... but I stopped. Now I'm a dad, and may blog again...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

482: Christmas menus on the highstreet

If fast food restaurants are going to milk Christmas in their advertising they should make more of an effort with their Christmas menus.

"Sausage Roll & Soup: A Taste of Christmas" proclaims the poster in the window of Greggs the baker, as it competes for the prize of shittest least-Christmassy Christmas menu in a fast food shop. The picture of the soup looked suspiciously like cream of tomato; there were no big beautiful Brussels sprouts floating enticingly in the bowl.

The McDonald's Christmas menu is pretty weird. Here it is in its entirety; let's see if we can discern anything particularly (or even remotely) "festive". There is one beef burger: The Festive Deluxe: "Treat yourself this festive season! 100% beef patty topped with honey BBQ glaze, bacon and layered with cheese, Batavia lettuce, red onions and smoky peppered mayo, all within a mighty foccaccia bun." Such Christmas classics! How much does honey BBQ, Batavia lettuce and foccaccia remind me of all those happy childhood Christmases!

Next on the menu is Cheese Melt Dippers: "Delicious melted cheese dippers – served with the Festive Tomato dip." I've no idea what makes a McDonald's Tomato sauce "festive", and I probably never will, as when we ordered this Christmas classic last week they never bothered to give us the sauce. This is an all-year-'round tradition for McDonald's: order a side that comes with a dip and precisely 75% of the time you will not receive the dip. The manager is syphoning them away to feed the giant mutant alien monster that lives in his belly and controls his actions.

What says Christmas more than an After Eight McFlurry: "Delicious soft dairy ice cream swirled with After Eight dark chocolate shells topped with a mint chocolate sauce." With a twist of logic, squinted eyes and a slight touch of gentle brain damage I suppose it's possible to think of After Eight mints as Christmassy even though they absolutely categorically are not. Make them even less Christmassy than they already are by sticking them in freezing cold ice cream. Perhaps ice cream is a Christmas dish in the Southern hemisphere, and apologies to our Australian and New Zealand cousins (and anyone else I've missed out), but Christmas is mostly in the middle of winter.

That is the entirety of McDonald's severely failed Christmas menu. Burger King does little better. Its instore posters claim its current time limited offer is a Christmas menu, but the website totally fails to mention any of this. Probably for the best since its Christmas menu is Steakhouse Angus burger, Cranberry Chicken Tendercrisp sandwich, Hot Brownie, and Jaffa Cake Fusion ice cream. Points added on for including cranberries in something, and having a hot desert...

I've just remembered McDonald's had an instore poster for a hot sweet pie with, I think, mincemeat and custard, so at least that's a nod towards making an effort. I forgot about it because I saw no mention of it on the website's xmas menu, and I'm only prepared to do the most cursory research.

I propose that more of an effort should be made on the menu if it is to be described as "Christmas". It's not enough to just call it "Christmas" if it simply isn't "Christmas". I'm not suggesting Jesus Burgers or anything like that; any fool or genius could tell you Christmas has nothing to do with Christ, its a season that has always been celebrated and was adopted as Jesus' fictional birthday by the Roman empire. They used pre-existing pagan festivals to make the transition/cultural attack easier on the happy heathen population.

Anyway, my point is, I want to see a fast food shop brave enough to put on the menu something with Brussell's sprouts in it. I want to see someone come to the blindingly obvious conclusion that pigs in blankets should be on the Christmas menu: everyone loves pigs in blankets (or knows someone who does). KFC should replace all of their chicken products with turkey for as long as they want to milk Christmas in their advertising.

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