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Whether the blooming of the cherry blossoms in spring or the chirping of cicadas in summer, in Japan there is always a herald to the changing of the seasons. As incorrigible carnivores, for us fall begins when McDonald’s tsukimi burger returns to the menu. Tsukimi literally means “moon viewing,” a popular autumn activity in Japan, but in this case refers to the lunar-looking fried egg the sandwich contains. The tsukimi burger also comes with bacon. It has no linguistic reason to be there, but if you really need an explanation as to why someone would add bacon to a burger, we’ll be happy to explain after you finish your quiche.

Of course, the full moon has been known to do strange things to people’s minds, and we wondered if we couldn’t scavenge components from McDonald’s tsukimi burger to make something even better.

Among Japan’s biggest hamburger chains, MOS Burger is generally held to have the highest quality. In particular, connoisseurs find their meat and buns to be more flavorful than McDonald’s. There’s just one problem: MOS doesn’t have a tsukimi burger.

Of course, we could have picked up a regular hamburger from MOS, cooked up some bacon and eggs, and inserted them into the burger. Unfortunately, the RokcetNews24 offices don’t have any decent cooking facilities, since during construction we had to choose between putting in a kitchenette or a supermodel splashfight grotto (if our contractor happens to be reading this, we are still waiting for delivery of our supermodels).

Our only option was to Frankenstein together our own MOS tsukimi burger. We first acquired a McDonald’s tsukimi burger, then headed to our local MOS branch.

▼ The regular McDonald’s tsukimi burger

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However, not just anyone regular MOS burger would do. Frankenstein’s monster needed a brain, and our burger engineering required a proxy for the creamy sauce found in McDonald’s tsukimi burger.

We asked for MOS’s vegetable burger with aurora sauce, a tomato cream sauce seasoned with garlic. But even though we were ordering the “vegetable burger,” all we were really after was the sauce. Since the orthodox McDonald’s tsukimi burger doesn’t come with vegetables, we asked the MOS clerk to hold the tomato and lettuce on our order, although if that seems like a waste of money, you could always use them to make a little salad, or perhaps feed them to your pet rabbit.

Now with two original-spec burgers, we were ready to begin our tinkering. As you may have guessed, burger science isn’t exactly rocket science, and all we had to do was take the tops off of our two sandwiches, transfer the fried egg and bacon to the MOS burger, and replace their buns.

▼ Step one: Take the top off the MOS burger (we decided to keep the onions)

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▼ Step two: Grab the egg and bacon from the McDonald’s burger

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▼ Step three: Place them on the MOS burger

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▼ Step four: replace the MOS bun (not pictured: Step five: Devour)

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The first thing that jumped out at us was that our MOS tsukimi burger was about one and a half times taller than the McDonald’s tsukimi we’d started out with. We’d worked up quite an appetite through all of our brainstorming, however, so after taking a brief moment to admire our handiwork and snap a picture, we took a bite.

Our roundabout ordering of the MOS aurora sauce vegetable burger (with fewer vegetables) was immediately justified, as the sauce’s delicious tangy flavor, soaked into the smooth surface of the fried egg, hit us with full force.

True to reputation, the MOS burger’s patty was juicier, and its buns softer and moister, than their McDonald’s counterparts. All of the flavors in our creation complement each other so perfectly that we’re kicking ourselves for not having thought of this last year. We were so satisfied that we almost felt a little guilty for showing up the sandwiches’ original creators, like going to karaoke and adding a flourish that your friends love but isn’t actually in the original song.

If you’d like to replicate our experiment in shooting the moon of burger deliciousness, act fast. The McDonald’s tsukimi burger is on sale now, but will likely be gone within a month. Sure, making trips to two separate restaurants is a bit of a pain, but look at it this way: not only do you end up with a MOS tsukimi burger, but also a perfectly edible regular McDonald’s burger on the side, plus a salad if you’re willing to do the vegetable extraction yourself.

The only problem is that since neither place will let you eat their competitor’s food inside the restaurant, our MOS tsukimi is strictly a to-go deal. But really, if forbidden fruit is by its very nature all the more tempting, isn’t the same true for forbidden burgers?

Photos: RocketNews24
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