In America, we hold these truths to be self-evident: Pizza, burgers, french fries, hot dogs and fast-food fried chicken are meant to be eaten with our hands (a.k.a “God’s Utensils”). Using a fork or knife, as many politicians have learned after unfortunate photo-ops throughout the years, is a sign of weakness, un-American-ness and unfitness for public office.
Heaven forbid you eat your pizza with a knife and fork, as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio did in 2014, and Gov. John Kasich did last year. Even President Trump was mocked for eating his Kentucky Fried Chicken with a knife and fork on the campaign trail.
Because there’s nothing more American than getting grease and salt on your bare hands, Americans may be surprised to learn that one of the country’s most famous culinary exports — McDonald’s — is kowtowing to local cutlery mores. In France, certain McDonald’s burgers will now come with utensils, because French people — quelle surprise! — eat burgers with a knife and a fork.
This is a fact that should surprise no one — of course the French, always more sophisticated, would eat fast food with a knife and a fork. And yet, it still manages to surprise just about everyone.
Guy next to me with a French accent eating the Nopa burger with a fork and knife and I’m getting irrationally angry help
— Richie Nakano (@linecook) August 19, 2015
Was judging the hell out of this French lady for eating her burger with a knife and fork, but when mine arrived, I understood. #tolerance
— Alison Grasso (@grassowhat) August 15, 2016
Burgers have been getting more popular in France over the years, and one French market research firm found that, at 80 percent of the 145,000 restaurants they surveyed, burgers were outselling steak frites. Le Figaro reports today that McDo’s, as the company is colloquially called there, will offer recyclable plastic knives and forks in its 1,400 French restaurants, some of which also offer table service. Save your “Pulp Fiction” jokes about a Royale with cheese — the cutlery will only be handed out for orders of the brand’s more expensive signature burgers, not the regular menu.
“The cutlery is an evolution and not a break,” said Xavier Royaux, vice president of marketing for McDonald’s France, to Le Figaro.
But what would they think of the frork?
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