The Luther Burger….Making Fast Food Faster

by Doc-G on June 16, 2006

The Luther Burger

This article has been altered somewhat in order to make the ‘recipe’ more authentic. When I originally made it, it had tomato sauce and no bacon. Also the donut had not been fried. After feedback from fellow food enthusiasts, I have produced a true version of the Luther burger which whilst somewhat better than the last version, is not something that I intend to repeat in the near future. Make this recipe at your own risk. The Foodologist does not take any responsibility for health problems encountered following the production of this dish.

This is the closest thing to a ‘Frankenstein burger’ as I have ever seen. An urban myth surrounding it’s namesake is that the famous R&B singer Luther Vandross concocted this abomination one day when he ran out of burger buns and can be found on many websites but few people seem to have taken up the challenge to make one up and describe what it tastes like. Let me tell you that the Foodologist has!

The first reference I saw to this ‘dish’ was on www.egullet.com where it was mentioned that someone had tried putting a burger into an original glazed Krispy Kreme donut. Whilst initially horrified, I have to admit feeling a little interested in what this thing would taste like. I decided to do my own experimentation into this niche area of ‘ultra trash cuisine’.

Firstly, I decided to keep it ‘minimalist’ and somewhat ‘old-skool’ with my choice of ingredients. I didn’t think it was worthwhile using anything fancy on this type of dish and just went for the essentials. I used processed Kraft cheese slices, Fatty Bacon,a Beef Burger and lastly but certainly not leastly, one original glazed Krispy Kreme donut.

Mise en place
Luther Burger Mise en place

The burger was cooked to an internal temp of 70 degrees centigrade and placed on the bottom half of the donut which was sliced in half after having been fried in the bacon fat until crisp. The burger was then covered with a slice of cheese. The Bacon was fried until crisp and placed on top of the cheese and finally the other half of the fried donut was placed on top.

After so much time anticipating what this would taste like, I now felt somewhat apprehensive about trying it. The combined smell of sugar, bacon and grilled burger wafted over me like waves of aromatic trash. All the smells were familiar but the combination of them was somewhat sickening. Finally, I decided to ‘bite the bullet’ and take a bite. As soon as I sank my teeth into the beast, I knew something was ‘afoot’. Olfactory nerves sent messages to my brain at lightspeed that what I was putting into my mouth was wrong. I fought the urge to vomit and continued. I had gone too far to turn back now…a bridge too far!

As the super intense combinations of sweet and savoury competed in my mouth for supreme power, I also had to contend with the texture of the ‘cud’ that I was chewing. Biting through the crisp icing on the donut into the soft unctuous bread and hot burger gave a mouth feel of trash that I dont think I have ever felt before. Then as the icing began to ‘melt in the mouth’ the intensity of the sweetness began to grow as did my sensations of nausea.

One bite only
One bite only…

All I can really say is that I took one bite and then threw it away. I think the major achievement of this exercise is that I kept it down. I think overall, it would be safe to say that this would have to be one of the worst things I have EVER eaten, both in terms of flavour and in terms of texture.

It is interesting however that as a food, if you can call it that, it representative of so many things.

Firstly is the growing preponderance for many foods to lack any sort of distinction between savoury and sweet. My wife dined in one of Boston’s finest restaraunts a couple of years ago and ordered a Lobster. She was of course presented with the said Lobster which was apparently prepared and cooked perfectly. It was the two Frankfurters and Blueberry muffin that were serve with it that kind of threw her off guard. Secondly, whilst being somewhat ‘far-reaching’ one could draw analogies between this dish and the growing trend of globalisation where large corporations involved in mergers and aquisitions have become ‘global fat-cats’. If McDonalds bought out Krispy Kreme, is this the sort of dish we could expect to find in the future.

Lastly, this dish is representative of the increasing tendency for food companies to put out food that caters to the publics growing need for ‘convenience food’. People want things that are easier to cook and even quicker to eat. Is this the ultimate expression of convenience food? The perfect combination of main course and dessert.

The Luther Burger – Making Fast Food Faster!

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