Getting to Know Fast Food Meat, Part II

Getting to Know Fast Food Meat, Part II

Burger King

Unlike many of my generation, I did not grow up on fast food. I grew up in a very rural area of Wisconsin and the the closest thing to fast food that was the closest to us geographically was an A& W Drive In where they had shag carpet on the floor and still served root beer in glass mugs. It was a hamburger restaurant, technically, but they cooked stuff from scratch and had real cutlery and the service wasn't even all that peppy, so calling it “fast food” was a stretch.

My mom took me to McDonald's when I was probably eight or nine and I remember thinking “hmmm this is pretty fun” I doubt that I thought it was tasty; we grew most of our own food, my mom even baked her own bread and what we couldn't grow, we bought from our neighbors. To me, beef came from the deep freeze labeled with the stamp of the farm the cow grew up on; we bought what we called a “half beef” every year. I didn't taste Taco Bell until was probably a teenager and I didn't have Burger King, if I recall correctly, until I went away to college.

I remember the first time I bit into a Whopper. It was as if all my taste buds had until that moment been waiting for just that moment. I loved the combination of a hideous amount of mayonnaise (I never realized how much until I started trying to wipe it off many years later) with the tangyness of the slice of tomatoe and the just mushy enough bun with the pure heaven of the flame broiled beef. I still don't know if I believe it's “flame broiled” isn't it just as likely to be a spray? But if it is, why do the areas around Burger King restaurants smell so much like barbecue?