Burgers are so hot right now and weirder and more wonderful offerings at popular events like Wellington on a Plate's 'Burger Wellington' competition have shown the levels of experimentation burger eaters are willing to indulge. These gentrified consumer tastes have given rise to the 'better burger' movement, a niche occupied by chains like Burger Fuel and Burger Wisconsin and popular restaurants like Auckland's Burger Burger. Even that bastion of standardised beef and cheese, McDonald's, has announced moves to posh up their burgers by allowing customers to create their own. But 'bourgeois burgery' has now moved to the humble Kiwi BBQ, if the entries to Tip Top’s 'Build a Better Burger Challenge' are anything to go by.
To launch its new deluxe range of burger buns, Tip Top, which is owned by George Weston Foods, and its agency Raydar developed a website that allows visitors to create their own dream burger, with each entry going into a draw for $10,000 and the best ten by vote in line for a $500 bonus.
Creative juices have been unleashed by burger eaters nationwide and a normal Kiwi sounding “double buff ‘n ches” has not escaped gentrification, with the cheese being Swiss, the beef Wagyu and the bun now being brioche.
Yet such an offering is entirely mundane compared to weirder entries like the “easy as eggplant” and the sweet and savoury flavour assault of the “Choc bacon chomper”, which combines chocolate sauce, chocolate block, plenty of bacon and avocado for some reason. Some burgers are wholly sweet such as the 'Ice Cream sandwich'.
While the vegetarian and vegan entries don’t appeal to this meat eater, the “voluptuous vegan” and “viva veggie” win the alliteration prize and deserve some kudos for trying to sex up some pretty unsexy looking vegetables.
Kiwi blokes bemused by the sight of eggplant or chocolate in a burger and looking instead to indulge their inner primal carnivore can instead enjoy a “meat that”, which contains beef, lamb, chicken and rabbit.
635 burgers have already been built. And while there are some dubious entries, they aren't actually as strange as some of the specially tailored offerings produced by McDonald's and Burger King to meet local preferences.