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The apple pie is dead. Long live the apple pie.

Tim Nelson
Updated: September 13, 2018

In their own ways, McDonald’s and apple pie are both treasured American emblems. Subsequently, a logical case could be made that McDonald’s apple pie is representative of America itself. Amid these uncertain times and the questions about America’s fundamental mission and ethos they inspire, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the McDonald’s apple pie is also no longer what we once thought it was.

In the near future, McDonald’s apple pies will undergo some marginal changes and ingredient shuffling in order to deliver the optimal Americana-inspired fast food dessert experience. Starting on the outside, the tasty treat will now feature a more prominent lattice-top crust in order to emulate the look of a real apple pie. Where there once was a sprinkled cinnamon and sugar topping there will now be only a sprinkled sugar topping. Minimalism is in, after all.

But fear not, cinnamon lovers! That sweet spice, which once asserted itself on the surface of the McDonald’s apple pie like an American flag in the lunar soil, can now be found inside the pie itself. Not only that, but the apples inside are sliced now. McDonald’s has disrupted— nay, transcended— the apple chopping experience, offering eaters the chance to munch on heartier chunks of Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Rome, Gala, Ida Red and Fuji. Those apples are American-grown because McDonald’s believes in keeping jobs here in the US rather than getting its apples from China (one of the world’s other leading producers).

As McDonald’s sees it, these changes to its vaguely autumnal offering is just the latest sign that the multinational fast food corporation is turning over a new leaf. "Our new freshly baked apple pie recipe is in line with other positive changes we have made," said McDonald’s spokesperson Tiffany Briggs in a statement. "We removed, for example, artificial preservatives from our Chicken McNuggets and switched to real butter in our breakfast sandwiches because those changes matter to our guests.”

The McDonald’s apple pie was born in 1968, a tumultuous year that featured the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and the violent suppression of protestors at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. The tasty treat underwent radical change in 1992 when it transitioned from a fried to a baked dessert, just two years after the first McDonald’s opened in Moscow and ushered in the collapse of Soviet communism. In the years since, a variety of pie flavors have proliferated at various locations around the US and the globe, but the apple remains the vanguard of the fast food giant’s dessert menu.

Will the tweaked apple pie usher in radical changes to US or global politics? Will noted McDonald’s fan Donald Trump tweet about how the new changes are “very unfair to me” send the company’s stock prices tumbling? Is McDonald’s still a cultural force in today’s post-postmodernist landscape?

The only thing we know for sure is that their apple pie—and America— will never truly be the same again. As with all things in America, prices and participation may vary. 

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