The perceived nature of a trend is that it arrives with a bang and departs with a whimper. Remember that time when everyone went berserk for space hoppers? No, me neither, in fact I probably wasn’t even born. But I do remember the I Love (insert year) programme telling me that their ‘moment’ deflated pretty swiftly.
There are some fads, though, that prove incredibly stubborn. And, along with skinny jeans, sleeve tattoos and the career of Boris Johnson, the gourmet burger is one such novelty item that refuses to die a natural death.
If anything the movement seems to be gathering pace. Just this week Burger King announced that they would be serving a ‘black burger’ with black cheese in their outlets across Japan (which can be achieved at home by leaving one on the barbecue too long), while, closer to home, barely a week goes by without the opening of a new, trendy burger temple, with press releases talking up their creations with the zeal of a Tube train preacher and the vocabulary of a porn director.
And the public swallow it, literally. We have burgers for every occasion: for a hangover, for the journey toward the hangover, to enjoy spare time and to pass the time. There is the high-end burger, the low-end burger, the mid-range burger and even the lab-grown burger.
The BBC claimed that the glorified meat sandwich was worth £2.79 billion to the UK economy in 2012 – and the market has shown no signs of slowing since.
It is clear: we reached ‘peak burger’ and just kept on scoffing.