Reading last weekend’s WaPo write-up on Bolt Burgers (“coming soon” – where have I heard that before? – to 1010 Massachusetts Ave. NW, bringing allegedly “high impact toppings” and “glorious sides”) and their high-tech system for allowing hamburger procurement without any human interaction (sweet!) made me wonder what other burger technology innovations have recently been perpetrated. It turns out, lots. The burgers will be taking over the world any time now. They may have already taken over Congress — who could tell?
The biggest recent news is surely the world’s first lab-grown burger, created in a Netherlands lab, cooked by a Brit, and tasted by an Austrian who first said “it’s close to meat, but it’s not that juicy” and ten seconds later “this is meat to me” so, ambivalence? She did not compare it to strudel. The lab-burger project was funded by Google co-founder Sergey Brin, so at least the U.S. played some role, I would hate to think we are being outmaneuvered on the international Frankenstein burger front.
Although it turns out most burger innovation indeed happens in foreign lands. For example, in Japan, Burger King is offering the Black Ninja burger, involving a blackened bun, hash browns, and a comically oversized slice of ham. Viewed from above, it looks like a geoduck dressed for battle. And in China, noted burger experts KFC have introduced the Beef Up, featuring six layers of thin-sliced beef, supposedly to keep it moist. Nothing in this paragraph makes any sense.
Back to Japan, we have the Liberation Wrapper, “a burger holding device that allows women to tear into [Freshness Burger’s] largest item (the “classic burger”) with abandon.” Because, you know, women otherwise would not be able to eat burgers. Or they could only eat abandoned burgers, or something. Japanese culture! This product was featured on this past weekend’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, as the one true story, I believe.
Then there is CheeseburgerTech, which has nothing to do with cheeseburgers and may not even be a real company.
Of course, none of these new burgery developments compare to classic early 1980s burger technology. One of my favorite Apple II games.