What you see above is not some whacked-out variation on the KFC Double Down. It’s something more interesting — the “lasagna-bun burger,” available this week only from Philly’s PYT, “Home of America’s Craaaziest Burgers.” The “bun” is “two thick slices of deep-fried mozzarella & ricotta lasagna.” The burger is supposed to be something like a flatter, bigger meatball. There’s provolone cheese and homemade marinara sauce. I think that’s parsley garnishing the whole shebang. You know, so you get your greens in.
America has a long tradition of creating the biggest, baddest, weirdest variations on whatever food item you might think of. But this seems different, like an idea that trickled down from the whacked-out minds of fast-food executives back into a more upscale food culture. In the lasagna-bun burger, it is possible to detect influences from both KFC’s relentless drive for grosser fast food and the slow-food ethos that demands that the marinara sauce is made by hand. This thing is a monster. And probably a sign that we’re past the point where the handmade, local, organic, slow food movement will have any influence over how those ideas are going to be applied in America.