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Posted on Jun 15, 2012 in Dear Diary, Food | 28 comments

America, This is Why You’re Fat

So I saw a lovely little gem of an article making its way around Facebook the other day and felt compelled to discuss it. The article is entitled: Burger King bacon sundae goes on the menu.


This fast food masterpiece is comprised of vanilla soft-serve ice cream, chocolate fudge sauce, caramel, and is topped with bacon bits. It clocks in at 510 calories, with 18 grams of fat and 61 grams of sugar, which is honestly not as bad as I thought it would be. I imagine that the serving size can’t be too impressive.

Now, let me preface this by saying that I love bacon as much as the next person. Probably more than the next person, actually. I think it really can belong on anything. In general, of course, I have a pretty weird palette and tend to enjoy flavor combinations that others find strange (case in point: my Green Curry Mac & Cheese recipe). Whereas many people see something like this and probably have an immediate, visceral reaction of “Ew!”, I don’t. I actually think it would probably taste pretty awesome, and I’m probably not alone.

I can only imagine how something like this would have gone over with me just two or three years ago. Back during my most disordered eating days, capping off a “meal” of two chicken sandwiches, a junior whopper, and large fries with a bacon sundae might have been just the ticket. I shudder at the thought. Which is precisely why I need to give all fast food places (perhaps with the exception of the occasional visit to my beloved Chick-Fil-A, hehe) a wiiiiiiide berth.

I just don’t understand what the point of adding something like this to Burger King’s menu is. Especially now, when most fast food chains are revamping their menus to appeal to the healthy eating trend. I heard on the radio that KFC is working on reducing their sodium content across the menu by 20% and that other major fast food chains are reworking their kids’ menu offerings to be healthier. McDonald’s added oatmeal to their morning menu, and every Wendy’s commercial I see lately is advertising their latest chain of “gourmet” salads. BK’s latest menu addition just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me in light of all that, I guess.

I would say something about hoping that consumer responsibility is high enough that people won’t be tacking this thing onto their meals willy-nilly, but I don’t think I have enough faith in the average American consumer for that, haha. Oh well, supposedly this is a limited-time-only thing for BK’s special “Summer Menu”, which also will supposedly include items like BBQ pulled pork burgers and sweet potato fries. Hopefully, for the sake of prolonging the general lifespan of the American people, any interest sparked from morbid curiosity won’t be high enough to make the sundae a permanent menu item.

I say, if you’re really curious about how this might taste, make it yourself! A scoop of Breyers Natural vanilla ice cream (130 calories), a tablespoon of chocolate syrup over it (50 calories), and a strip of bacon (70 calories) on top. Your curiosity and taste buds will be (probably) satisfied for less than half the fat and calories of the original.

Would you be willing to try BK’s newest culinary creation?


  1. Yeah, I agree with Claire. I’m totally all over that. I might not buy it from BK, but the husband and I are already planning how we can make a version with homemade vanilla bean ice cream and local applewood smoked bacon. Yum! And like you said, homemade will definitely be lighter than the BK version.

    As far as it not making sense that BK is adding it to their menu, it does to me, because ZOMGBACON is so hip right now. Check in on any famous food blogger and they are putting bacon in everything. Walk into any novelty shop and you’ll find bacon flavored lip balm and air fresheners. It’s hip to love bacon. And BK is just jumping onto that bandwagon.

    • That’s a really good point. I guess you can really just look to any recipe that How Sweet Eats posts to see evidence of the bacon fanaticism, eh? Hahaha, her maple bacon donuts recipe from the other day did look particularly impressive… and heart-attack inducing… Mmmm…

  2. to be honest, that picture looks damn good. and if someone put a dessert that looked exactly like that in front of me, i’d definitely eat it. but, knowing that this is from a fast food place aka where nothing looks like the advertisements… i’ll be passing.

    • That’s a super good point. Obviously, the thing you get passed through the drive-thru window will look NOTHING like the picture. They probably use Bac-Os, hahaha.

  3. Oh wow. See people get drinks from starbucks for almost the same nutritional stats! I think BK gets a bad rep just because it is a fast food place!

    • That’s very true about how there are tons of coffee drinks that are just as unhealthy, and it’s probably worse when it’s that way because people don’t really realize how many calories their double-blended-mocha-whipped-frappaccino has, whereas I don’t think anyone can lie to themselves enough to justify a bacon sundae as being a “good” choice, haha.

  4. It sounds delicious to me… But your idea of making one at home is a great call.

  5. I don’t think that sounds good, but BK has also started asking if you want cheese and bacon on your fries and onion rings. Didn’t they get the memo that healthy food is a trend right now? (I say that because it is true, eating well seems to be the new fad diet)
    Even Mars candy company (Snickers, M and M’s) will be reducing all of their candy portions to less than 250 calories by 2013!

