Over the weekend, INSIDER published a story with the rather provocative and internety headline “It turns out you’ve probably been eating burgers wrong your entire life.” Look, it’s not like we’re not above that level of pedantry, but INSIDER’s assertion that eating a burger upside down yields a superior experience is something that sounds intriguing on paper but in practice is food writing diarrhea.
Let’s lay out their two central argument for eating a burger upside down:
- Citing bottom soggage, having the thicker crown (typically the top part of the bun) on the bottom makes for greater structural integrity.
- Your tongue comes in contact with the toppings first, which they cite one Reddit user as “easier to taste.”
Now, allow The Takeout to make its rebuttal:
- This is dumb.
- If your burgers are falling apart between your hands then the fault lies with the restaurant, and the onus shouldn’t be on the consumer to find a workaround.
- You look like a doofus eating a burger upside down in public.
We don’t want to just crap all over INSIDER for making da internetz—we’re all in the same boat—but their logic is faulty and there are better solutions. I immediately reached out to Dan Pashman, host of the James Beard Award-winning podcast The Sporkful, who’s known for his rigorous A/B testings of food-consumption best practices.
Pashman told The Takeout that yes, while juices leeching from the patty onto the bun can be a concern, there are two ways to mitigate this: 1) By sourcing a better-quality bun and toasting it, and 2) Place the cheese beneath the patty, thereby “creating a seal so you don’t have quite so much juice flowing directly onto the bottom bun.”
We both agree that it’s their “tongue comes in contact with toppings” argument where the conceit goes of the rails.
“The burger is the star. I don’t want the first things my tongue hits to be the thick piece of bread followed by tomato, lettuce, and onions,” Pashman said. “What are we eating, Subway?!”
If we want to go knee-deep in the details, one could make an argument that the ideal order of texture and temperature is to first feel the warm beefy juices against the palate, followed by the cool zing and crispiness of the toppings—as opposed to cool first, warmth second.
We are in favor of better eating experiences. Unfortunately, this “tip” is based on a super-sized fallacy and comes with a side of bewildered stares.