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The Real (dumb) Cheeseburger
it'll bind you up
As most of you know, a good part of my day job involves me hunting around for interesting food-related stuff on the internet. I’m fortunate enough to get to write about a mix of cool things, but you know I really thrive when I find the dumbest shit.
That’s why when I discovered that Burger King Thailand was in the process of pulling off a silly food stunt, my eyes lit up, and I jumped on the chance to write about it. Especially because the King of Burgers decided to put out a new limited-time-only item that may be one of the silliest things I’ve seen in a long while.
This incredulous item, dubbed “The Real Cheeseburger,” is merely a two ingredient sandwich: a sesame seed bun, and 20 fucking slices of American cheese.
This is not a hoax. The official Burger King Thailand Facebook page actually announced this promotion, and shortly thereafter, people started posting photos of their sandwiches on social media. If you’re in the neighborhood, The Real Cheeseburger will run you 109 Thai baht, or around $3.10, which in the scheme of things isn’t bad for a Burger King sandwich (a Whopper at our location is $5.49).
Initially, I thought about simulating it with ingredients I bought from the grocery store. But then I thought to myself, “Dannis Ree, that would not be good journalism. You owe it to the finest clowns on Earth, the readers of Food is Stupid, to try and get your hands on the real thing. Go, my son, to Burger King and see if you can convince them to make The Real Cheeseburger for you.”
Wait, did I just refer to myself as my own son?
I told Davida about my dream to try an authentic version of Burger King’s dumb cheese sandwich, and she agreed to tag along for the field trip. After we pulled into the parking lot, I turned and said to her, “You can wait here, or if you want, you can come in and watch them deny me.”
“I’m coming in. Are you kidding me? I need to see what happens,” she said, unbuckling her seat belt.
Thankfully, the Burger King wasn’t busy and Davida and I ended up being the only people in the lobby. A young employee, who was busy packing orders, turned around and greeted us. “How can I help you?” he asked.
I mentally gritted my teeth.
“Uh, so…” I said to the Burger King cashier, “I have what might sound like a really weird request. Totally understand if you can’t do it.” I paused, then cleared my throat. “Do you think you can make me a Whopper with absolutely nothing on it, no meat, no toppings, just 20 slices of cheese on a bun?”
A subtle smile slowly began creeping across the employee’s face.
“I’m trying to recreate something I saw on the internet,” I stammered. “They’re doing this at Burger King in Thailand. I’ll pay for the full Whopper and all the modifications, whatever it costs, I’m cool with paying.”
Without skipping a beat, the employee responded, “Oh, wait. I think I saw that. I know what you’re talking about. Just give me a second.”
He went in back and said a bunch of stuff to the lone line cook, and I heard a bunch of chattering back and forth. It sounded animated, and I had a sinking feeling that things might not go as I’d hoped.
The employee came back out front, adjusting his headpiece and said, in all seriousness, “We can make that for you.”
I considered jumping over the counter to hug him, but I restrained myself. Pure glee began pumping through my veins as he started punching in a custom order. “You want that on a Whopper bun, right?”
After some tapping around, he motioned for his manager to come over, who looked at the register without batting an eye. “Okay, you press this and this,” she motioned to him. They tinkered around with the point-of-sale system’s touchscreen and both went quiet for a second.
“That’s only 18 slices,” he said. She punched another button and said, “Okay. 20.” I looked over at Davida, who was grinning from ear to ear, eyes bright.
He said, “That’ll be $10.51.”
I paid and watched as the ticket went through to the kitchen.
Through the pass, I saw the line cook spring into action. She took a massive pile of cheese and started slapping it on bun that had come straight out of the toaster. I immediately scrambled to get my phone out of my pocket and managed to snap a few pics.
What started as a small pile of cheese quickly turned into a mountain.
A few moments later, the manager motioned to me at the counter and handed over a paper bag. “Whopper’s ready,” she said. As she handed it over, she looked me in the face and said, “That’ll bind you up real good.”
When we returned, I got the gang out from their little hole and allowed them to examine the Burger King bag.
They looked at it suspiciously. We rarely go to Burger King, so they already knew I was up to no good.
The make ticket was taped to the bag, which was heavy, and it explained how the kitchen had received the order.
“1 WHOP NO MEAT,” it said, in capital letters. The next line item read “2 slices chs,” followed by an instruction to make the sandwich plain. Then it said to add nine more of “2 slices chs.”
I did some complicated calculations in my head. That was 20 slices of cheese, all right.
The sandwich was genuinely heavy, so Davida suggested we weigh it on the food scale.
It came in at nearly three-quarters of a pound.
11.4 ounces, to be exact. This was a weapons-grade sandwich.
I finally peeled the bundle open and was not disappointed at what I saw.
If I ever get rich enough to buy a Lamborghini from becoming famous due to this newsletter (lol), I’ll be sure to request it in an “American Processed Cheese Product Yellow,” because holy shit. This sandwich reflected light back at us from its plasticine surface, and I briefly considered putting on sunglasses.
I cut the thing in half to bask in its true glory.
This sandwich was incredible. All the layers of cheese had started to fuse together back into the loaf from whence it came, due to the pressure from its own weight. The residual heat from the toasted bun had also melted the cheese just a touch, too. I felt as if I was looking at the decades-old cross section of an ancient tree, except one entirely made of like, processed cheese.
Davida took the first bite, and immediately started getting upset.
“Blech,” she muttered, after she ejected it from her mouth and into the garbage can. Obviously she loved it. I looked at her squarely in the eye and took a big bite, because really, how bad could it be?
In retrospect, I’m not sure why I didn’t expect this aspect of it. But aside from having that really weird gel-like texture lukewarm American cheese gets when it’s been sitting out, it turns out eating that much of it in one go is prohibitively salty.
I’m talking about a mouth-burning, blood-pressure skyrocketing amount of salt. In a normal setting, we’d be eating one or two slices of American cheese draped over a beef patty, and the concentration of sodium in it would be something we wouldn’t even notice. But eating an entire concentrated loaf of it made me feel like I’d just shoved a tablespoon of salt in my mouth.
I could only come up with one rational explanation: Burger King Thailand was trying to poison his very own subjects. As the now self-proclaimed Royal Food Taster of Thailand, I must advise everyone in the country not to eat this thing. A single bite had negated the effects of blood pressure medication I’d taken that morning.
I could not imagine what would have happened if I’d eaten the whole sandwich. Not only would I have permanently stopped up my bowels with a dairy and sodium citrate-based sludge, I would have become as round and as taut as a water balloon filled to its breaking point, simply due to water retention.
There’s only one thing left to do, subjects of Burger King Thailand! Drop your Real Cheeseburgers, take up arms, and storm Burger King’s castle! The once benevolent Whopper monarch has become a cruel despot, and the only solution to this is a revolution!
Well, I guess now that I think of it, for $10.51, I can’t get that mad.
Ugh. Am I glad I tried The Real Cheeseburger? No. But also, yes. If you guys enjoyed my descent into self-induced sodium poisoning, don’t forget to share this edition of the newsletter on social media. Everyone needs to join in on the impending revolution.
And of course, as always, don’t forget to upgrade your subscription to the full experience.
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Now that my blood pressure’s back to normal levels, I can proudly say I’ve dodged a royal assassination attempt. But I’m still thankful for the nice employees at BK that cheerfully made this happen.
Okay, everyone, you know what I’m about to say next: As always, I love you all, and I’ll hop back into your inboxes soon. Have a beautiful week.