Archive for the ‘hamburgers’ tag
Note: This critique excludes French fries.
Ok, I’ve had this on my chest for quite some time, so forgive the lack of sources, thoughtful analysis or coherent structure.
Am I the only one of the apparent 47 million served on planet Earth each day who thinks McDonald’s should just get out of the burger business altogether and try something new.
Maybe tacos or pizza.
But seriously, McD’s burgers are lifeless, tasteless, dry wastes of my time, energy and money. So, in the absence of a Hardees within throwing distance, nay, driving distance, I decided to try one of McD’s new and heralded Angus burgers today. News flash: It’s as dry and forgettable as their other offerings, and frankly, I think the Whopper, at a cheaper price, is bigger and more satisfying. Meanwhile, Hardees’ thick burgers put McD’s Angus burgers to shame. To review, if it’s fast food we’re talking about — a lowly brand of burger, I know — Hardees pwns McD’s shotty attempt at a culinary retort.
As I was choking down this non-juicy thing (I had already doused it with hefty doses of salt, pepper and mayonnaise to try to help it out a little), I was amazed, in mid-chew, by the “Savor the Flavor” bit of rhetoric on the takeout bag. Savor what? The dried-out bun, the government cheese or the tasteless beef? It goes without saying, then, that places like Wendy’s, Burger King and hell, even Checkers, also pwn McD’s in the $1-menu category of burger. The former three actually have some semblance of taste. Burger King’s dollar burger actually tastes grilled. Checkers cheap burgers are at least savory and heartily seasoned.
So, the morale of this crudely constructed thesis? If I’m going to die because some crackpot doctor screwed up on my cholesterol-induced triple bypass heart surgery, I would rather The King woo me to the operating room.
If you’re looking for more nonsense from this politically correct, hyper sensitive, be-fearful-of-everything-from-what’s-on-TV-to-video-games era of child rearing in which we are living, look no further than the American Academy of Pediatrics‘s proposal to redesign the hot dog, citing choking hazards. In this article, Dr. Gary Smith, lead author of the AAP policy statement, said:
If you were to find the best engineers in the world and ask them to design the perfect plug for a child’s airway, you couldn’t do much better than the hot dog. It is the right shape and the right size to wedge itself in and completely block a child’s airway. It’s only a matter of minutes before permanent brain damage and death occur.
If this is the case, logic would suggest that a good parent wouldn’t let their child eat hot dogs under any circumstance unless they were cut up into small pieces. But why bother with such a pesky thing as logic when we can add choking hazard labels and resign an American tradition. In fact, if we took the latter approach, it would cease to be a hot dog, and according to Eric Hummel, director of marketing for Hummel Brothers Meat Products, such a reinvention wouldn’t even be possible. I was actually driving when I caught this interview with Robert Siegel on NPR. Hummel indicated that
… we’re at a loss on a redesign. You know, when my kids were little, even though I make hot dogs, I would always cut them up into bite-size pieces for them.
SIEGEL: So, that is one way to take an otherwise potentially fatal hot dog and turn it into a benign food for the smallest child.
Mr. HUMMEL: That’s right, that’s right. And, you know, the way we make a hot dog, it would be virtually impossible to make it in really any other shape. And I don’t know if that’s what the pediatricians were getting at, to change the shape. But the recommendation that we always give families with young children is to make sure that the hot dog itself is a skinless hot dog and you try to buy the skinniest ones that we make.
Hummel went on to say:
… when a hot dog is made, the meat is ground up and then it’s put through an emulsifier, which has small little pinholes on it. So, all the meat is pushed through there. So, it comes out the emulsion as more like a dough. And then that dough is put into a casing whether it be a natural casing, a collagen casing or a cellulose casing … So, there’s really no way to stuff that emulsion or dough into anything other than sort of a long narrow casing. There’s no way to make a hot dog in say like a hamburger patty form.
Janet Riley, president of the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council, got it right when she told USA Today:
As a mother who has fed toddlers cylindrical foods like grapes, bananas, hot dogs and carrots, I ‘redesigned’ them in my kitchen by cutting them with a paring knife until my children were old enough to manage on their own.
So, what’s next? People choke on steak all the time. I could easily go down for the three-count on my next ribeye, but enough chews and a nearby drink have, thus far, prevented catastrophe. Are we to target butchers now and harangue them into producing even more tender, delicatable steak? Or maybe the cows are at fault …?
and meaningless on the cultural front.
Someone should tell Hardees execs — and now McDonald’s execs — that is extremely annoying pulling up to the drive-thru window and being asked questions like, “Would you care to try our new pork chop gravy, corn bread and mashed potato omelet bowl today?”
“Actually, no I don’t want to try your new bistro chipotle wrap, thanks. I want to try whatever it is I tell you I want to try.”
I go to Hardees often because their biscuits are grease-tastically good, and I apparently feel a certain desire to nudge my lifespan ever downward. So, I hear the obligatory, “Would you like to try our new pork chop gravy biscuit today?” quite often. Sometimes, the cashier forgets what it is she’s supposed to be pushing over on us, and there’s this awkward pause: “Would you like to try our … … bacon, sausage portobello … no wait, baby back rib gravy bowl … oh wait … oh yeah, pork chop gravy biscuit.” I used to be like, “No thanks. I’ll have … ” But I don’t even acknowledge they asked me anything anymore. I just pretend as if they never said anything and continue with the order. It’s the only way I can live with myself.
Needless to say, it’s maddening, and I feel like driving off right then and there. I go to Bojangles most of the time for biscuits nowadays, though. At least they ask us what we want rather than tell us what they think we should get. Sadly, McDonald’s has now started the trend … at least the one in Clemson, S.C. If they only knew how super annoying it was for the customer, they would stop the practice immediately and let me decide whether I want to try their new fruit loop, flap jack, super-duper whatever, whatever on my own.