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Dec 31, 2010 12:55 AM

We have failed in teaching our kids Good Geometry, vis a vis the placement of cheese.

As a late Baby Boomer, born in the Fifties,
I felt that my first job was quite nifty.
Under aegis of Gold Arches, wearing uniform and hat,
my job was to match cheese with the patties.
That's that.

Having recently graduated from 10th grade Geometry,
I felt fully capable
of perfectly topping that burger with cheese.

We're dealing with three things that can simply be fun:
there's the circle of meat
and the square of the cheese
and it's symmetry when centered on bun.

After solving Euclidean Proofs in the classroom
of tangents, parabolas, circles, and squares.
I'd hope today's burger-makers could give some attention
to circles of patties and buns and cheese squares.

So, when is the last time you gently received
a chain-dispensed burger that could be perceived
as symmetrical circles and squares?

Or is it your experience that half of the cheese
is draped to the side and is stuck to the wrapper?

In society where "want fries with that?"
beleaguers the pride of our students,
How would you instill individual pride
in the placement of bun, meat, and cheese?

Or, are you willing to accept lowered expectations
and just slurp at the wrapper to get all the cheese?

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  1. Pay a livable wage and create hospitable cooperative creative work environment.
    This is why I do not frequent chains. The "economic geometry" creates the lowest common denominator from which I can not factor a good meal.
    If a2 + b2 = c2 and a + b are the null set then the burger is too. Pi are round, not rectangular in little paper envelopes. Go to a real Mom & Pop joint and watch the "our kids" graph the linear cheesy bisect of the circular burger every time.
    A burger chain is like a bad teacher; boring and unmemorable, even cutting the cheese.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Passadumkeg

      ... Spake Pythagoras from New Mexican highlands.

      Just 2 generations removed from the cuboid of cornbread...

      Now they think Pi are round and Cheese must be square. And what's even more, those squares must be peel-able.

      I lament proper placement of squares upon circles, and the upsurge of cutting the cheese.

      1. re: FoodFuser

        As we are in the process of moving, we had green chile Lotaburgers from the local New Mexico chain, Blakes. When I phoned in the order I aske to center the cheese. Presto, zammo! Perfectly centered. Average age of the workers? 50+-!

      2. re: Passadumkeg

        I don't have such a dim view of chains ......after all, I used to work for one. They teach you properly, but it's up to the individual employee and his supervisor to make sure there's a pride in what they are doing.

        Having said that, I'm perfectly happy with the placement of one cheese slice between two patties of meat on the McDouble and Buck Double. I guess my expectations are lower.

      3. Melted cheese on FF burgers seems to be an endangered species, let alone centered.

        1. I appreciate the OP's playful tongue-in-cheek effort, but in the end this struck me as just another fuddy-duddy post unfairly chiding the performance of younger people who don't measure up to a writer's idealized memories of him/herself at that age. Personally, I'm closing in on my 50th birthday and I don't recall there ever being a time in my life when cheeseburgers had the kind of consistent geometric precision described in the OP's incongruously cheery lament.

          To the extent that this thread portrays "a problem" of any kind at all, I don't see why this discussion is being limited to chains. Throughout my life, I've gotten misaligned cheeseburgers - even simple grilled-cheese sandwiches - at any number of private restaurants, diners and sandwich joints. Generally speaking, it usually comes down to how busy they are at the grill. The busier, the sloppier. And it has absolutely nothing to do with the age of the preparer; many of these workers (particularly in this economy) are older, and some have been doing it for decades.

          Furthermore, especially since the OP brought geometric symmetry into the equation, there are also laws of physics involved. Cheese will slide/ooze off the center for a variety of reasons, perhaps most frequently because of whatever other toppings are placed on the burger, including the top half of the bun. (I suspect that's one of the reasons many restaurants serve their burgers open-faced.) Is the OP saying the laws of gravity did not apply in his/her youth? Is the OP 100% certain that customers didn't unwrap the perfectly arranged cheeseburgers s/he used to prepare at McD's and find a huge glop of cheese had slid out and stuck to the paper?

          Sorry to be the contrarian voice here, but the basis of the OP's post ought not go unchallenged just because it is framed by nostalgic poetry that can fairly be described as ... well, dripping with cheese.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Arthur

            Ah, what risks we betake twixt poetic prosaic
            when adressing the fundament
            of a cheese slab well-placed
            upon top of a burger.

            It's okay if You're okay with receiving those sandwiches
            that were mangled in sloppy assembly.
            I prefer, as in all walks, that folks take their task
            and focus and just do their best.

            The Physics controlling frommagial glide
            are perhaps a post-assembler issue.
            Yes, angular momentum when speeding from Drive-Thru
            can cause all the cheese and the toppings to slide.

            I once was bepimpled and a placer of cheese
            and gave it my simple geometrical best.

            So now I invite you to tug on my finger
            and see if I can still give placement of cheese.

          2. cheese goes in the middle,
            of this I am certain,
            but will it melt evenly,
            it is surely such a burden.
            Will the burger be done,
            with the cheese will it be one,
            and what about the onions?

            1. I thought this was going to be a post about Subway subs, where the "sandwich artists" arrange triangular cheese slices all facing the same way, like so:

              ( / \ / \ / \ / \ )

              Rather than this way (alternating up and down), which would maximize the surface area of sandwich covered by cheese:

              ( / \ \ / / \ \ / )

              I think they do it hoping you will pay more for "extra cheese," so every bite of your sandwich can have cheese on it.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                When mixing the thoughts of Economy and Gastronomy
                it still comes down to placement of Cheese.

                1. re: FoodFuser

                  Give me Swiss of give me or give me none!

                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                    But, compounding the problem with Swiss cheese and its holes
                    brings randomness of placement and balance of vacuoles.

                    1. re: FoodFuser

                      A second piece of cheese tessalated w/ a 180 degree rotation, from the 1st quadrant to the the third, would solve this. I "cheddar" to think of the outcome.

                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                        Depending on eye balance along the hypotenuse,
                        makes sense for the well-seasoned Home Cook,
                        But within the realm of Fast Food placers of cheese
                        It just doubly compounds the problem.

                        Plus, there's the price
                        of that dear second slice
                        which corporate cheese counters would find a conundrum.

                        1. re: FoodFuser

                          The American pseudo cheese gives me the "bleus". A tablespoon of bleu cheese would center the problem.