In Japan, Get a Burger King Party Set for the Holidays

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[Image: Burger King Japan]

The last time we saw Burger King's pizza burger was at the Whopper Bar in New York City. Now Burger King in Japan is offering a slightly different version of it as part of a holiday party set (¥2980, about $35.50). What else do you get in this illustrious party set? Oh man, what don't you get? Here's the full menu:

  • NY Pizza Burger: Six burger patties, American cheese, mozzarella cheese, and garlicky marinara sauce to make the burger pizza-style
  • Holiday Chicken Salad: Green salad, tomatoes, onions, BK's famous fire-grilled chicken, andCaesar dressing
  • BK Tenders: Uniquely shaped chicken nuggets that are easy to eat because of the slender shape. You can chose from honey mustard and BBQ sauce
  • BK Cheese Bits: Hashed potatoes with cheese mixed in, shaped into small balls. They go perfect with ketchup
  • Onion Rings: Minced onions shaped into rings and fried

They're also offering BK fried chicken (¥150/piece, about $1.80), which you can pre-order if you order the BK party set. Burger King is taking orders (fill out a form in-store or print out the PDF on their site) from now until December 30 for party sets to be picked up from December 8 to January 11.

If you're wondering what's up with the fried chicken (and the holiday "party set" in general), there's a bit of history behind it. This Japanese article delves into the origins of the KFC Christmas, but for those of us who don't read Japanese here's a summary courtesy of Serious Eats member hmw0029 (who also provided the translations above): In 1971 or 1972, American customers in Tokyo went to KFC for Christmas because they couldn't find turkey. That prompted KFC to start a "Fried Chicken for Christmas" ad campaign in 1974 to promote the new custom of eating fried chicken for Christmas. Due to the general population's ignorance and yearning for Western cultures, the ad campaign was hugely successful.

As Burger King shows, it's not just KFC that cashes in on the fried chicken holiday madness. Burger-centric chains McDonald's and MOS Burger also offer fried chicken party sets, and convenience store chain Lawson offers a variety of Christmas meal options.

Many thanks to hmw0029 and Emily Koh for their translating help and insight into Japanese culture.

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