Thursday, June 14, 2012

The BK Bacon Sundae: An opinion

It's Flag Day in America, and what better day to debut something as keenly democratic and capitalistic as the Bacon Sundae at Burger King?

No better day, that's when.

So, while others have called this "obvious pandering, a clumsy and manipulative stab at trend-chasing" and a "caloric bomb", I call it ... a tiny opportunity for reflection on the state of such things in Charlotte.

So here's what we know. In Charlotte on the debut day, it wasn't offered in the uptown Trade Street store yet, according to the guy who answered the phone. And at the nearby location I finally found, it actually looked like this ...
which is the soft-serve ice cream with "bacon crumbles" placed at the bottom and on top. It's debut day, after all, and things are chaotic: The cashier said when I ordered, "I don't think we're even serving that yet," despite the giant video running behind her on a large screen, then couldn't find it on the register. Still, she knew a little about how it was supposed to be made: When I ran back in from the car to say "Isn't there supposed to be chocolate sauce?" she said: "Yes. And it's supposed to be at the bottom."

She added some -- a nicely fudgy thick sort, too, I must say, making it look like this:
(Actually, it was also missing caramel sauce and a "thick-cut, hardwood smoked bacon garnish," but I loathe quibbling.)

How was it? Awful. Hammy-textured bacon (as in all chew, no crunch, even on the bits not buried at the bottom), no salty pop, thick fatty edges that turned leaden. Mind you, I like chocolate-covered bacon, and have written lovingly about it -- unpublished, though, since it was suspected the average reader would not be interested in the stuff. This, at $2.80 (including tax), has more than 500 calories, 61 grams of sugar and 18 grams of fat, and is worth exactly none of that. ( Meh, said Esquire, with whom I agree.) Is it dehumanizing? Another way corporate fast-food places are trying to kill us? A statement on Americans' obsession with fat and sugar and disregard of nutritional health?

I think not. It's just a junky conversation piece that will be gone in a few weeks. It's not nearly as disturbing as the Double Down or cheeseburger-stuffed pizza crust.

And ... there are two heartening pieces of good news, Charlotte:

1. The ice cream product actually did melt on my way back to the office, placing it squarely in the normal range of ice cream behavior, something that cannot always be said of fast-food ice cream products.

2. And at nearly 1 p.m. Thursday, mine was only the second Bacon Sundae this location had sold. I'm proud of my city. And curious about whoever bought the first ... Call me!


bs13690 said...

I figured as much. The only way to have good bacon ice cream, sundae, etc. is to have GOOD bacon. BK bacon is not good.

Anonymous said...

The sight of bacon strips in ice cream with chocolate syrup makes me want to throw up.