Our boss’ mad genius gives birth to the Maffle.

The other day, the sound of clicking keyboards at SoraNews24 headquarters was interrupted when our boss, Yoshio said “How about if I cook lunch for everybody?” But while Yoshio’s voice was sunny and warm, a dark, chilling atmosphere descended over the rest of the office.

Ordinarily, the offer of a free, and hot, lunch is a good thing. Yoshio’s logic, though, is sometimes…well, let’s call it questionable. There was the time he almost got arrested for wearing a mankini on the streets of downtown Tokyo. Then there was the time he gave out 10,000-yen New Year’s bonuses, but in one-yen coins. Oh, and since we’re talking about food, let’s not forget the time he straight-up ate a bunch of different types of dog food.

Still, he’s the guy who signs our paychecks, so we said “Sounds good, boss!” while keeping our fingers crossed that this wasn’t going to be one of those days when we showed up at the office only to end up eating bugs. So imagine our relief when Yoshio left the room, only to return a short time later with takeout bags from McDonald’s.

But we were relieved and confused, since he’d specifically said he was going to cook lunch for us. It turned out that Yoshio hadn’t misspoken though, because instead of handing out burgers, he went to the office cupboard and pulled out a portable stove and waffle iron.

After lighting the burner and briefly heating both sides of the iron, he took a McDonald’s hamburger out of the takeout bag, removed the wrapper, and placed the burger inside the waffle iron.

With managerial authority, he pressed the iron shut, and we half-expected meat juices and condiments to begin dripping out the sides of the apparatus. Instead, though, there was just a hiss of heated steam, sort of like with a tea kettle.

Yoshio let the contents cook for one minute, then flipped the iron around to heat the opposite side for one minute more. Then he turned off the flame, opened the iron, and what came out was…

a perfectly enclosed crispy waffle!

Looking at it, you’d never guess that the contents of a beefy sandwich were waiting inside. Still, we decided to let Yoshio have the first bite, just in case his latest experiment had yielded something grossly inedible…

…but he smiled with delight at the deliciousness he’d produced. “I shall call this combination of McDonald’s and waffle…the Maffle!” he proclaimed between bites.

Next it was time for the rest of the team to taste test the Maffle, starting with our resident Disney fanatic Tashiro.

“This is delicious, and the crispy texture is like nothing else I’ve ever eaten!”

Now that the Maffle had the approval of someone who hasn’t snacked on dog food, the rest of us felt brave enough to try it.

Go: “This has become something other than a hamburger! It’s a whole new kind of food.”
Seiji: “This tastes so much better than eating it the normal way.”
P.K.: “Aweeeesome! I could eat 20 of these. It seems like something that’d cause a new food trend in New York or someplace.”

Casey: “Cooking the bread makes it smell great. This would be a nice addition to McDonald’s breakfast menu.”
Ruide: “Wow! This is better than the regular McDonald’s hamburger.”
Ahiru Neko: “This feels fancier than just a cheap old burger.”

▼ The Maffle video experience

Getting into the specifics, toasting the bread makes it more flavorful, and the heat of the waffle iron mellows out the flavor of the pickles and onions. The most interesting thing, really, is the texture, which we were having a hard time describing until our Australian editor Oona hit the nail on the head by saying “It feels like a biscuit [cookie], but with meat inside.”

▼ Now that we knew they were tasty, we decided to whip up a couple more Maffles.

Another benefit to waffle iron-cooking your burger? Since the process makes the sandwich completely enclosed, there’s absolutely no mess when eating it. As a matter of fact, if you’re the type that likes to eat on the go, the Maffle is a great way to keep the interior of your car clean or prevent leaving a trail of crumbs behind you on the sidewalk.

So thanks, boss! We’re still disappointed about that time you blew one million yen on lottery tickets, but your Maffles show there’s definitely an upside to your madness.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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Follow Casey on Twitter for more info on things he’s eaten in Japan.

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