The Dijongate

May 11, 2009

A lot of ink and virtual ink has been spilled since the Dijongate broke almost a week ago, but in this corner we feel that we should weigh in with some analysis.

The controversy arose when President Obama and Vice President Biden paid a visit to Ray’s Hell Burger, a famous eatery in Arlington, VA.

Biden had a Swiss cheese burger with jalapeño peppers.  ”Do you put ketchup on it, or do we have to do that ourselves?” Biden asked. And here we have Obama, ordering his burger:  
“Hi, I’m gonna have a, just your basic cheddar cheese burger, medium well.  I just want mustard, no ketchup.  You got a spicy mustard or something like that, or a Dijon mustard, something like that?”

There you have it.  A spicy mustard, or a Dijon Mustard.  Not unsimilar to the mustard needed for W’s Deviled Eggs recipe.

Lost in the right-wing-noise, media-conspiracy theory and other in-Hanity, is how good this burger looks, and how refreshing it is to see corn and watermelon as their classic sides. Obama found out that Ray’s Hell Burger is offering one of the best burgers in the DC area, according to the Washington Post, but also that they had no fries.  

“Are your fries pretty good? Can you vouch for your fries?” Obama asked. 

“No french fries,” the counterman happily informed him.  ”We’ve got cheese potato puffs, they are pureed potatoes, cheddar chesse, and chives and then we flash-fry ‘em.” 

“Is that right?” wondered the president, taken aback. “OK, we’ll have one order of that.”

Photograph from apium on Flickr

Some are defending Obama, some are defending the Dijon mustard.  Seems to me both are right.  As well, Grey Poupon, the Kraft-owned leading seller of Dijon in the USA, weighs in with some sense of humour.

Retail mustard is a 300$ million market in the USA, or about a buck per person per year, or roughly 12 oz per person.

Personally, I currently carry 3 types of mustard in my fridge:  
As for Obama, he dodged another bullet when the cashier offered to waive the bill. Biden, consumer # 42, was on the verge of thanking the man for his generous offer, but Obama jumped in, and grabbed his arm:  

“No, no, no, we gotta pay for it.  See all these people here?  They’ll write about how we were freeloading.”

You bet they would have.  But now, they will write about how you would have free-loaded if they had not been around to keep you in check. 


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