Monday, September 13, 2010

It Ain't Easy (or Cheap) Being Cheesy

In the beginning, there was the grilled cheese.

And it was good! This simple lunch option consists of two pieces of bread, some American cheese or cheddar cheese and maybe some butter. It's usually on the children's menu, but it's enjoyed by both omnivores and vegetarians. Not vegans, though. Those guys are just too picky. Retail value -- around $2.00.

Then, the idea evolved to the Carl's Jr. Grilled Cheese Bacon Burger.
Ok, technically this isn't a "grilled cheese" because it has meat on it (sorry, vegetarians -- but, on the other hand, I'm not that sorry because meat is delicious -- you're really missing out). It features two slices of sourdough, two kinds of cheese, bacon and hamburger. You'll have to work off 820 calories after eating this baby (which is probably around 6 push-ups), but I actually can't find it on the Carl's Jr. website anymore. Retail value -- $2.49.

Next up in the evolution chain is this latest invention from TV chef Martin Blunos.
Now how much would you pay for this sandwich? What, faithful readers? You want to know what's on it? Ok.

This cheese sandwich is made with sourdough bread, cheddar, white truffles (fungus), extra virgin olive oil, quail egg slices, heirloom black tomato, epicure apple, fresh figs, mustard red frills, pea shoots, red amaranth and it is topped with 100-year-old balsamic vinegar. Oh, and did I mention is sprinkled with gold dust? No, I'm not making any of that up.

So, how much would you pay? Did I hear 50 dollars? $75? $100? Well, you can stop holding your breath in anxious anticipation. It goes for £111.95. For those of you who don't know the current exchange rate of pounds to dollars, 1 British pound = 1.5351 US dollars. For those of you who aren't good at math, that's about $171.85. Plus tax. And tip. And cab fare. And don't forget about the babysitter.

Seriously? Would you pay that much for a cheese sandwich? Even if it's covered in edible gold dust?

Most of the cost actually comes from the truffles (fungi). The chef collaborated with expert (i.e. snooty) cheese-makers to blend the white truffles (seriously! It's a fungus!) with West Country Farmhouse Cheddar. This cheese and truffle (synonyms for fungi: growth, slime, spore-bearing syncytia, blight) mixture costs over 141 dollars all by itself. Even if you tell them to hold the truffle (WAKE UP! IT'S A BLINKIN' FUNGUS, PEOPLE!) because you brought your own mushrooms (retail cost: 2 or 3 bucks at your local grocery store), you're still gonna be paying 30 bucks for this economic monstrosity.

As for me and my house, we're just gonna warm up the stove, get some sliced bread, some Kraft singles and maybe do something crazy -- like add ham. We're wild like that.


Crystal Ross said...

Even if I (by some strange stroke of fate) become insanely rich and am desperate to get rid of some cash, I would not try this sickening sandwhich. I do not like fungi.

Andrea said...

I don't know. I had some truffle butter at Tony Caputo's a while ago, and it was rather delicious. I may be a bit of a grilled cheese snob though. I demand nothing less than sourdough bread and aged sharp cheddar. Oh how hungry I am!

Bethany said...

I would never buy it (even if I were rich) and I wouldn't want a whole one to myself, but I would try it. I'm intrigued by truffles.

Sara Ann said...

Mmm I love grilled cheese! If I had the money I would totally try that sandwich, I think it looks good! Plus I have always wanted to try truffles to see if they are worth the hype. There is a restaurant here in Vegas that sells a a burger that costs $5000 dollars, yikes. It is at a restaurant at Mandalay Bay. That is a little over the top, even for a rich person, plus it does not even have gold dust on it, blah.

The Former 786 said...

Sara Ann, I must know more about this $5000 burger!

--jeff * said...

really, in the evolution of sandwiches stemming from the basic grilled cheese, i think the kfc "double down" is the next step. why not replace the bread with pieces of chicken? no one likes bread, anyway....