|my favorite burger, from Alonso's, on a too-absorbent brioche bun which fell apart as I was eating.|
Can someone please explain to me why every restaurant seems to think that using a brioche bun to sandwich a hamburger is a good idea? For generations, a plain white-bread "hamburger roll" was just fine. Fast food companies still use them. McDonald's has been using regular white bread rolls for almost 80 years, on over 100 billion burgers, without any complaint. Up until recently, so did every other restaurant that served a hamburger. So why do so many places now use brioche, especially on big and juicy burgers?
This leads to my main argument against brioche buns: their structural weakness. While the tender and buttery texture of brioche is appealing for various baked goods, it lacks the sturdiness required to contain the substantial and often juicy components of a burger. The porous nature of brioche buns tends to absorb moisture quickly, leading to sogginess and potential structural failure. Womp Womp. As a result, the burger may become a messy affair, detracting from the intended pleasure of enjoying a well-assembled sandwich...and requiring far too many napkins.
Then there's taste. The best burgers have a harmonious blend of flavors and textures. Personally, I think a brioche bun messes up that harmony. For one thing, brioche, a type of French bread known for its high egg and butter content, possesses a delicate sweetness that can overpower the savory elements of a well-seasoned burger patty. This imbalance can lead to a clash of flavors. I feel the traditional hamburger benefits from a neutral bun that complements the savory components without overshadowing them. Leave brioche for toast with butter and jam (my personal favorite way to eat it).
It's also worth mentioning that brioche buns tend to be higher in calories, fat, and sugar content compared to their traditional counterparts. Hamburgers are fattening enough. Opting for a brioche bun may contribute to a higher caloric intake without adding significant value to the overall dining experience. And what about people who have allergies to eggs or dairy? No burgers for you! (And stay away from Martin's Potato Rolls, though delicious and structurally sound, they contain milk and butter.)
I do love me a good hamburger, but I have found myself eating far fewer of them than in the past, all because of that damn brioche bun (which has also started ruining chicken sandwiches). Perhaps that is good for me, health-wise, calorically, but I'm also missing out on the happiness that a perfectly constructed burger can provide.
Restaurants, please reconsider following the fad and go back to using real hamburger buns. Leave the fancy French bread to French restaurants. Or breakfast.
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Posted on Minxeats.com.