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Qu’ils mangent de la brioche

McDonald's - various packages including Big Mac

That title? The famous phrase uttered by Marie Antoinette; a clarion call that has echoed down the ages, eagerly received by a cavalcade of chefs all too happy to comply. Cake! Cake is what people want with their burger. At least so the evidence would suggest should you have enjoyed a burger recently. Brioche buns have all but now completely overrun restaurant menus. Also, you’re not mistaken, yes you did read that snippet earlier in the year here.

Back then I took the atlas-like challenge upon myself to proselytize against the unbridled employment of this enriched interloper. Much like the dreaded Australian cane toad, the brioche’s rampant expansion has been all but unstoppable, coast to coast, fine dining to casual. At the risk of repeating myself, for my money the brioche bun is just too rich and too sweet. The soft texture unappealingly weak. Give me a chewy ciabatta, a fluffy potato roll, but please not cake. Anything but cake.

I’ll concede the year has been a challenging one, but I fought the good fight. Chef by chef, foodie by foodie, I presented my case; mostly to perplexed expressions mind you, “I think he’s serious, I think he really is that upset by a hamburger bun Steve, we should make our excuse and leave”. When I tackled the most expensive burgers in Utah earlier this year, practically every patty came presented aloft some version of the buttery bun. Nothing says premium quality like the brioche.

Despite my valiant efforts though, this week I am officially throwing the towel in. The battle has been comprehensively lost. The Golden Arches confirmed a multitude of updates will be hitting their menu in 2024, more than four dozen in fact. The big news for me? You guessed it – the venerable Big Mac will be getting the modern day brioche treatment. Yep, the Big Mac. If this sacrosanct modern icon isn’t safe – nothing is. All hail the brioche.

Time will tell if this will be a New Coke moment? Another Apple Newton? Frankly do you even care? You probably don’t.

Me, I’m off to buy a McRib (currently brioche free) and weep about my new reality.

Well played brioche, you win.

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