Wendy’s new menu item, the Baconator, is 830 calories: half a pound of beef topped with six strips of bacon, two slices of cheese, ketchup, and mayo (among other things). It contains a staggering 51 grams of fat and 1,920 milligrams of sodium. The company claims to have sold 25 million of these gut-busters in the hamburger’s first eight weeks.
This is madness, says San Francisco Chronicle columnist Mark Morford:
[T]his insidious concoction is simply startling in its shameless toxicity, its ruthless attention to wanting you cancerous and morbidly obese and very, very dead as soon as goddamn possible, if not sooner.
Indeed, the Baconator seems poised to be the symbol for everything that is wrong with fast food today. Bloggers have been hating it, loving it, or actively avoiding it. It has even raised some to flights of fancy. The Baconator is “conceptually intriguing,” writes Jonathan Holley of Johnny America:
Contemplate the word ‘Baconator’ as if it were one of Plato’s Forms. ‘Baconator’ implies not only an adequate bacon ratio, as Wendy’s burger almost delivers, but a ratio so high as to be capable of great destruction. Wendy’s had the vision to see the word — Baconator — but there their vision halted. They might’ve ground bacon strips into bacon bits and mixed them into their fresh all beef patties, adding a healthy dose of real bacon atop for overkill. Such a burger might earn the name ‘Baconator.’ They could’ve weaved their thin strips into a kind of crude cloth of pork, folding it over three, four times, or with the right machinery perhaps knitting bacon into a sort of greasy mobius strip. Such a burger might earn the name ‘Baconator.’ Instead Wendy’s phoned it in.
Holley deems the burger “a culinary failure,” but the Baconator’s clearly a success in the meme pool. Apparently, it’s so wrong it’s right.