I’m a burger purist. You know, one of those annoying people who hasn’t had a fast food burger in 10 years, won’t order a burger unless I know the name of the butcher who created the meat blend, and skips the toppings except for a tiny smear of Heinz ketchup (I’m a ketchup purist too). All that changed today when I taste-tested Burger King’s Halloween Whopper for TODAY Food.
From September 28 through Halloween Day, the burger giant is offering its popular patty sandwich inside a pitch-black bun that’s flavored with A.1. sauce and sprinkled with white sesame seeds. The burger comes loaded with the usual Whopper fixings (melted American cheese, pickles, white onion, tomato and mayonnaise) but this one also has a dash of A.1. sauce—something I don’t think I’ve tried in over 20 years.
The verdict: it’s kinda, sorta...well...okay, really good.
The black bun has the squishiness of a Martin potato roll and a tiny hint of black pepper that’s a good complement to the smoky charcoal-broiled burger, crunchy iceberg lettuce and creamy mayo. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the addition of the A.1. sauce really brings out the umami flavors of the sandwich. Who am I?
While I’m grappling with this existential question, you should know that in Japan last year, Burger King served a sandwich called the Black Burger, only its black bun was made with squid ink. A BK rep wouldn’t comment on what exactly makes the bun black in this U.S. version, but I’m guessing that the company didn’t think that a squid ink bun would help the Halloween Whopper become a bestseller in the U.S.
Twenty minutes after trying the sandwich I have a food coma and some advice: bring a friend. Reason No. 1 is that this thing is huge and you should split it, not eat the whole thing like me. Ouch.* Reason No. 2 is you’re going to need someone to tell you if you look like a Halloween jack o'lantern afterwards from getting the black bun stuck in your teeth, again like me.
*Note: my editor didn’t ask me to eat the whole thing, but I couldn’t help it.