To put it in Seinfeldian, "what is the deal with that?"
I hate to be snarky against people doing what I do, which is to say writing about food, but I gotta. Just gotta. I flipped through the new Time magazine at work today, and saw a food column in the "Life." section on the austere subject of breakfast.
The piece is titled "The Breakfast Club" in the print edition (although I'm not sure why), and it discusses the logic behind what we eat, when we eat it. The author, Joel Stein, addresses specifically the McDonald's Southern Style Chicken Biscuit.
This is mighty coincidental, because in a moment of weakness I had one of those very sandwiches this morning. In previous moments of weakness (yes, plural...don't hate me), I have sampled the Southern Style Chicken Sandwich, which is in fact the very same piece of chicken on a different bread substrate. Morning, biscuit, plain; afternoon, bun, with pickles.
It is this chimaeric quality that befuddles Mr. Stein: how is it possible that McDonald's is doing this? Isn't it just too weird? And why is it weird, when we eat chicken without reserve throughout the rest of the day? After all, it's the same piece of chicken!
...The biscuit is soft and buttery, and while I don't love chicken, this is at least clearly decent, non-McNugget chicken, boldly presented without sauce.
Yet I still don't feel that it's breakfast. (After all, McDonald's slaps that exact same chicken patty on a roll with pickles and sells it at lunch as the Southern Style Chicken Sandwich.) I need to be eased into my day with something comfortingly soft or sweet. And breakfast meats of any kind gross me out. But if everyone else is eating sausage and bacon, I am not going to judge people for a fried-chicken biscuit. They are pioneers. Thirsty pioneers, no doubt, but pioneers.
Secondly, he needs his aforementioned weltanschauung broadened severely. If this is A) newsworthy, and B) too freaky for him, he's a truly sheltered writer when it comes to food. Paging Ric Romero.
Lastly, dude's an LA Times contributor! He lives IN LA. Has he really never heard of Roscoe's Chicken 'n Waffles? Popeye's Chicken & Biscuits?? Chick-fil-A??? I hate to break it to ya, Joel, but there's at least one major segment of the American population that's been doing the chicken-for-breakfast thing for quite some time. I don't want to make it an ethnic thing, but when people get sheltered in their own comfort zone, that is one of the thick blankets in which they can wrap themselves.
So c'mon, Joel. You can do better than this. It's a new McDonald's menu item. Please don't tell me you're planning to write about the McRib when it comes back again. Nothing against the McRib. The guiltiest of guilty pleasures.