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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Worldwide weird: See the world’s largest Big Mac

World's largest Big Mac

McDonald’s most iconic sandwich, the Big Mac, has a 14ft tall replica and a whole Pennsylvania museum to its name. (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams/McDonald’s-HO)

At 14ft tall and 12ft across, the world’s largest Big Mac looks good enough to eat, if you could fit it in your mouth — just each pickle measures two feet across.

Thankfully, the museum where the sculpture is housed is also a working McDonald’s restaurant, so you can immediately feed the craving with a smaller, edible version of the iconic sandwich. The Big Mac Museum in North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania opened in 2007 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the burger’s creation. Pennsylvania resident and franchise owner Jim “MJ” Delligatti put together the two all beef-patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun in 1967 as an offering specifically geared to adults amid the Ronald McDonald, kid-friendly atmosphere. By 1968, the burger was available at restaurants nationwide and made history with its ingredient-focused advertising campaign.

Exhibits in the museum trace the evolution of the Big Mac’s packaging and catchy marketing, which became iconic in its own right in 1974 when some customers were rewarded with a free Big Mac if they could sing the seven ingredient jingle in under four seconds . One section explores the International Big Mac, a montage highlighting slogans and images from the 100-plus countries where the sandwich is sold.

The ubiquity of the sandwich worldwide has proven to have economic importance as well, as The Economist magazine has run its Big Mac Index since 1986, which compares the price of the Big Mac across countries to value currency. One thing the museum doesn’t reveal: the recipe to the famous special sauce.

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