The Luther burger has been doing the rounds for the last few years in the US with foodies enthusing over it. American celeb chef Paula Deen even published her own recipe for it. And I wondered what all the fuss was about. So I stacked up minced beef, glazed doughnuts, cheese and bacon and tried it for myself.
Thought to have been named after Luther Vandross who first requested it, the burger consists of a glazed ring doughnut (usually a Krispy Kreme) cut in half (glazed side down) and a beef burger slipped inside, so the sugary glaze melts onto the hot meat within. Paula Deen actually insists on using two Krispy Kreme doughnuts. You then add a rasher or two of smoked bacon and a sprinkling of cheese, before popping the whole thing back onto a clean pan to crispen up and heat the doughnut. Turn it over and cook for a couple of minutes and you're done. In theory, I could see how this would work. Sweet and salty are such a fantastic combination - just think of bacon and maple syrup and peanuts and chocolate for example. And the beef, I thought, would add a real savoury touch to that, with the creaminess of the melted cheese.
It's said that one burger packs 1000 calories, around half your recommended entire intake for the day. And as I bit into it for the first time, I was hit with a rush of nostalgia. You immediately get the smell and taste of the fairground from the warm doughnuts and you can smell the aroma of charred burger along with it. Then you taste salty bacon amongst all that and then... well... actually, that was it. The flavour of the sugary doughnut seemed to overwhelm the burger and although the smell of the burger cooking had lingered in the air I could barely taste the meat amongst all that sugar. The cheese went missing somewhere inbetween although I could detect it's creamy texture if not its taste. It just tasted sugary and I was hit with a buzzing sugar rush about half way through - but if anyone asked me whether the taste of it was worth taking in that enormous amount of calories for (around 1,000), I'd say no, probably not. Just give me a good, charred burger and a doughnut for pudding if you have to. But not the two together.
Is the Luther Burger taking the burger a bit too far or is it just plain crazy? What do you think?