If you've been watching the Olympics, you've probably seen the ad for the new chocolate-covered strawberry frappé (small size, $3.19) from McDonald's (many times). Made from a mocha base that's buzzed up with ice, strawberry-flavored syrup, and chocolate chips, then topped with whipped cream and strawberry drizzle, it packs a sweet punch, with a nutritional profile similar to a strawberry milkshake.
Sometimes these things have bizarre textures, but the new frappé is thick and creamy, with a smoothie-like consistency that's broken up by microscopic bits of semi-sweet chocolate that bring some extra dimension. I was bracing myself for the sugar impact (there's 79 grams of the sweet stuff in the 12 ounce size), but the frappé went down surprisingly easy. That being said, I didn't come close to finishing it because flavor-wise, something is wrong with this drink.
The strawberry syrup hit me first. It's sweet and tasty, like strawberry-flavored milk. Unfortunately, right behind the sweet berry flavor is the mocha base, which tastes bitter, like burnt coffee beans or the blackened bottom of an over-baked chocolate chip cookie. You can get some relief by crunching down on the bits of chocolate chips, but it's not enough to save the drink. Even when I mixed in the whipped cream and strawberry drizzle, hoping the extra fat and sugar would mellow out the bitterness, it didn't make any noticeable difference. In the drink I tried, the burnt flavor dominated the beverage, and there was just no getting away from it.
If you're tempted to try the new chocolate-covered strawberry frappé, go with McDonald's classic strawberry milkshake instead.
About the author: Erin Jackson is a food writer and photographer who is obsessed with discovering the best eats in San Diego. You can find all of her discoveries on her San Diego food blog EJeats.com. On Twitter, she's @ErinJax