“What is the cost of lies? It’s not that we will mistake them for the truth. The real danger is that, if we hear enough lies, then we no longer recognize the truth at all. What can we do then? What else is left but to abandon even the hope of truth and content ourselves instead with stories?”
That is the opening monologue of the Chernobyl TV miniseries, and I want you to commit the words of Valery Legasov to memory before we embark on the sordid tale of this week’s instalment of The Snackdown.
I want to talk about the lies fast food chains have been feeding us. The most egregious of those offenders is McDonald’s. Just a few months ago, it tried to sell us something whose name contained the thing, but the actual article contained none of the thing.
I am, of course, talking about the “Nasi Lemak” Burger, complete with the erroneously employed double quotation marks. Maccas tried to weasel out of this one by saying the burger was merely inspired by nasi lemak and didn’t have any actual nasi or lemak contained therein.
A good enough an explanation, perhaps, but a weasel is still a weasel. A mustelid simply can’t change its nature that easily.
And now we can add another war criminal to that list: Burger King. To commemorate the birthday of this great and free nation, it’s decided to bring back the rendang burger, a menu item once thought lost. Like Atlantis, Shangri-La, Eldorado or Marsiling Street 57.
But I won’t be covering that, even though its link to actual rendang is fairly tenuous. Instead, I shall expose the lies of the Laksa Burger.
Available in both beef or chicken patty variants, common to all is a spicy sauce, along with some hard-boiled egg and cucumber slices.
“Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth, sooner or later that debt is paid,” said Valery Legasov in Chernobyl.
And that debt is about to be paid to The Snacktivist.
While the Nasi Lemak Burger could at least claim to have some links to its namesake (the sambal, cucumber and fried chicken) the Laksa Burger has some slivers of hard-boiled egg.
Elsewhere however, the inclusion of the cucumber is perplexing and that odd brown sauce tasting of some peppery spices is downright bizarre.
But where, Burger King, is the laksa content?
Sure, it’s difficult to translate something soup-based to something burger-based, but you really could’ve made more of an effort.
Look, I’ll even help you out—throw you a frickin’ bone, as Dr Evil would say. A laksa leaf-infused coconut cream sauce, or a sprinkling of dessicated coconut, or even some taupok strips.
See? The Snacktivist has made your burger infinitely more awesome simply with a wave of his keyboard.
That said, the Laksa Burger isn’t awful. Not in the way that the Mala Burger, with its sugar granules you can crunch was, but its barefaced lies are a bit hard to swallow (this is a culinary pun).
What’s galling is the fact Burger King thought it could get away with this.
It had the temerity to call it something without having the something, and that nobody would call them out on it.
Well, I’m calling them out on it. And that debt to the truth I was talking about earlier?
Yeah, I’ve come to collect. And I’m expecting to charge interest.
10-word review: The lack of actual laksa content here is a downer
Best paired with: A weekend binge viewing of Chernobyl.