    • Icccck, like people need more things to say no to when they’re ordering fast food. Between all the “Would you like fries with that?” “Would you like to supersize/King size that?” and now the “Would you like to add cheese and/or bacon to that?” a “Yes” is bound to slip in somewhere!

      I think I read something about that too re: the candy bar thing! That’s really great… c’mon, BK, get on the GOOD trends here!

    • Noooo! What if I want a massive candy bar?

  6. It likely is very good! Nothing is better than a salty/sweet combo. That being said, your homemade version sounds equally good and better for you.

    I agree with the poster above about the starbucks drinks. Even the “healthy” options on some of the menus out there aren’t all that healthy. At least if you’re ordering this, you aren’t being fooled… you “should” realize that you’re packing in a lot of calories, fat etc 😉

  7. Well to be honest, I have had a bacon and ice cream dessert. It was last year at a very nice and fancy dinner celebrating a personal milestone and it tasted ahhh-mazing. I would say the differences were: a) the serving size was smaller than what is pictured and b) it was a special, once a year type of thing.

    I’m sure some people would argue that BK is making more foodie choices available to the masses who may not be able to go to some fancy restaurant. But, it scares me that you can get this at a fast food drive thru, because in my experience that ends up changing things from “special sometimes food!” to “grab me one of those because it’s Weds. and work sucked”.

    • “But, it scares me that you can get this at a fast food drive thru, because in my experience that ends up changing things from “special sometimes food!” to “grab me one of those because it’s Weds. and work sucked”.”

      THIS!! This is exactly the problem. I think that conceptually it’s a flavor combination that really appeals to me, and I would be all over it at a fancy restaurant or as a special occasion treat. But, the fact that it’s now going to be mass-produced and available through your car window? Too much accessibility is NOT a good thing when it comes to crazy unhealthy things… sigh.

  8. I was JUST writing about this! I saw it on the news the other day and while I am a bacon-a-holic (seriously, it’s a problem), this is not something I’ll order – A) it’s a fast food option, so it will NOT look that good IRL, and B) I’m pretty pumped about other fast food restaurant options that are HEALTHY… Like you suggest, it’d be something I’m more inclined to make at home if I were to try it at all (since I love bacon and all). It’s not just fast food places, if this was added to any local restaurant’s menu, I’d probably be writing about it – but the fact that it’s available nationwide obv gets it more attention. Am I a health food nut? Nope, not a chance. But this is one of those things that just screams to me as just wrong, haha.

  9. A year and a half ago I so would have eaten that without a second thought. But it gives me pause now. After losing 20 pounds and working hard to be healthy and fit, I tend to think twice. And I agree with the others that BK gets a bad rap because it is a fast food joint, but Starbucks seems to get away with it. I used to consume Caramel Frappucinos Daily. DAILY!

    It is hard to change a culture that has been trained to think that healthy food is bland. That doesn’t mean it can’t happen (look at all of the food documentaries coming out now…it is incredible). So in answer to your question (ha!) no I won’t be trying it. But I will happily make a chocolate Shakeology so I don’t start craving that crazy concoction (or frappucinos). Great post Gretchen!

  10. i thought bacon chocolate and bacon flavored vodka had gone far enough. now this? i love me some bacon but i’m not combining it with ice cream. unless I can wash it down with a whopper flavored soda. then i’m on board 100%

  11. While the picture does look good (not what it would even remotely look like upon ordering). I don’t think I could order it. It’s amazing how much more aware I am of what I put in my mouth and how I want to make healthy options of the things I’m craving. I like your idea of making it at home and may even surprise the husband with a little sundae this weekend.

  12. Okay, I’ll admit, that does look a little tempting! I’ve had many run ins with fast food joints throughout my journey so, like you, I will just keep driving when I see a BK and not think about their offerings. (though word on the street is McDonald’s has a s’mores pie now… God help us all…)

  13. I might try the combination, but not from BK! I used to LOVE the Hershey Pie they sold there, do they even have it anymore?

  14. The boyf and I once made chocolate fudge cupcakes with a bacon topping. It’s that salty/sweet mix that makes bacon on a dessert so good.

    I could totally see myself sitting down to one of those… gotta stay away from the fast food joints. That is where my self-control goes down the drain.

  15. It’d probably be tasty – but I honestly have no desire to ever try it. I’m not really a BK fan. Fast food is pretty infrequent in my life in general. Once you break away from it for a while, the grease factor will overwhelm you if you try to go back.

  16. I just starting reading “The End of Overeating” by David Kessler, and boy does it EVER answer the question of your blog post! The triumverate of fat, sugar and salt sells food, and actually causes us to overeat. Yes personal responsibility blah blah, but research has found that our brains react to certain combinations of food the same way the brain reacts to crack! The food industry knows this–they spend billions on research and advertising. It’s no accident that they came up w/ this particular combo. It’s highly addictive–for real!

    p.s. i love your blog!

  17. No, I definitely would not be willing to try these shenans! I like my sundaes only with other sweet items… The thought of bacon grease permeating the ice cream gags me.

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