Originally, I was going to write a story based on a Reddit thread about how the size of a Big Mac has changed over the last fifty years. It's quite an interesting comparison, and I probably should have made it a standalone post.

Unfortunately, that Reddit thread has been deleted. However, what caught my attention as I scrolled through the comments wasn't the discussion about the size of the burger, but why people order it in the first place.

This comment thread in particular was fascinating.

attachment-Reddit Fast Food Thread

At first, that seems like an insult. But if you actually go deeper into the thread, the various commenters make some pretty fascinating points about all fast food.

The comment isn't really saying that the burgers are gross. It's not trying to insult the fast food franchise. But it is pointing out that McDonald's has a taste that is unique to your standard, grilled-at-home burger.

attachment-Reddit Fast Food Thread 2

Same for other fast food restaurants, too.

"Everything at subway tastes like subway," one person wrote.

Another person chimed in, saying "Exactly right. I say the same thing about Taco Bell. If I want tacos, I go somewhere and get tacos. I go to Taco Bell specifically for whatever the hell they do there."

And when you think about it, they aren't wrong.

Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for Taco Bell
Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for Taco Bell

Nobody ever says "I want a burger. Let's go to McDonald's." They say "I want McDonald's." They specifically crave the scientific stuff that McDonald's does to their food (some complex, sciency stuff involving amino acids and additives).

Nobody says "I want a taco, so let's go to Taco Bell." They don't say "I want a Yankee poboy, so let's go to Subway."

They say "I want a Mexican Pizza" or "I want an Italian BMT." They crave specific menu items you can't get anywhere else.

It's a fascinating look into the fast food world. KFC has its eleven herbs and spices while Popeye's has that Louisiana kitchen thing going on. Completely different flavor profiles, and you find that those specific profiles are what create that customer loyalty. That ends up being what makes people so ideological when it comes to their fast food choices.

So, what does fast food taste like to you?

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