The King, the Bacon Sundae and I

Burger King dabbles in the bacon-fetish market with its new dessert

Iwalked into Burger King earlier this week because I wanted to eat dead animal parts sprinkled lovingly on soft-serve vanilla ice cream.

Back up. I didn't want to do this, but felt I had to, for you, dear reader. If you think I'm going to spend the next 20 inches making light of my suffering — nay, my martyring — for your sins, you are gravely mistaken.

I take this seriously.

The King unveiled the Bacon Sundae with little fanfare. It sort of slipped under the radar and into the American meal rotation. Or as under the radar as a 510-calorie dairy-and-pork concoction possibly can.

You have to question the motives of a fast-food chain that already slings one of the deadliest burgers in the world. The Triple Whopper with Cheese is 1,230 calories of heart-murdering fun between two toasty buns.

Mind you, this is based on a 2,000-calorie diet. In effect, chase one of those babies with a Bacon Sundae, and you're well on your way to a full day's calorie requirement for the typical denizen of a first-world country.

I gleaned this information from Caloriecount.com, a morbidly fascinating website documenting our county's decline into a cesspit of artery gunk, rolls of back fat and diabetes.

Caloriecount.com gives the Triple Whopper with Cheese a "D" on its nutrition grade. How in the hell do you get an "F"? Maybe throw a loaded Glock in the bag with the sandwich and a note reading: "Go ahead and do it, you worthless, obese turd. No one will ever love you, anyway."

I'm not picking on The King, here. Taco Bell is now shoveling its basement mixture of cow gristle and stray cat meat into hardshells made from Doritos. That's as bad as it gets, culinarily speaking.

In the event of the zombie apocalypse, I would willingly join the ranks of the undead horde even if I should happen onto a secret, air-tight vault stuffed with millions of cow-cat Dorito tacos that I could live on forever.

I decided to consult the Mail Tribune food-section editor Sarah Lemon before I ingested the Bacon Sundae. I don't know what I hoped to glean from her, except maybe moral support.

"So, I'm gonna eat a sundae with bacon on it for my column this week," I said.

Sarah took a moment to consider this statement before replying. She holds food experiences in high regard.

"Do you think they use bacon bits or whole strips of fried bacon?" she asked. "Bacon bits would be ... understandable. I guess."

I plodded up to The King during my lunch hour on Wednesday. The temperatures touched 90 degrees that day. I was sweaty before I reached the door.

A thought kept running through my head as I waited in line behind an old man who seemed confused by The King's overhauled menu and a guy with a Jackson County Jail wristband and a tattoo on his arm that read, "Only God Can Judge Me."

I can turn back and head to Cold Stone Creamery at any time, I thought. Why am I wasting time on bad ice cream?

I approached the counter and had the following exchange with the cashier. I felt like I was buying a new run of crack in west Baltimore.

"Do you guys sell the Bacon Sundae?" I asked.

"Yeah, man," he said. "You want one?"

"Let's do it," I said. "Have they been popular?"

"Oh yeah," he said. "Surprising. I had one, and they're actually not bad."

Bacon fetishism runs strong through our culture. I don't know where it comes from. As far as meat goes, it is among the more visibly attractive variations. I dig it with breakfast on occasion, but I'm not a fan of it on burgers. Garnishing meat with meat is disturbing and wrong, and we should stop doing it.

I plunked down around $4 for my Bacon Sundae and saw two mysteries solved immediately.

It's (thankfully) smaller than it looks in advertisements and, yes, it is garnished with large chunks of fried bacon.

I ate the thing in five minutes. The soft-serve has a weighty texture and is not overly fluffy like Dairy Queen these days. The bacon is dry, not soggy and limp like you would find on a Whopper.

In a way, it wasn't much different than salted peanuts on a sundae. Sweet and savory is Food Paring 101. The disappointing thing about the Bacon Sundae is how completely unrevolutionary it is.

It's a shame that the Bacon Sundae seems destined to give chocolate and meat pairing a bad name. Anyone who has had quality molé or a dark-chocolate sauce brushed onto a fine steak knows what I'm talking about.

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 541-776-4471 or email cconrad@mailtribune.com.


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