Nigel Slater at the Guardian: why Big Macs are my guilty pleasure:
My walk of shame is more of a ravenous dash. An excited run to the parked car. Yes, it is about the three layers of bun, the two thin beef patties and the secret sauce (oh God, the sauce) but so, so much more. The soft rustle of warm paper as I slip my hand deep into the bag and slowly pull out the chunky waxed box. The almost imperceptible click as I unhook the cardboard seal of the crass red and white carton and the salty rustle as I tip the fries into the lid. The wisp of stray lettuce. The warm, soft cushion of dough in my fingers. The peeking gherkin. The excited dribble of sauce between patty and bun. But more even than that. It’s the gorgeous, tingling luxury of instant gratification.
All comfort food is about timing. Get it wrong – too soon, too late, too often – and it misses the point. To be truly comforted you need, briefly, to be in a bad place. That slightly out-of-body feeling of extreme tiredness, low blood sugar, lost, away from home. In truth I have wolfed the Big Mac everywhere from Stockholm to Stoke-on-Trent. Hottest was Stockholm, where the fries almost burnt our lips and the bun was gold rather than beige. The most satisfying was at a fast food cathedral just off the motorway this summer, a salad dodger’s nirvana boasting everything from a Domino’s Pizza to an outpost of KFC. We didn’t possess the shiny manmade fibres and luminous trainers to eat in, so ran through the torrential rain back to our rented car, its windows lashed by the torrential rain. Ten minutes later, still licking our lips, we were back on the road, briefly satisfied, the windows fugged up and dripping with condensation.
image via businessweek.com