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What does America taste like? [Burger King $1 Jr. Whopper]


I used to lust after the compartmentalization and brutal efficiency of a fast food meal. I’d calculate a kind of formula to maximize my pleasure in consuming a set meal: this had more sides than that, this had chicken (which I really liked), extra points for apple turnovers or coleslaw. There was a certain American-ness still foreign to my childhood that placed fast food in a special nook of my heart. Especially when my parents would always pick the closest Panda Express over a Wendy’s.

Now that I have complete control over where I dine out, I usually would opt for something cool and ethnic, or if I’m going to burgers, it’d be cult-hit family joint adored by the Yelping masses. But I saw the Burger King by Fenway on Bolyston Street was doing $1 Junior Whoppers, so I knew that I couldn’t resist a low risk, high return on feeling American.

It came wrapped in wax paper and placed in a printed brown paper bag. The roll was slightly sweet and soft, yielding to iceberg lettuce crunch, a tangy bite of pickle, and thin patty that played second fiddle to its toppings. The ketchup/mayo flavor was key in maximizing the pretty unremarkable ingredients, including a pale, anemic tomato slice.

Amazingly, they added up to more than the sum of its parts. One flavor never overpowered the other, and I happily finished the last bite in a Whopper-induced haze. Not bad for one dollar.



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Lana Lingbo Li

I'm a world traveler / enthusiastic eater who's now blogging and producing videos over at HelloLana.com. Visit me there!

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