How Angry is the Angry Whopper?

Coming back from the Liberal shinding in Montreal, I had to make a stop for a quick lunch. I had decided to go home via the 417, which meant taking the 40 West. Which meant that the easiest stop was going to be at the Montée Lavigne exit.

Your options at exit 17 include Harvey’s, Tim Horton’s, McDonald’s and the Hudson Inn complex, which has a table service option with Eggcellent, and three counters: Pizza Hut Express, Subway (which replaced the Dunkin Donuts) and Burger King.

I drove while pondering my choices, but despite my willingness to consider options, I had to come to terms with my craving – I wanted a Whopper. So I had to go to the Home of the Whopper.

The Whopper is Burger King’s signature hamburger. It was created in 1957 by Burger King founder James McLamore, 10 years before the Big Mac. Originally, the burger was made with a plain bun but BK switched to a sesame-seeded bun in the 70s – though they used a Kaiser roll for a decade starting in 1985.

Over the years, BK has sold several variations of the burger, some of them sticking around the menu permanently, some as limited-time offers. We’ve seen the Chicken Whopper, California Whopper, Western Whopper, Texican Whopper, Whiplash Whopper, Wisconsin White Cheddar Whopper, Veggie Whopper, Chipotle Whopper, Avocado and Swiss Whopper, Teriyaki Whopper, LTO Canadian Whopper and even the Windows 7 Whopper, sold in Japan to celebrate the launch of Windows 7. Burking King even launched the BK Whopper Bar to brand their express, limited menu, franchises.

Currently on Burger King’s menu in Canada, you can find the original Whopper and its familly: junior, double, triple, and triple with cheese Whopper. And, of course, the Angry Whopper – which is what I ordered.

The Angry Whopper was first introduced in Europe in 2008 and made it’s way into the US in 2009 and in Canada shortly after. Since then, the Angry Whopper has come and gone a few times, sometimes triggering petitions. So far, the Angry Whopper has always come back, usually with an aggresive marketing campaign.

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As usual, this Whopper has a 1/4 lb fire-grilled beef patty. Building on that base, you’ll find Pepper Jack Cheese, bacon, spicy onion petals, spicy jalapeños, smothered with their “angry” sauce and topped with tomatoes, iceberg lettuce and mayo – all piled on a warm sesame seed bun. I’ve been meaning to try one for a long time but always delayed, afraid I would be too disappointed by the overhyped heat from the ads. But finally, I got my hands on one. The smell of the spicy bbq sauce was promising, and the burger itself was nicely assembled – no doubt because the place was quite quiet.

I took a bit. A little tingle. Where would it end up? I would soon find out.

The beef patty was what you expect – your standard fire-grilled Whopper patty with its usual spice mix. Which is fine, I wasn’t expecting the heat to come from it – although it would be the spot to hide some cayenne pepper. There was some heat from the pickled jalapeno peppers but this thing had too very few of them to have a real impact. A better option would be to go for fresh-cut ones.

The fried onions were just that – despite being called “Angry Onions”, I can’t say that they were spicy or anything. They tasted good, and were texturally pleasant. And since they were onion petals rather than rings, the intergrity of the burger remained as I was eating it.

The “Angry Sauce” had a very light colour for something supposed to be angry. One would imagine a Red Hot or Dark Brown colour, instead it was more of yellowish-brown hue. There was a little kick from it, but clearly blanced with sweetness and some smokey flavor. As for the Spicy Monterey Jack, well, we all know it usually looks better than it actually is – faking heat but actually being a cooling agent. The bacon was crispy and the produce were fresh, which is always key for a burger.

Nevertheless, this was a pretty good rendition of a classic. I suppose if you’re really keen to get spiced up, you would get angry eating this as it produces no more than an edgy whimper. But since I had low expectations, I actually enjoyed it and would order it again.

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