Let's talk about that Canadian burger stuffed with Reese's peanut butter cups

To cleanse(?) the palate, I’m known as a guy who’ll defend any Frankenfood no matter how grotesque: Ball-bearing chili, fajitas served in an old tire, pizza from Pizza Hut. For whatever odd reason, though, this … just doesn’t sit right with me.

Is it because it’s Canadian and therefore suspicious? I think it might be.

Yes, a Canadian restaurant chain has introduced a hefty half-pound patty topped with bacon, crispy onion strings and, er, crumbled Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

And that’s not all: The burger itself is stuffed with Peanut Butter Cups before it is cooked!…

Bruce Miller, one of three co-owners of the eateries – 22 of which are franchised and four company-operated – says the Reese PBC burger has been a huge hit. “Our guests have been voting with their mouths already, making these three burgers our top sellers,” he told USA TODAY. (The chain also debuted the Loaded Lucy – stuffed with melted cheese – and the Burgeroni, which is stuffed with chorizo sausage.)

It’s not a fluke or a mere stunt, says Miller, who says the chain’s new dishes are taste-tested with focus groups and initially introduced at only a couple of restaurants.

It’s not the nuttiness that’s throwing me. Ground beef with peanut butter is richness on top of richness, but (a) the whole point of ordering a stunt dish is the digestive challenge and (b) each ingredient is so luscious in its own right that the combo must be magical for a savory craving. What’s giving me pause is the chocolate. That just can’t work, can it? It’s not even the sweetness that’s the problem. Ketchup is sweet. It’s the sweetness plus the categorization problem. Chocolate is a dessert or a between-meal snack. You can sneak it onto the plate for breakfast but almost never for dinner. Putting it on a burger would be a bit like putting a scoop of ice cream on there. It’s not inherently crazy — dairy on a burger can work beautifully — but you don’t put the thing you’re going to eat after dinner on dinner.

Or do you? Maybe that’s the inevitable next stage in our face-stuffing culture. We’ve made the portions as big as they realistically can go. The only way to feel more satiated now might be to take that slice of cherry pie you were saving for later, dump it on your steak, and go at the two of them together, hammer and tongs. We will live to see feedbags for humans, my friends.

But maybe I’m being unfair. Here’s the key question: How strong is the taste of chocolate in this thing? Is it a thick mess, like a squeeze of ketchup on top (the thought of which makes me queasy), or is most of the chocolate absorbed into the meat and bun and then overwhelmed by the nutty flavor so that all you really get is a bit of extra sweetness in your peanutburger? That could be okay, especially since there are other strong flavors like onion and bacon jockeying for preeminence on the palate. My hunch is that the amount of chocolate is mild enough that you don’t get that sickening gluttonous feeling that you’re eating two or three different meals at once, but I don’t know. Maybe Canadians like that feeling. Never trust them.

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