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Would the real McFlurry® please stand up (Image: Archi Banal/The Spinoff)
Would the real McFlurry® please stand up (Image: Archi Banal/The Spinoff)

SummerJanuary 1, 2022

What the hell has happened to the McFlurry®?

Would the real McFlurry® please stand up (Image: Archi Banal/The Spinoff)
Would the real McFlurry® please stand up (Image: Archi Banal/The Spinoff)

Summer read: Emily Writes has had enough of the lies – an unflurried McFlurry® is no McFlurry® at all.

First published July 30, 2021

This post was first published on Emily Writes Weekly.

At some point it changed. And we just accepted it. We didn’t rise up in the streets and demand our McFlurrys be flurried. And now it’s too late.

The McFlurry® was introduced to the world in 1997. It was an important year – divorce was legalised in the Republic of Ireland, the world (or at least the US) was given the DVD, Pokémon debuted, Princess Diana died, and the first Prius was sold. But none of that news was as big as the news that the McFlurry® had arrived.

The McFlurry® was cutting-edge technology. A spoon that attached to a blender that whipped already wonderful McDonald’s soft-serve ice cream and decadent toppings into a delicious whirl of goodness. It was a revelation.

Legend told that you could hold a McFlurry® upside down and the whip was so flurried that no ice cream would fall from its customised container.

Oreos, M&Ms, Cadbury Creme Egg and Cookie Time were all once available as flavours to be flurried into a delicious McFlurry®.

But then, something changed. McFlurries stopped being flurried. I remember what a true McFlurry® tasted like. It tasted like a dream. M&Ms ripped into tiny pieces by the roar of the McFlurry® spoon blender, perfectly smooshed into delicious whipped ice cream that no longer resembled a soft-serve.

Those days are gone.

It has been a long time since I’ve had a proper McFlurry®. Now, when you order a McFlurry® you will get a bastardised version. Oreo is the only flavour left. It is simply a soft-serve sundae in a McFlurry® cup without the chocolate sauce with a weak sprinkling of Oreo.

The McDonald’s website now admits this, describing the McFlurry® as: “Delicious pieces of crunchy OREO® cookie pieces, on top our creamy soft serve.”

I sent five questions to McDonald’s asking about the 2021 McFlurry®. Its spokesperson confirmed things have changed since 1997.

“Restaurants had a machine that used the spoon that came with the McFlurry to whip the soft serve and topping together. Those spoons were distinctive as they were large and had a notch where they clipped into the machine. The McFlurry came off the menu in New Zealand for a period of time in the 2000s, before being brought back after some radio and social media campaigns,” the spokesperson said.

Restaurants no longer have the original machines. And unfortunately “there wasn’t space to reintegrate them”.

The new McFlurry® process has been revealed.

“The new process, which is still used now, is to pour the soft serve, sprinkle the topping and then stir three times to mix. The original spoon was used for a period, but as there was no machine, it was not required and was constructed from much more plastics than necessary. Restaurants transitioned to the standard sundae spoon, which was then replaced last year with the new wooden spoon.”

Well, not on my watch. That is not a McFlurry®. That is just a sundae, without the chocolate, with Oreo on it – and you need to stop calling it a McFlurry®.

Because words mean stuff! A McFlurry® is a McFlurry®. You can’t just call anything a McFlurry®. Only McFlurrys® can be McFlurrys®. This is a slippery slope that leads to nowhere good. What next? Are you going to give me a McChicken and say it’s a Big Mac? Integrity matters. McDonald’s must address this grave offence that we just kind of didn’t notice for many years.

And I am not alone – national treasure Chris Parker started this crucial conversation on the McFlurry® controversy last night on his great TikTok. He speaks for all of Aotearoa when he asks: “Isn’t Ronald McDonald embarrassed about the state of the McFlurry?” In 2015, Buzzfeed Australia covered this issue, with a McDonald’s spokesperson suggesting people could ask for their McFlurries to be more flurried.

“If you like yours a little more ‘flurried’, let the crew know and they will be sure to give it a more vigorous stir,” they told Buzzfeed.

We want our McFlurrys® flurried! We will no longer stand for Unflurried McFlurrys®.

We need to ask that in a global pandemic when we have given so much to McDonald’s, isn’t it time McDonald’s gave to us? Bring back the McFlurry® machines. It’s time.

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