Golden Age Of Fast Food


tb2017-naked-chicken-chalupaOnce upon a time, engineering geniuses flooded the American workplace with innovative ideas for all forms of manufacturing. For example, this country’s automotive industry busted at the seams with creative intellect—now, the commerce that once powered Detroit is a hollow corpse compared to its glory days.

Innovation still exists in America, but it now shows up in the most unexpected of places—fast food restaurants. Recently, Taco Bell unveiled the Naked Chicken Chalupa, a taco in which the shell is made completely of fried chicken. Be still my beating heart. According to the all-American company, the chicken shell is all white meat and antibiotic free—so, it’s healthy, too.

Before the chicken-shell creation, Taco Bell had the now-ubiquitous Doritos Locos Tacos, a taco with a Dorito shell, and the Quesalupa, featuring a shell stuffed with cheese.

And Taco Bell isn’t alone in existing on the cutting-edge of fast food formation. Kentucky Fried Chicken, or KFC for the abbreviation obsessed, recently unleashed the Chizza—a pizza with a fried chicken crust, topped with tomato sauce, cheese sauce, mozzarella, something called “chicken ham” and yes, pineapple chunks.

OK, that one is admittedly more Frankenstein’s monster than ingenious food invention, but you get the point.

Then there’s Burger King’s chicken fries, mac n’ Cheetos and Whopperito, with McDonald’s contributing the boring-by-comparison three-sizes Big Mac, “clean McNuggets” and garlic fries.

Americans love to eat and most live a life where eating quickly is of utmost importance. It was only a matter of time before the great minds of this nation gravitated toward the fast food industry. Some might consider my lauding of fast food for its innovation as a sign this country has entered the intellectual dark ages.

That might be so, but as we trudge along through this American century, I believe it is crucial we recognize anything that brings people together, instead of focusing on the myriad ways we are torn apart.

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Steve Mosco, former editor-in-chief at Anton Media Group, is a columnist for Long Island Weekly's food and sports sections. He fancies himself a tastemaker, food influencer and king of all eaters.

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