Japan is, arguably, the culinary center of the universe.
No place in the world is food more exciting and surprising than in Japan. I traveled to Tokyo a couple weeks ago to sample the delicacies of the country — particularly the black burgers from McDonald's and Burger King. Here's what I learned.
McDonald's Black Burger
First of all, McDonald's black burger isn't actually black. The bun is more of a "Dusty Midnight," or a "Speckled Charcoal." It's the color I want for the kitchen countertops I'll buy with Michael Fassbender's X-Men money, after we marry in the South of France. The ceremony is going to be lovely. Vera Wang has been laboring over my gown for months, I tell you what.
As for the taste, I was expecting something horrible, but the burger actually tastes excellent, as far as fast food goes. The crunchy onions paired nicely with the violently fluorescent orange cheese. It's not something I'd eat on a regular basis, because I need to stay trim for Michael Fassbender, but for a fast food hamburger dyed with squid ink, it wasn't terrible.
Closer inspection of the sauce left something to be desired. I'm fairly certain it was just ketchup dyed black, but knowing a squid had something to do with all this was rather unsettling. As I finished the burger, I couldn't seem to get the phrase "squid jizz" out of my brain.
Final verdict: Not bad. A special treat for weekends when Michael and I are feeling indulgent.
Burger King's Black Burger
Burger King's black burger, called the kura burger, had two versions: Diamond and Pearl. The only real difference is that Diamond has lettuce and tomato, and Pearl is just a hunk of pitch-black sadness. I chose to try the Pearl, because I wanted to cut to the chase. I didn't need any "vegetables" interfering with my burger experience, whatever those even are.
If anything can be said about Burger King's black burger, it's at least a truer black. Tinted with subtle purple hues, it's closer to a deep, romantic orchid than the dusty, olive-tinged buns of McDonald's offering. BK's burger is the same shade of guest bathroom towels I asked Michael to get me for Christmas. Fingers crossed! He can be pretty absent-minded sometimes, so I circled them with permanent marker in the Pottery Barn catalog.
Both the sauce and the cheese are colored with squid ink, which is, quite frankly, vile. That bubbly mess on the left is actually cheese, if you can believe it. As you can see, a lone slice of onion is being engulfed by that insidious cheese — like a baby mammoth, perhaps the last of his tribe, being slowly pulled into a bubbling pit of tar. I could only eat one bit of this burger before I had to hurl it into the trash and run into Michael's arms for solace.
Final verdict: A tragedy in burger form.
McDonald's White Burger
Having tried the black burgers at both locations, I decided to return to McDonald's to sample their white burger, which turned out to be neither a burger nor white. It was chicken, and it was closer to beige than white. Beige, like Michael wanted to paint the master bedroom before I opened him up to the wonders of teal — specifically a bright and lively shade of turquoise called Mermaid Treasure. He's learning to love it.
The sandwich was pleasant enough, though not much different than any normal McDonald's chicken sandwich I've eaten. Since it wasn't nearly as white as it looked in the poster, I felt a little bit lied to while eating it, like the time Michael told me he couldn't make my 25th birthday party because he had a press junket for Prometheus. I suspect he just wanted to get high with Noomi Rapace in her pool house, but I'm not going to press the issue. I'm not. It's fine, Michael. Do what you want.
I couldn't place the sauce at first. It was creamy, somewhat rustic. It tasted like an old attic, but the attic of a really expensive mansion. The halls of Enya's castle probably smell like this sauce. It was comforting.
Later during research I discovered the sauce was melted Camembert. Maybe I'd know camembert when I taste it, if Michael would ever take me on vacation to Paris, like I keep asking.
Final verdict: Not bad. It's just a chicken sandwich, really.
Feeling inspired, I decided to expand my culinary journey beyond just burgers and try more foods we don't have in the U.S.
McDonald's Pumpkin McFlurry
In truth I don't even know why I decided to venture outside my comfort zone of Oreo McFlurry, because nothing can ever reach the greatness that is the Oreo McFlurry, and people who say the M&M McFlurry is better are poor and sad.
But I am a scientist, not unlike Michael Fassbender in A Dangerous Method, and I tried the Pumpkin McFlurry for the good of Science. It was cold. It didn't taste particularly like pumpkin. It was no Oreo McFlurry, that's for sure.
Purple Yam and Green Tea Donuts From Krispie Kreme
The Japanese are all about purple yams and green tea. Every dessert is either purple yam or green tea. The purple yam doughnut tasted dusty, which isn't surprising because it was actually a potato pretending to be a pastry. The green tea doughnut was physically dusty, and I smiled bashfully as Michael Fassbender gently brushed green crumbs off my lap. He takes such good care of me.
Starbucks Snow Maple Toffee Latte
The morning after a terrible fight that was nobody's fault, really, Michael surprised me in bed with Starbucks. It was the first day of their new seasonal Snow Maple flavor, and I instantly forgot why I had been mad at him the night before.
Truth be told it tasted exactly the same as every other sugary Starbucks beverage I'd had. I tasted neither snow nor maple, but I sipped in longingly as Michael Fassbender looked on, his arms folded, shaking his head slightly, a loving smile creeping across his face.
We are so happy together. I can't wait to have children. Twins, I hope.