Every holiday comes with its traditional fare. During Lent the fast food chains bombard us with fried fish sandwiches. People lose their minds over Cadbury Easter eggs each spring. Candy corn makes Halloween more enjoyable. And for most of fall we add pumpkin to anything that will sit still. Few restaurants other than your surly neighborhood Irish pub get any attention on St. Patrick’s Day, but during the last ten years, McDonald’s has moved in on that market.
They didn’t do it with corned beef or potatoes or even soda bread, but instead with something not even remotely close to being Irish. They did it with ice cream.
Their Shamrock Shake has almost become the stuff of drive-through legends, falling behind its popular brother the McRib. With much fanfare the restaurant announces “It’s Back!” and fills customers with this cool, creamy mint shake just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Other than the fact that mint is green and St. Patrick’s day is green, we’ve yet to find much connection between the holiday and the herb.
What we have found is that the McDonald’s Shamrock Shake, for the small 12 ounces, will fill you up with 530 calories, 15 grams of fat, and 73 grams of sugar. That last one sent even us in to a bit of shock. Seventy three grams of sugar in a 12-ounce cup is, to put it mildly, a lot.
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