I’m not sure exactly where to draw the line. But I am confident that the latest novelty burger from Burger King Thailand crosses the line. It’s a Cheeseburger. In the purest sense of the term. That is, it’s pure cheese…
As faithful FFB readers will know, the Asian regional units of the major burger joint brands have the freedom to develop and deploy versions of their core products that more closely suit the tastes and traditions of the cultures in which they’re operating.
We regularly see Asian ‘burgers’ that bear little resemblance to what we in the west consider proper burgers. And the craziest of them get mentioned here, in our weekly Fast Food News feature, as ‘International Alert’ items.
The latest far-out ‘burger’
The latest weird burger to grab out attention is a new Cheeseburger from Burger King Thailand. It’s perhaps the most authentic expression of the Cheeseburger concept ever created, Because it’s all cheese. No Meat. No toppings. No condiments. Just 20 slices of American (Processed) Cheese on a sesame seed bun.
Naturally, something this extreme has spawned a hail of social media comments ranging from ‘heaven’ to ‘revolting’.
Cheese is something new
Cheese is relatively new to Thai culinary culture. But young folks especially have taken to it since Western fast food chains introduced it as a component of their ‘classic’ burgers. And we’re talking plain, old American (*Processed) cheese, here. Not Cheddar, or Mozz. Not Swiss or Jack. In other words, not real cheese at all. But I digress.
So beloved has American Cheese become in a relatively short time, that it’s showing up on top of many Thai menu items.
A cheese stampede
If you consider that it takes 20 slices of cheese to make one ‘Real Cheese Burger’, it follows that cheese management has become a challenge for BKs in Thailand.
One outlet apparently had to suspend filling delivery orders for the new fad-burger to ensure they had enough cheese to meet the demand of sit-down diners.
Observers say it’s common for fast food brands to use social media to promote their new menu items. The Real Cheeseburger went viral.
Real customer feedback
Customers interviewed by CNN shared the opinion that the all-cheese burger was, ‘a bit to much’, and ‘to intense’.
Im Jeepetch, a 25-year-old IT engineer, said “I could only finish half of it. This is an insane amount of cheese added into one burger. Food is good when things are at the right combination.” She said she wouldn’t order the gooey monster again. “Other burgers are already good. I think I will go back to my Double Cheese Angus as usual.”
Alisa Chuengviroj, a 26-year-old entrepreneur who sells skincare products online, concurred: “I may not try it again. I like a few slices of cheese in my burger but not this much.”
Not all that healthy, either
Just as a sort of footnote, the Real Cheeseburger violates just about all the rules of healthy eating.
There’s only starch, a little dairy, and a cocktail of vegetable oil and additives in the Processed Cheese. The really important stuff – including meat – is totally absent. No Fruit. No veggies. No lettuce or tomato. Nada.
There are some fast food menu items that offer a fairly decent mix of meat, veggies and starches. You could take your choice from among the flagship burgers from any of the burger joints. But any dietitian worthy of the title would be shocked at the idea of an all-cheese burger.
But the question remains? How much further back should be draw the line on unhealthy and potentially unsafe fast food items?
~ Maggie J.