“This is the way the world ends: Not with a bang, but with a burger.” – T.S. Eliot.
Last year, I taste-tested the unholy abomination known as the McDonald's Ark; a Double Beef & Bacon burger combined with a chicken breast patty. As our harrowing report attests, this meal was a grueling saga of masochistic mastication that left me battered from head to tail (tail = anus).
As an Ark Survivor, I naively believed that nothing could ever be worse. I slept soundly at night knowing I'd plumbed the depths of bespoke takeaway depravity. Once you hit rock bottom, things can only go up, right?
Then a reader sent in the following email:
As a followup to your McDonald's Ark burger, why don't you try the Colonel's McWhopper? You need: A Whopper from Hungry Jacks/Burger King, a Big Mac from McDonald's and three crispy strips from KFC. Open up the whopper and put the big mac inside, minus the top and bottom portions of the bun. Then layer the crispy strips from KFC on top of the big mac. Close the whopper bun and enjoy. If you want any more info about the creation of such a beast please email me. Cheers, Ben
A voice in my head (or possibly my bowels) told me to delete this email immediately and never speak of it again. But I'm not one to balk from a challenge. If I can get through the aforementioned McDonald's Ark (not to mention a Placenta Pizza) I can tackle anything!
Below is a blow-by-blow account of the taste test, along with tips on how to assemble one yourself. Not that any of you ever should. I mean it. Do drugs instead.
Gathering the ingredients
To make the Colonel's McWhopper, you need to find a location that has all three restaurants within close proximity to one another (unless you like eating cold, congealed grease that is). Fortunately, I live near Penrith in NSW, which is basically a Mecca for fast food worshiping westies. I'm a westie too, so I'm allowed to make that joke.
One tip I learned while picking up the ingredients is that you should make KFC your first stop; even if it's in-between the other two stores. KFC tends to attract larger queues and its drive-through service is notoriously tardy. So grab the chicken first!
With a trio of KFC Crispy Strips in hand, I quickly swung by McDonald's and then finished the journey inside Hungry Jack's. The teenage cashier didn't seem remotely fazed by my bag of competitor products. Perhaps people do this sort of thing all the time.
When tallied together, the ingredients for the Colonel's McWhopper set me back approximately $17, which is ridiculously expensive for a single takeaway burger.
If you're thinking of making your own, I recommend plumping for a Popcorn Chicken Snackbox instead, which is around half the price of three Crispy Strips. This brings the total down to a slightly more reasonable $13. You'll also get a bonus serving of chips (not that you'll have any room in your belly for 'em.)
Bringing the beast to life
If you have even a single shred of dignity, assembling this thing in public is a hugely embarrassing experience. You can feel the staring eyes of patrons all around you.
It kind of made me feel like the Elephant Man (the fact I was dining alone only made it worse). I wanted to scream at them that I wasn't an animal, but that would have plainly been a lie: no self-respecting human would ever eat this thing.
I was expecting the assembly to be a messy and complicated process, but it all slaps together quite nicely. The Whopper's bigger footprint provides a snug home for the Big Mac, while the Crispy Strips fit neatly on top. It's almost as if the rival chains got together and deliberately designed components that would fit — kind of like a disgusting version of Devestator from Transformers.
Here's what the finished thing looks like:
Photos don't really do the Colonel's McWhopper justice. When you are staring down at this thing in the flesh, it is awesomely confronting. On a nutritional level, what you are looking at totals 6582kJ of energy, 87 grams of fat, 2304 milligrams of sodium and 14.3 grams of sugars. In other words, it is a heart attack with buns.
The last supper
As the Colonel's McWhopper neared my face, I realised taking a full bite would require me to dislocate my jaw like a python. Instead, I kind of just shoved my mouth into the middle of the mess and started gnawing. It was the only way.
If any kids were watching I definitely gave them nightmares. That's on you, "Ben" — if that is indeed your real name. Know that you are a merchant of child nightmares. I hope you feel proud.
In terms of taste, the Colonel's McWhopper is dominated by beef and grease. The chicken attempts to fight through the sludgy flavour but it's mostly a losing battle: we're talking not one, but three beef patties after all. The crispiness of the KFC does add some much needed texture to the burger. Not enough to make it remotely palatable you understand, but texture nonetheless.
I began to feel full and bloated after barely five mouthfuls (on reflection, loading up on sushi for lunch was probably a bad idea.) But I was determined to devour this gastronomical adversary — my manhood depended on it.
At the halfway point, I decided to check my heart-rate using my Samsung Galaxy Fit. Terrifyingly, it had catapulted from somewhere in the 80s to 109. It was at that point I realised I'd have to go full Kamikaze or admit defeat. Despite my best attempts, I couldn't bring myself to take those final two or three bites.
This burger broke me. I am forever in its thrall:
All in all, the Colonel's McWhopper is heinously evil. As wicked man-made inventions go, it falls somewhere between the strappado and K-Pop. It's still not half as bad as the KFC Parmy Stacker Burger mind.
Think you can top Ben's Colonel McWhopper burger? Send in your own customised takeaway creations and we'll publish the best ones in a followup article!