When the news first broke, we had to make sure we were reading it right. Bacon... sundae? It seemed too outrageous to be true. How could Burger King, a fast-food franchise with more than 12,400 outlets in 73 countries, offer a sundae dessert with bacon in it?
But that's exactly what happened. On Tuesday, Burger King announced its newest treat for the summer: A cup full of vanilla ice cream, chocolate and caramel sauce, and yes, that salty porky goodness known as bacon.
In addition to the bacon sundae, Burger King also rolled out new pork, beef and chicken sandwiches for the summer, including the Carolina BBQ Whopper or Chicken Sandwich, the Texas BBQ Whopper or Chicken Sandwich, and the Memphis Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich. The company also added sweet potato fries and frozen lemonade to the new menu, which is only available for a limited time (until Sept. 3), or while supplies last.
Burger King also introduced a permanent new menu in April in an attempt to revive the brand and win over new customers with healthier and tastier options. Some of the healthy specialty items included fresh chicken and apple salads, new snack wraps, and new fruit smoothies, but this -- a bacon sundae -- is a far cry from a healthy option.
Now that the bacon sundae is finally available at Burger King, the IBTimes sent out three of its most valued reporters -- John Talty, Dave Smith, and Michael Billera -- and asked them to taste the new porky dessert going on over at Burger King. Here's what they had to say:
John Talty: I knew from the get-go that I likely wouldn't enjoy Burger King's bacon ice cream sundae, but I was absolutely obsessed with trying it. I knew that the combination would likely prove disastrous, but my independent love of bacon and ice cream pushed me to try the fast food chain's latest concoction.
Trying out the sundae after lunch on Friday, I realized that it inherently wasn't as disgusting as I initially expected, but that the poor execution in making it has left me with a stomachache that likely won't subside anytime soon. A mix of ice cream, chocolate syrup, caramel, and tiny bacon bits wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, but the bacon pieces are far too big and salty for my taste palate. It was difficult to consume such large chunks of bacon with the ice cream and left me wishing that I hadn't spent $3.80 for it.
It isn't the worst thing I've ever had in my life, but I think the kinks need to be worked out before I'd ever consider eating it again.
Dave Smith: I really wanted to like this ice cream. When I first heard the news, I didn't believe it was true, but I figured, Hey, if Burger King wants to mass market a bacon sundae, it must be at least half good, right? They wouldn't bet their brand on a bad dessert, right? I had once tried bacon ice cream, and I believed that if it was done well, a restaurant could definitely pull off the salty-sweet combination.
Burger King's bacon sundae was definitely ambitious, but it comes up short in a number of ways. First of all, it's not that appetizing. Seeing bacon stick out of an ice cream sundae is not very attractive, but even more powerful than the looks of it is the smell. The bacon has a strong smoky scent and flavor, and the combination of the bacon's intense smoke and char with the ice cream's intensely sweet creaminess was about too much.
Burger King had the right idea to mix sweet and salty, but the bacon was just too powerful: Overly smoked, and overly salted. The tiny pieces of bacon sprinkled into the ice cream weren't bad, but the big chunks of bacon -- dipped in chocolate, vanilla and caramel -- was just an all-out assault on the pallate. Burger King should have removed the big pieces of bacon and just let people taste a hint of bacon; instead, the dessert is confusing and not very enjoyable. It was an interesting experience, and I give Burger King a lot of credit for taking a risk with this one, but the dessert is simply not very desirable the way it is.
Michael Billera: I hated it. I thought it was absolutely disgusting. I liked the vanilla ice cream, but the bacon was way too salty, which tasted so weird in the ice cream. And now I have a tummy ache and I just want to curl up in a little ball and cry.
Have you tried Burger King's new bacon sundae? What do you think of the company's decision to introduce such a sundae in the first place? Let us know your impressions in the comments section below.