Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Just wait for the Maidin Mhaith Burger

Irish Times --

The fast-food chain McDonald’s has been forced to withdraw the term “artisan” from material promoting a new “Irish” burger which features bacon and cabbage. The global corporation’s description of its new McMór burger fell foul of Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) guidelines published earlier this summer. Under the rules something can be described as artisan only if it is made in limited quantities by skilled craftspeople. Also, the processing method must not be fully mechanised and should use food grown or produced locally “where seasonally available and practical”.

It's worth noting at the outset that Mór means "big" in Irish so the burger was being marketed, inter alia, as a lot of burger. Anyway one can understand the perspective of both sides here as McDonald's was making an attempt to use additional Irish-sourced ingredients in its burger, while the FSAI saw a need to preserve some meaning to food marketing terminology. But still, it's revealing that the one sacred, er, cow, that McDonald's couldn't touch in its promotion was the one that might encroach on hipster turf. Since the humble burger has indeed been co-opted by hipster artifice, the words of W.B. McYeats may be most apposite --

the fools caught it, 
Wore it in the world’s eyes 
As though they’d wrought it. 
Song, let them take it 
For there’s more enterprise
In walking naked.

Or least in having a plain, simply adorned, burger.

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