O nce in a while, I will patronize a fast food restaurant for a variety of reasons; and as I was driving around Fujairah — a city located on the shores of the Gulf of Oman in the eastern United Arab Emirates — I saw a plethora of advertisements for the 1955 Burger at McDonald’s.
Despite it being in existence since 2011 in various locations around the world — but not in the United States, to my knowledge — I had never heard of this particular hamburger. I found myself in the Fujairah City Center mall located on the outskirts of town; and lo and behold, there was a McDonald’s restaurant located inside of it. I was hungry, so I thought I would try it.
The hamburger consists of a 100 percent pure all-beef patty topped with “fresh salad cuts” — another term for lettuce, I suppose — two slices of tomato, caramelized onions, beef bacon strips, “steak pepper” ketchup and a “creamy 1955 sauce”. Remember that food in the United Arab Emirates is typically halal; so no pork bacon for this hamburger — although I actually did find one place in Abu Dhabi where pork bacon could be found. I intend to reveal — yes, veal — that place in a future article.
Sixteen United Arab Emirates dirhams — are dirhams halal if they have “ham” in them? — and at least sixteen minutes later, I received my 1955 burger and unwrapped it.
It looked okay, I suppose. Perhaps it tasted better than it appeared. I took my first bite. I was not really thrilled with it.
I cannot explain what was the problem. The flavors did not seem to meld together harmoniously. Rather, they seemed to conflict with each other, creating an “off-taste” for the sandwich.
Perhaps the culprit was the beef bacon, which was not crisp. Maybe it was the bun, which was somewhat sub-par. For some reason, the beef patty did not taste like a typical hamburger from McDonald’s. I cannot really explain what was the problem; but I personally did not think that it was worth the approximate cost of $4.35. In terms of taste, I personally would rather have this hamburger despite its price tag of $14.00.
I also wondered to myself what exactly made this hamburger reminiscent of 1955. I was not even yet a thought in 1955 — I was born years after that — but when I think of a hamburger from that era, I think of it being wrapped in foil, juicy and thicker. A hamburger from the restaurant chain known as Johnny Rockets comes to mind — there are currently 15 locations in the United Arab Emirates and expansion plans are in the works — and while that is not exactly my favorite style of hamburger, it is the type which you would want to have accompanied by a milk shake and fries with ketchup while Buddy Holly belts out That’ll Be The Day from the nickel jukebox at the table.
As for the 1955 Burger from McDonald’s: I would say that it should return to 1955 to be all but forgotten; but I suspect that the hamburger had never been there in the first place.