A Paean To The Big Mac

November 3, 2014

I am now more than 65 years old, and I have never yet eaten anything from McDonalds.  I always joke with the everloving that I’ll have a Big Mac on my 100th birthday — but not before.

I hasten to note that my aversion to McDonalds has little to do with healthy eating.  I’ll demolish an A&W Teen Burger, or a couple of BK’s bacon double cheeseburgers as quick as anyone.  No, the problem with McDonalds for me is the smell.  That special McDonalds smell spreads a block each way from every McDonalds store and lingers.  I hate that.

bigmac

Still, McDonalds is incredibly popular and, from this review of the Big Mac from Fast Food Critic, you’d expect it to be.  Rarely can something so formulaic and manufactured have been honoured with such praise!

I’m happy to report the burger and overall experience was great. The special sauce was creamy, distributed evenly, and as intended was the perfect complimentary flavor without overpowering the other ingredients. I had forgotten how satisfying the Big Mac really is. Growing up, it was my staple burger. Once in a blue moon, I would attempt eating two of them (keep in mind I was just a kid and eating 2 would be quite an accomplishment), but I’d only be able to handle one. The Big Mac is still the same as when I was a kid, and most of you probably remember the ingredients by singing that famous old song that’s still floating around in your head… “Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.”

The bun of the Big Mac has 3 pieces, and the center bread splits the burger into two sections, each with it’s own beef patty and toppings. The top of the bun is coated with sesame seeds, and all the pieces are lightly toasted. It’s a good bun, and even though it has 3 parts you never feel overwhelmed by having too much bread …

With only 1 slice of cheese (American), you might think they skimped on this burger, but that’s not the case. It’s all part of the plan, and everything is in balance. Each ingredient makes a solid contribution, blending together to create a winning combination of flavors. There’s nothing to add or cut. Just order a Big Mac, and eat it the way it was intended. You won’t need extra cheese or anything else.

Now, doesn’t that make you want to put a peg on your nose and run right out to the neighbourhood McDonalds? I’ll be there myself in 35 years or so.

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A Paean To The Big Mac

January 17, 2009

Later this year I will be 60 years old.  And I have never yet eaten anything from McDonalds.  I always joke with my wife that I’ll have a Big Mac on my 100th birthday — but not before.

I hasten to note that my aversion to McDonalds has little to do with healthy eating.  I’ll demolish an A&W Teen Burger, or a couple of BK’s bacon double cheeseburgers as quick as anyone.  No, the problem with McDonalds for me is the smell.  That special McDonalds smell spreads a block each way from every McDonalds store and lingers.  I hate that.

bigmac

Still, McDonalds is incredibly popular and, from this review of the Big Mac from Fast Food Critic, you’d expect it to be.  Rarely can something so formulaic and manufactured have been honoured with such praise!

I’m happy to report the burger and overall experience was great. The special sauce was creamy, distributed evenly, and as intended was the perfect complimentary flavor without overpowering the other ingredients. I had forgotten how satisfying the Big Mac really is. Growing up, it was my staple burger. Once in a blue moon, I would attempt eating two of them (keep in mind I was just a kid and eating 2 would be quite an accomplishment), but I’d only be able to handle one. The Big Mac is still the same as when I was a kid, and most of you probably remember the ingredients by singing that famous old song that’s still floating around in your head… “Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.”

The bun of the Big Mac has 3 pieces, and the center bread splits the burger into two sections, each with it’s own beef patty and toppings. The top of the bun is coated with sesame seeds, and all the pieces are lightly toasted. It’s a good bun, and even though it has 3 parts you never feel overwhelmed by having too much bread …

With only 1 slice of cheese (American), you might think they skimped on this burger, but that’s not the case. It’s all part of the plan, and everything is in balance. Each ingredient makes a solid contribution, blending together to create a winning combination of flavors. There’s nothing to add or cut. Just order a Big Mac, and eat it the way it was intended. You won’t need extra cheese or anything else.

Now, doesn’t that make you want to put a peg on your nose and run right out to the neighbourhood McDonalds?


I Love Burgers

September 27, 2008

It’s true. I know they’re bad for you, with no redeeming features, but I just love them. Burgers are one of North America’s gifts to the world, along with jazz and playing golf for money. Here on the Drive, Fet’s makes the best burgers in the city; and every once in a while I just gotta have one. And I do.

In the Weekly Standard this week, is a review by Victorino Matus of Josh Ozersky’s Hamburger: A History“.  The history of the burger, something I have read a great deal about, is the history of American merchandising and the development of consumer capitalism.  It happens concurrently with  the development of other forms of retail merchandising such as supermarkets and malls.  It is all about brands and systems and algorithms that can calculate customer satisfaction-per-dollar-spent.

As the “History” reminds us, there were fast-food systems before Roy Kroc.  There was Walt Anderson and Billy Ingram and the “White Castle System”, as well as Bob Wian’s Big Boy system in California.   But Roy Kroc was special, even though, by the time he met the McDonalds brothers they had:

already successfully converted their drive-in that once served barbecue and employed carhops into, according to Ozersky, “a profit machine that you would turn on in the morning and turn off at night,” thanks to the McDonalds’ Speedee Service System. The menu was shortened and the food preparation resembled an assembly line (involving six-foot griddles, precision condiment pumps, and a heat bar to keep the sandwiches warm). In addition, the owners’ target customers were no longer teenagers but the family–particularly busy postwar mothers. By 1961, annual sales totaled $61 million; today, that number soars to $29 billion.

This would be a fascinating book to take with me next time I simply can’t resist one of Eric’s special Fet’s Burgers.