Do you remember the McDLT? This was a burger, immortalized in song by George Constanza, that came in an outrageous double-chambered box, twice the size of a normal fast-food burger box, designed to “keep the hot side hot and the cool side cool.” There were a lot of problems with it. As one astute commenter at YouTube notes, “why wouldnt they put these fucking cheese on the hot side?!?” And scientists estimate that no less than 35% of the mean global temperature temperature increase since 1985 is due to emissions directly related to the production and disposal of McDLT boxes. But I admire the concept of trying to confront a fundamental problem with fast food: the mushiness. While contemporary foodies are primarily interested in the visual appearance of their food, most normal people would say that what matters is how their food tastes, but it’s easy to forget that texture (if this tactile quality can be distinguished form those narrowly classified as gustatory) makes or breaks many dishes. At least McDonald’s was confronting a real dilemma, not replacing a sandwich’s bread with fried chicken breasts. It’s a problem that still exists, and which plagues certain dishes like the otherwise brilliant Crunchwrap Supreme, which, far from being “good to go,” has to be eaten immediately in the Taco Bell parking lot before the hard-taco-shell part gets soggy.
My problem today is that I made a really nice mess of black beans on the weekend and I’ve been eating burritos all week, but I made one in advance last night and cooked it in the microwave at the office and I really do not think it’s fair that I have to deal with the lettuce all mushy and the sour cream all hot. Is there not some way that I can keep the hot side hot and the cool side cool? Now I know what the McDonald’s creative team went through, and it’s driving me crazy. A burrito doesn’t even have “sides.” I need a whole goddamn burrito-making station to be set up in the hall here. Probably want to get those caulk guns filled with guacamole they have at Taco Bell. Mental note: must write more industrial food service gadgets into my next grant proposal.