brioche-barns

“Let them eat brioche”: Australia’s burger revolution has gone too far

BY WILLIAM COLVIN

It’s time to have the debate about burgers. Not that hoary old one about beetroot; yeah, that was as Australian as casual racism. But it’s over. 

The corner shops and Greek milk bars that did the beetroot salad burgers (with optional fried egg) have almost all closed down, and the burger is now an item of ‘cuisine’ – a fixture on almost every menu. 

And as such, the burger has been perfected, many times, by many chefs. 

Now, it’s time to have the debate about the fundamentals.

The formula for the burger is a simple formula. It’s not hard to reproduce.

Burger chefs, take heed. If I wanted my burger inside a miniature Victoria Sponge Cake, I’d ask for it.

You start with an excellent, fresh, white, soft bun. This is non-negotiable. The bun remains the same, across time, across space, the bun remains the same.

Fresh, white, soft, a little doughy but not too much. You could call it fluffy.

You follow that up with high quality meat. You are allowed to experiment with the meat. A nice, thick, angus beef patty. Wagyu beef. Pork mince. Fried chicken, grilled chicken, spicy portuguese chicken. Go nuts here, it’s fine. The protein is negotiable.

What you must never do to the meat is add flour or egg or chopped carrot or any combination of the above in an attempt to make the burger meat “cohere.” Good meat coheres, there’s no need for this grub.

Also negotiable is the cheese. If everything else is perfect, you can be gentle and have a slice of cheddar or you can be a freak and go for that processed American cheese option, which works if everything else is perfect because it adds a dirty touch of filth to an otherwise classy meal.

Then you do the salad, lovely crisp lettuce, tomatoes, blah blah blah. Then you can chuck in the sauce, tomato, (forget barbecue it’s for dickholes), chipotle, guacamole – all that’s allowed.

From a burger perspective, Turkish bread is the worst thing the Ottoman Empire ever produced.

You can put a bacon on it, you can put a egg on it, all sweet (note to my editor: don’t even try to fucking correct the grammar of “put a egg on it”, it’s intentional).

So what’s the common denominator here? What, ultimately, is what makes the perfect burger? It’s right up there at the start. Bread. The staff of life, as advertised in the bible.

Every few years though, someone decides to fuck with the bread, and then this whole disgusting country follows suit.

Do you remember back in the mid 2000’s, when suddenly every burger came to you on thick, stodgy turkish bread?

From a burger perspective, Turkish bread is the worst thing the Ottoman Empire ever produced. Turkish bread has one use, and that’s being dipped in delicious dips. Beyond that, it’s utterly useless.

It’s the most absorbent substance on the planet. It absorbs flavour like some kind of alien sponge. If you put meat on it, it turns into a soaked, soggy mess within 3 minutes. And if you try to eat it before that, its stodgy thickness prevents you from being able to taste anything else on the burger.

The time of the Turks has come to an end in burger world. But Turkish Bread has been supplanted by an even more insidious European enemy: brioche.

Thanks a lot Mary’s, thanks a lot Cheeky, thanks a lot Chur. Thank you so, so, so much for ruining my entire life with the Brioche bun.

I do not want to eat my burger on a cake. I do not want to eat my burger on a cake that little french boys and girls dip in their hot chocolate for breakfast.

When the crowd in the French Revolution was told that the Queen, Marie Antoinette, had said “They have no bread? Let them eat cake”, they wanted her sent to the guillotine.  But the phrase in French is actually “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”: “Let them eat brioche”.  I’m not making this up.

Burger chefs, take heed. If I wanted my burger inside a miniature Victoria Sponge Cake, I’d ask for it.

Let them eat brioche?

OFF WITH THEIR HEADS. 

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