Tuesday, September 18, 2007


I have a bizarre memory for weird things that nobody needs to know. Where I sat the first time I ate at my favourite Italian restaurant in Maryland, Il Pizzico. I remember exactly how Hubby was standing when I opened the door and saw him in person for the first time. I can even recall the pretty yellow dress my parents bought me when they sold the yellow Honda back when I was a kid. I may not remember how to spell basic words, any elements (other than aluminum) on the Periodic Table, or even my own cell number most of the time, but darnit, I can recite whole passages from Shakespeare at a moment’s notice.

Now, I realize that most people know and can remember (without the aid of note cards, or a teleprompter) important information like cures for diseases, how to remove tomato stains from t-shirts, and their own addresses. But the one thing I think we all remember, from the brain deficient like me to the smarties like Hubby, is the commercial that taught us how the most famous hamburger of all time was made: "Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun."

What? You mean it was just me? Well, for the sake of today’s blog, just pretend and read on anyways…

This entire preamble, of course, is because of a new museum dedicated to an icon we all know and love. Or I do at any rate. What historic icon of culinary Americana am I talking about? The Big Mac, of course! But we may not have realized or appreciated this wonderful burger’s place in history. Well, that oversight has thankfully been taken care of!

A genius in Pennsylvania recently opened the Big Mac Museum – the world’s first museum dedicated to Jim Delligatti’s marvelous creation. (It even has a giant Big Mac statue out front!) Surprisingly, though, this cultural pit stop isn’t a drive-thru.

All this makes me wonder though… Does the price of admission include a sample? And can I have fries with that?

Big Mac Museum in Pa.

IRWIN, Pa. - It started out as a culinary idea and turned into a global icon.

The Big Mac, arguably McDonald's most famous sandwich, was first served by its founder Jim Delligatti 40 years ago.

To mark that lucrative feat, the Big Mac Museum Restaurant has opened in North Huntingdon, just 40 miles north of where the first double burger, triple bun sandwich was served in Uniontown for 45 cents.

The museum has it all: the world's largest Big Mac — 14 feet tall and 12 feet wide — a bronze bust of Delligatti, a high-tech global Big Mac map and wallpaper peppered the ad "two-all-beef-patties-special sauce-lettuce-cheese-pickles-onions-on-a-sesame seed-bun."

It took Delligatti, now 89, two years to convince McDonald's to allow him to serve up the sandwich. After the first day, he realized that two buns was too sloppy, so the middle bun was injected.

A year later, in 1968, the Big Mac was on McDonald's menus nationwide. Today, 550 million Big Macs are sold annually in 100 different countries.

Delligatti, whose family owns 18 McDonald's in western Pennsylvania, said he still eats an average of one Big Mac a week. And, contrary to those who blame fast food for contributing to the nation's obesity problem, Delligatti — who still works every day — says it keeps him going strong.

North Huntingdon is about 30 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

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