The Joy of Burgers

Posted on June 4, 2012

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My Turkey Bacon Double Cheeseburger

Does anyone remember the 2000 film Requiem For A Dream? Those that haven’t, it’s a tale of three people’s struggles with drug addictions, that have dire consequences for each of them. I won’t be a spoilsport but all that needs to be said is, you can ignore reality, but you can’t ignore the consequences of ignoring reality. Drugs are bad people. Mmm ‘kay? Someone very wise said that, so sadly cannot take credit for that quote.

My own personal vice is the consumption of meat patties (plural as double cheeseburgers are my personal favourite), sandwiched between two pieces of bread with condiments, lettuce and a slice of processed cheese. For as far back as I can remember burgers have been the food of kings. It is comfort food at its absolute zenith. Say what you will about fast food, health concerns and big brother telling us how too much salt and saturated fat can cause a coronary the very moment they’re ingested in our system. For five minutes, you can stick your finger wagging where the sun doesn’t shine as I indulge.

When I take that first bite into my cheeseburger, I’m reminded of that scene from Requiem For A Dream where a blink-and-you-miss-it sequence of actions of a drug being intravenously inserted into a vein with split second shots of an eye pupil being dilated and the effect of the drug being in the blood stream. It’s like that with me – the unwrapping of a burger, pupils dilate of the wonderment of such a salty, fatty but delicious ‘meal’, that first big bite chomping down into two buns, meat, gherkin and cheese being sent down my gullet. With a bit of ketchup on my chin for good measure and washed down with some Coke.

I can’t begin to think what all that processed food is doing to my body.  Last year I went to see a nutritionist at work with concerns that I was stressed far too much and lost my temper too easily. I was basically told what to eat and what not to eat. It all came down to sugars essentially. Did you know that there’s 9 grams of sugar in a Big Mac? Yep, Nine grams. Which is why I probably reigned in the burgers a bit more sparingly at that point. I’ll never quite lay off permanently – those Quarter Pounders with Cheese are like an old friend. A pick me up from a terrible day at work or failing at life.

In fact, when I was in my early teens, I rang up LBC 97.3 to talk of the joys of burger and fries. The topic in question was what the listeners favourite food was. Before I went on air I was ready to enthuse about my love for fried meat, but from what I remember, I let the presenter chat the whole way through about that first bite, that simple pleasure with a monosyllabic teen saying ‘err yeah…yeah.’ Maybe he likes Requiem For A Dream too.

But in the last couple of years, it has come to my attention that London has propped itself up with a lot of pop-up burger eateries, such as Meat Liquor, Lucky Chip, Honest Burgers to name some arbitrarily. It would appear that I’m not alone in this meat craze currently sweeping the city.

I’d like to think though that there’s a science to a good burger. While it might seem like a basic, simple technique, there’s a meticulous, methodical way of putting everything together just right. If perfection can’t be achieved in that way, then we just have to settle for the highest in burger excellence, whilst being no-nonsense all at the same time. In fact, the picture you see at the top of the page is my attempt of a Turkey Bacon Double Cheeseburger. None too shabby if I do say so myself.

Now I love food. Throughout my twenty-eight years living on this planet, I’ve tried many things. Burgers are it for me. Everything is second best, an also-ran by comparison. Sorry Bakewell Tarts, Apple Pies and Fried Chicken. The combination of ingredients coming together is like that of ebony and ivory – working together in harmony.

And where the drug addled characters on Requiem got into a foetal position from the misery their addictions have caused through heroin, cocaine and diet pills, I’d only curl into that in bed for overeating, but winning. Another satisfying meal at Meat Liquor. As the picture will show below members of the jury.

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