Shakin' Flavor Seasonings Now at Participating McDonald's

For McDonald's fans, consumers, and haters alike, the sign for “Shakin' Flavor Seasonings” may have crossed your path while walking past McDonald's and caught your eye — well, it certainly it caught mine. These seasonings are now available at participating McDonald's restaurants, including three in the FiDi (two on Market, one on Front.) They come in three flavors: parmesan garlic, zesty ranch, and chipotle BBQ. One free packet (if you ask nicely, they'll spare more than one) comes with any order of their McNuggets or fries.

[jump] When you request the 'shakin' version, the McNuggets come in a little baggie instead of their usual box. With each seasoning, I tore open a packet, dumped it in the bag, tossed in a couple of nuggets, shook it up (Note: Not only was this act a bit foreign at a food establishment, it was also incredibly loud) and repeated the process for all subsequent flavors.

The verdict: Not terrible, but not amazing, either. The nuggets were ultimately a bit too dry with just the seasoning alone and I found myself dunking them into a pool of ketchup still (being too cheap to spring for that extra $.25 or however much they charge for an extra container these days) and washing it down with my drink. The seasonings themselves coat your nuggets with the same dry, high-sodium, artificially-flavored mouthfeel that a lot of chips produce. However, each respective flavor was fairly on point — the chipotle BBQ packed a surprising heat for a fast food flavor and ended up being my favorite.

This may take a while to catch on, if it does at all, as it requires one to ditch the tried-and-true method of dipping nuggets into a condiment in favor of a somewhat tedious process of opening a separate bag and shaking. (It's novel, but not entirely new. Shake 'n Bake, anyone?) Unlike the Shamrock shake or the McRib, this isn't a seasonal or limited-time-only menu item — according to the worker I spoke to, these are a permanent fixture. However, there's no mention of the seasonings on the official website, so it may still be in a test phase.

The golden arches tend to strike people as either unadulterated deliciousness or inedible garbage, and while I concede the lack of nutritional value, I'm still among the party that's raging hard for the former. I grew up on those beloved Happy Meal boxes, worshipping their breakfast menu (and lamenting that blasted 10:30 a.m. cut-off when McDonald's stops serving them). Aside from the sticker shock, I even appreciate everything about the Filet-O-Fish, from that half-slice of orange-y yellow cheese to the steamed bun.

Anyway, my point is that Shakin' flavor seasonings are worth a try for any McDonald's (or McNugget) fan for whom a trip downtown isn't ridiculous. The next time I get McNuggets though, I'll stick to my usual classic box of sweet and sour sauce. And maybe BBQ sauce. Anybody got a quarter I can borrow?

Betty Wang is an SF-based glutton, writer, and editor. She also tweets @bettywrites and Instagrams @bettyishungry.

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