Reality Check

Reviews of fast food burgers and a look at how the real life version compares to the advertised beauty shot.

Reality Check: Burger King Japan's Apple-topped Ringo Burger

Editor's note: Please welcome Carl Nordell to AHT! After he emailed us about In-N-Out's pop-up in Tokyo, we invited him to cover more of Tokyo's fast food landscape. Here's his first review of Burger King's apple-topped burger.

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[Photographs: Top, Burger King; others, Carl Nordell]

Japan is a country known for trying out flavor combinations that few others would—tomato-flavored white chocolate, anyone?—so it's no surprise Burger King in Japan released the BK Ringo: a burger with lettuce, honey mustard, mayo, and a slice of apple (ringo in Japanese). The Whopper Jr.-sized burger has been available since March and can be yours for ¥240 (about $3).

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Unfortunately, the burger was a sad sight, far away from the pretty advertised version. The apple had a tired, limp look, and the honey mustard sauce and mayo had gotten all over the bun. Lifting bun to inspect the burger further revealed a sea of sauce, way too much for a burger this size.

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Upon first bite, the dominant flavors were the sweetness of the apple and honey-mustard The mayo didn't do too much flavor-wise; it mostly contributed to the excess of sauce that drowned out the beef. But most surprising was the cinnamon: It tasted as if someone put the filling of a McDonald's apple pie on the burger. So far, not so good.

But after trying to eliminate the thought of apple pie from my head, the second bite wasn't that bad. I could see what they were thinking: Apples are a traditional pairing with meat. In a way, the combination of apple and beef tastes comforting. Although it's not great, as an interesting novelty burger, the Ringo is worth a try.

With barbecue season coming up, I definitely want to try making my own Ringo burger using better apple, fresh meat, a nice bun, and perhaps some bacon. If you want to try making an apple burger at home, I suggest you match the apple with a sweet dressing that brings the whole burger together; slopping on some acidic Heinz or Frank's and leaving it at that would most likely be horrible. Even if the Ringo had way too much honey mustard sauce on it, I doubt it would've worked without it.

Any AHT'ers going to give a homemade Ringo a try?

About the author: Carl Nordell is a student of Hyper Island and is currently on an internship in Tokyo. He like to geek into the weirdest things, and when he's not stuffing his face, he might send a tweet or two from @carlnordell.

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