more meaning to it, and the experience our fans have with our sauces, really, is part of what led us to this."
Lingo, who's worked in the food industry since he was 14, graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and went on to study food science before joining McDonald's, conceptualized the recipes with Grant.
The pair did a "food trek" around D.C., Grant said, to taste various examples of the regional staple Mambo sauce -- commonly served at chicken shacks and Chinese takeout restaurants -- "to dive into what Mambo sauce could be for McDonald's." (A similar sauce, called Mumbo Sauce or "mild sauce", has roots in Chicago and is also typically found at take-out restaurants.)
"It's a privilege to represent culture through food," Grant added of his role on the McDonald's culinary council, which led to his involvement in the latest dipping sauce. "We talk about food and how much it represents who we are. I was born in the Philippines, my father is Jamaican and I was raised in D.C."
He hailed the cayenne pepper-packed sauce as "super phenomenal" on chicken, especially because it "has a nice kick to it" without being overpowering on the capsaicin scale.
"We had a lot of collaboration -- a lot of work's been done to bring this one sauce to the market and its been through so many hands. I believe that's why it's so great and so tasty," Grant said, noting that McDonald's Mambo sauce is made with ingredients from Black suppliers.
Sauce culture has a huge following on social media, with McDonald's fans and fast food reviewers showing off dipping techniques, personal twists on menu classics and even all the spots they stash extra sauce cups.
As a result, McDonald's tapped a few top TikTok creators to show off their first-taste reaction videos in the ad campaign for the two new sauces: @Mr.Eats305, @sharidyonne, @santanakeish, @misslegarda, @natelovlogs and @blackgirlsexploredc.
Each creator will be sharing their favorite ways to enjoy both sauces on their various social media channels.