100% Local Sussex Beef. 6oz patty. 35 Day Aged. Floured Sour dough. The components are getting a more & more elaborate description. The consumer, gleefully willing to pay more & more for the privilege.
The question is (not least in light of THE HORSE SCANDAL), why are we suddenly so obsessed with detail? Sure, when ordering a fillet, it is expected that as part of the package we get to know exactly where that juicy cow came from. That chicken breast, corn-fed of course, resided happily in that farm we've never heard of from no further than 2.5 miles north of here.
The effect is a result of the cause, and the cause in this case is the social climate we live in. Those upper-middle classes who used to 'slum-it' with a guilty pleasure, now expect to do so in style. A Big Mac, or a 3-piece meal would still be unthinkable, but be damned if we're going to pay anymore for the pleasure.
Tied into this offering is the idea that you are in some way supporting your local community, sticking it to the man. It makes the whole experience almost holy & romantic, as we tear back the un-branded tin foil and ethically dispose of the brown paper bag.
So the search goes on. Every time I chow down on a marginally over-priced 'gourmet' burger, I am expecting it to be the greatest thing I have ever tasted, the answer to my prayers. But then another specialist emerges, whose beef is aged that bit longer, cooked over premium charcoal, surrounded by outrageously stinky cheeses, and with the option of a chip that the other place never quite got right.
The ultimate Burger experience may be upon us, my meat loving friends.