Black magic has been at work in the Burger King kitchens. Entering America for the first time during the fall of 2015, the seasonal A.1. Halloween Whopper may initially inspire some apprehension in the casual diner with its ominously black-hued bun, but customers should have no beef with this burger if they consider taste alone. Without allowing the black shade of the bun to color the eating experience, eating the Halloween Whopper is a surprisingly enjoyable experience, though admittedly one rarely approached by the conventional eater.
While many might be shocked at the radically different appearance of such an unusual bun, it’s not the first time a black bun burger has been sold in Burger King restaurants. Japanese Burger Kings have served [CK1] black-bun burgers as promotions in the past, advertised as the Samurai burger and the Kuru burger. Even other branches of the Burger King franchise have jumped aboard the midnight bun express with burger specials including the Chinese Yin Yang burger and the French Darth Vader [CK2] burger (both limited time specials during 2012).
Entering Burger King with some trepidation, yet reassured that no reports of some poor Chinese, French, or Japanese BK customers dropping dead have surfaced, I ordered the dubious creation and found myself seated with the pitch-black burger in what seemed like a matter of seconds. Filled with the traditional accoutrements of a Whopper, the burger had tomato, lettuce, onion, pickles, American cheese, mayo, and A.1 sauce. But what really set it apart from other Whoppers (besides appearance alone) was the advertised A.1 black pepper flavor baked directly into the bun, perhaps BK’s attempt to convince customers of the unconventional bun’s edibility.
Mustering up the courage to expose my taste buds to the possibly toxic creation, my teeth dug into the inky, yet fluffy surface of the burger. Much to my surprise, the bun’s texture was not impacted by its sketchy pigmentation; in fact, the bread itself was very fluffy [CK3] and contained a veritable explosion of flavor, with black pepper jumping off its surface and complementing the smoky taste of the flame-grilled burger. This black pepper impression soon gave way to the other characters of the burger- the tangy A.1. sauce [CK4] oozing out of the bun’s black embrace, the leafy lettuce, onions, and tomato adding a subtle crunch at the end of a bite, the American cheese contributing, well, a hint of processed flavor. All in all, while very tasty, the A.1 Halloween burger had a very similar taste to the generic whopper; its sales seem to run more on the novelty of its unusual and festively gruesome appearance.
Brave consumers, however, should be wary of their burger experience extending beyond initial consumption. Widespread accounts have reported seeing unwanted… evidence of their adventurous eating as it exited their body in the form of green fecal matter. While experts have assured customers of the burger’s safety (the excrement’s residue is the result of the stomach lining’s inability to absorb blue dyes from the bun, which then mix with yellow intestinal bile to produce a florid green), such an unnatural side effect has left many with a very different kind of Halloween Horror than usual tricks and treats.
Clocking in at 710 calories (60 more calories than a regular whopper) and about 60 more cents than its less adventurous counterpart, the A.1. Halloween Whopper costs slightly more both to the waistband and the wallet, yet many would argue that the experience itself is worth the additional costs. Though the Halloween Whopper didn’t ensnare me with its black magic, I enjoyed the novelty of the experience. For those who aren’t bothered by the possibility of delayed colorful side effects of their adventure, this seasonal entree is an experience worth having.