Like me, President Obama orders his hamburger “medium well”:
But apparently there’s some controversy over at the Internet Food Association about the way Obama prefers his meat prepared:
I should mention that President Obama apparently ordered his burger “medium well.” The heated argument caused by this particular presidential decision on our IFA listserv put that whole “torture” debate to shame.
I think there’s more to this than simple preferences.
Several years ago, I went out for dinner in Dallas with a relatively diverse group of friends (I was the only black guy). It was only then, at the tender age of 24, that I discovered asking for my steak to be cooked “well” was a faux pas in certain circles.
They challenged me so much that night about my choice that I actually got a bit defensive. I might have even said something about someone’s mama. It was a moment where our cultural differences were never more apparent – if I like my food prepared a certain way, what the hell was the problem?
See, I grew up in a home where my mother knew to cook my steak (she never even bothered asking) until it was charred. In fact, most members of my family didn’t want to see any pink in their meat. I never even heard of someone ordering anything “rare.”
But that confrontation in Dallas stuck with me. And with the help of a very friendly waitress at the Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo (home of the free 72 oz. steak!), I have relented a little and started ordering my beef “medium” and “medium well.” That’s as far as I’m willing to go.
However, when I’m back home in Houston, my mother – as always – never bothers with asking. She just cooks a steak up the way I really like it. And no one is there to judge me. So it occurred to me that maybe Obama was actually putting on a good front at Ray’s Hellburger, just like me.
Now if someone really wants to find a problem with Obama’s burger order, how about him asking for all that nasty mustard? Blech.
But is it possible that peer pressure can change the way people eat? Or that there’s something cultural to the way people prepare their meat?
Just asking questions, folks.