I love McDonald's. I love the food, I love the efficiency, I love its brand of corporate evil - it's the complete package. I regularly have to resist McDonald's because I know that one day my love for it will probably kill me.
My standard McDonald's order is as follows: medium Big Mac meal with fries (side salad, get the fuck out) and a Coca-Cola. It's the perfect combination and it never changes, because you don't mess with perfection.
That was until I tried the Big Tasty.
Maybe I was just tired of having the same old thing, maybe I had slipped into a fit of hunger-induced madness, I don't know. On that day, I diverted from the plan. Trepidatiously, I ordered a Big Tasty with fries and a Coke.
When the order arrived I marvelled at the size of the box: well shit, it was certainly big. I sat with my girlfriend, who had ordered the same, and we tucked in.
Less than a minute passed before we turned to each other, both wearing a look of revulsion.
This was not a tasty burger.
It looked tasty enough, as much as one can expect a McDonald's burger to look tasty. There was nothing weird in it, just beef, bacon, bread and veg.
It was, on the surface, just a burger.
So what the hell happened, McD's? Why was I not getting my £5.59's worth? How could you taken the basics of burgerdom and made something so unpalatable?
I couldn't quite put my finger on the problem - I knew I didn't like it, but I didn't know why - so I got myself another Big Tasty and decided to break that sucker down.
You can't really fault McDonald's for its buns. They've been perfecting that shit for the last 60 years and this time it was no different. Sweet like only McDonald's bread can be and as sturdy as a girder, I had no beef with these buns.
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The McDonald's website says that its burgers are made with whole cuts of beef, with nothing added "apart from a pinch of salt and pepper after cooking." It was a bit gristly, but tasted fine. That is to say, it didn't taste horrible: in reality it didn't taste of all that much.
You'll note the cheese stuck to the burger, well it got stuck to pretty much everything, owing to its melty-sticky quality. This made it kind of difficult to review on its own terms, but given that it's cheese (Emmental, according to the Maccy D's website), it gets a free pass.
Now then, now then. This is where we really get into the meat of the situation.
Bacon should be a sizzling sensation, crispy enough to provide a little texture but not burned to a cinder. It should cut through the broad flavours of beef and bread with a salty, smokey slice.
This was like a stand-in for bacon. This was like being told that bacon was on a break and would be back later this afternoon, but in the meantime here's bacon's understudy.
However, leathery and lifeless though it was, it was not bacon that brought this burger down. But if it wasn't the bun, the burger or the bacon, what was it?
What? How? How could lettuce and tomato bring down a burger? What can limp leaves do to against the meaty might of ground beef? Well dear friends, hiding among the leaves is our traitor, and that traitor's name is:
I don't know what McDonald's are putting in its Big Tasty sauce, but it is the essence of Satan's bumnuggets. It was grim, and made an otherwise enjoyable, if grossly oversized, burger a real chore.
It had the wrong kind of tang, like gone-off milk, and was thick enough to walk on. It didn't feel right in my mouth. I wouldn't go as far to say that I felt violated, but I definitely felt like I made a decision I would soon regret. And dear God, there was so much of it!
The vegetables were entirely negligible, any notion of freshness that they were meant to bring was smothered to death. Emmental is not a very sharp cheese, but even the bluest of blue cheeses could not have cut through that clagfest.
In short, the Big Tasty sauce single-handedly ruined this burger. I'm sorry to say it, but McDonald's, you let me down.
I know no one asked for it, but I have awarded the McDonald's Big Tasty with two marks out of ten, based on no real system other than my disgust.
If it ditched the sauce it could easily shoot up to a six or seven, but given that putting bacon, lettuce and tomato on a burger is hardly an original statement, what would be the point of the burger? The sauce is the only reason for the Big Tasty to exist, and it is a horrible reason.
The Big Tasty failed me. Maybe you like it, and if you do I'd like to have your tastebuds examined for research purposes, but it was the worst thing I've had from McDonald's in a long time.
Oh Big Mac, I should never have doubted you. Please, take me back.
Feature © Rich Cooper/Hexjam