What is it about McDonald's that makes it so addictive? I mean, on the face of it, there is nothing appealing about their food. It's greasy, the burger patties are paper-thin and it never actually fills you up (McDonald's hunger is a real thing). But, such is the appeal of McDonald's, plenty of people have been left trying to match the flavors - with the Big Mac Sauce being a particular 'Holy Grail'.
This ever-growing trend has led to an online community blossoming out of the greasy oil of a deep fat fryer. The Facebook group "Homemade McDonald's" was the birthchild of visual artist Joel Cornell, who started his culinary hobby as a joke.
"I used to make 'McDonald's' food for friends at barbecues," Joel told the Mirror. "It was just a bit of fun, but people said, 'hey, this is really good', so I shared some photos of my food online and people were interested. I started the group and it went from there."
After encouraging others to replicate the goods from the Golden Arches, Joel's group has grown to 7,000 members, with them regularly uploading their efforts and being scored out of ten.
"People seem really into it," Joel said. "They love it. McDonald's is quite nostalgic. It reminds everyone of birthday parties when they were kids and everything, so I think they quite like trying to make it themselves.
"Trying to get that flavour and look is creative. And obviously nailing the process feels pretty cool. It's quite rewarding. I still eat genuine McDonald's. I had one the other day. But I guess making it at home is something different. And a bit healthier. I thought it was funny but I didn't think it would get this big. People keep coming and posting their food pictures".
Joel, who is 31 and from Melbourne, Australia, claims that he has mastered the Big Mac - including his own adaption of the "special sauce" that we all love. However, while finding the recipe to some of the items may sound difficult, you think the fries would be easy, right?
"Fries are actually one of the hardest things", Joel told The Mirror.
"Most people seem to buy frozen. Slicing them thinly and frying them – a lot of the time they come out pale and soggy. But some of the dishes in the group look pretty amazing."
There are some regulations to the group, with Joel stipulating that all food must be from the official menu, current or previous. Also, recipes are integral, and people "must show a basic constructive discussion to a potential cook".
Despite it being predominantly meat-heavy, Joel has also accepted vegans and vegetarians into the group in order to make it a more diverse landscape. However, despite the growing popularity, he still retains pretty chilled out about the whole ordeal. "I'm not the first to cook homemade McDonald's," Joel said. "Lots of people have tried it. This is just a place for people to show off their attempts and improve."
"It's also a bit of a laugh."
So there you have it; the secret to the Big Mac Sauce is out there - you just have to join a Facebook group to find out what it is.