Christoph Toner, Chief Superintendent of NTV, is testing restaurants in Germany and Europe with Alexander Oetker, NTV France expert and best-selling author. From stellar to home-cooked, from vegetarian to carnivorous, from the Far East to brutal regional cuisine. This week he’s venturing into the ultimate foodie nightmare: McDonald’s.
“You guys are totally crazy! What is a McDonald’s text that McDonald’s is doing in a restaurant column? Do frozen pies and meatballs deserve a word from a food critic? Really!”
Have we finished reprimanding, dear readers? or not. Are you ready for a lot of questions, some funky ideas and going out without restrictions? It will be beautiful.
So: Is something that is mass-produced automatically bad? Is big bbq cheese bad just because most people who order it have never been to a specialty restaurant and probably never will? Does Macribe Taste Bad Just Because It’s Cheap? Certainly not automatic. And what do you think about this question: Could it be the loudest “Oh my God, you really eat fast food?” Arrogant people are people who don’t realize whether veal broth made from several kilograms of grilled bones and trimmings has been cooked for hours and reduced or quickly mixed with ready-made broth and thickeners?
I’ll take it even further and claim: It doesn’t matter whether McDonald’s food meets standard gourmet standards; In the end, it doesn’t matter that some taste good and some don’t. For example, the classic Chicken McNuggets are disappointing. Yes, the pieces are wonderfully crunchy and smell fresh (!) And yes, the sweet and sour sauce is creamy and delicious as always, even if there’s a lot of sugar in it. But the chicken! Smells and tastes absolutely nothing!
The situation is similar with the contemporary Fresh Vegan TS. The brown disc between the halves of the rolls compatible with Kukident and several salads and – commendable! Raw red onions look like meat, bite like whole-grain bread and leave an aromatic void that initially spicy cocktail sauce can’t handle. However, in terms of marketing, they do well, with their fresh perspective on sustainability, diversity, etc. You almost forget that burger-producing cattle continue to burp and exhale a lot of methane into the atmosphere, that food in general contains a lot of fat and sugar and that employees are underpaid.
From time machines and dirty icons
But back to my thesis: McDonald’s is like “Stairway to Heaven” or “Billie Jean” or “smells like fig spirit”. The charm of a “restaurant” canteen, the smell and taste work just like the songs. You are a time machine! Suddenly little Kristoff is again at lunch between school and piano lessons sometime in the 1970s. How I liked my french fries, which I now find very dusty, especially if I didn’t eat them right away. Or student Christophe with my comrades late on a Saturday evening between two parties. The classic cheeseburger looks minimal and wrinkly to me today – it didn’t matter at the time. Instead, happy guys talk with their mouths full – about girls, football and cars. Or I turn myself into young dad Christophe, whose 5-year-old son teaches, somewhat prematurely, that you have to order Hamburger Royal without pickles to get it fresh. Bright memories and pleasant feelings can be revived at any time for a few euros separate from the actual tasting experience.
There is, however, one exception, which leads me to the stated excursion, which in the eyes of some of you may lead to my exclusion as someone who understands nothing about food. So be it: I love the Big Mac! Yes really! Unmatched creamy seasoning for the sauce; Also a bit sweet, but what the heck. The taste of the meat is easy to perceive and never really dominates without plenty of roasted notes. The bite of pancakes is always hard and never soft. The slight crunch when chewing on shredded lettuce, which always drops off the side and fills the carton. The little sour tips of a good cucumber appear in the middle. In short: the perfect proportions between all the ingredients, graded to the gram in millions of tests and after thousands and thousands of surveys. Dirty icon!
The moral of the story’? When you are open to everything, you have more fun. Life becomes so much more beautiful when you love Bach, Abba, Goethe, Asterix, Dürer and his children’s doodles. Or the truss and McDow burger. Everything is on time.
And a wine recommendation?
Oh yeah, wine recommendation. How about 2022 Chateau Coca-Cola? Strong reddish brown, high gloss, beautiful, long lasting finish. It blends admirably with every dish on the menu.