The Eatin’ of the Green

Today is St. Patrick’s Day.  As I write this thousands of Bostonians are going out to traditional Irish-like watering holes to drink themselves into oblivion on green beer and bad bar food.  Geoff and I didn’t have much to do today other than a doggie play date this morning and a few errands.  On his way home from running errands, Geoff stopped at the nearest Burger King and got us each a meal.

You see, we found out yesterday that this weekend was nationwide Free Fries Weekend at Burger King.  This in and of itself would not ordinarily be enough to get us to go out of our way to get food at Burger King.  While I prefer Burger King to, say, McDonald’s, I think Geoff and I eat at fast food places 3 or 4 times a year.  Part of this is because neither of us really likes fast food, I’m a vegetarian and fast food is remarkably bad at making it edible and actually vegetarian, and we tend to only get it when we’re on the road and we generally don’t travel much.

So, today’s meal was what you might call, food eaten on a dare.  You see, in addition to free fries, Burger King was also advertising “St. Paddy’s Sauce” with their fries.  Also called Green Sauce elsewhere, it was apparently bright green dipping sauce.  Nowhere was it called ketchup.

Yesterday, Geoff and I were discussing what this “green sauce” might be.  I was insistent that it was just ketchup with green food coloring in it.  Geoff was wondering if it was, perhaps, a Mexican chile sauce handed out in lieu of ketchup.  That is naturally green and wouldn’t require extra, um, chemical creativity on the part of the good people at Heinz.  I didn’t think that the average American consumer could be trusted to actually eat something that wasn’t ketchup, no matter what the color, with their burger and fries.  Your average red-blooded meat and potatoes “Amurrican”, at least in my experience, has exactly 2 “spices” and 2 condiments in his house, salt, pepper, ketchup, and yellow mustard.  You know you’re dealing with a real foodie if he has relish.

Anyway, what came out of the Heinz packets looked like acrylic paint.  Behold:

That is actually what came out of the packet.
"Green Sauce", "St. Paddy's Sauce", or tasty acrylic paint, whatever you want to call it, there you go.

I realized as I was snapping the photos with my phone that it was a real shame that we were eating off of our green plates.  It would have been much more impressive on our white ones.

The weird but inoffensive looking packet.
The packets and the free fries.

According to the packets the food colors Yellow #5 and Blue #1 were involved in making this weekend’s special sauce.

In the end the green sauce tasted like ketchup and the veggie burger tasted like, well, a Burger King veggie burger.  We’re having more green food tonight as Geoff is making a spinach tart for dinner.  This was not intended as a St. Patrick’s Day special but rather as a test run for a recipe he’s working on.  It’s a medieval recipe fondly referred to as Ye Olde Spinachy Tartee.

And, no, we won’t be eating it with ketchup.  Green or otherwise.


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