Mystery of the hybrid comfort food’s name gets cleared up on the first bite.

Zen philosophy includes the concept of koan. They’re sometimes described as “Zen riddles,” but that’s kind of a misrepresentation, since koan are questions with no definitive answer. Take, for example, the koan “What is the sound of one hand clapping?”

Sometimes around the SoraNews24 office, though, we feel like we have a koan of our own: “Do you want to eat pizza or a hamburger?” It’s a quandary that we never arrive at a solid answer to, because how can we choose between two things so fundamentally important to our existence?

Thankfully we’re now freed from ruminating on that impossible-to-answer question, thanks to Domino’s Pizza Japan’s Burger Pizza. First teased back in January, the Burger Pizza is now on sale, and we decided to try it for ourselves.

To our surprise, when we opened the delivery box there was what looked like a fairly ordinary pizza inside. We’d half-expected for there to be both a top and bottom crust, but nope, the burger pizza follows the traditional layout of crust on the bottom with cheese and toppings above it. Appearance-wise, the Burger Pizza defers to the “pizza” half of its lineage.

And yet, looks can be deceiving, and when our taste-tester Ahiruneko bit into a slice, magic happened in his mouth.

Domino’s is offering four types of Burger Pizzas, and the one Ahiruneko chose comes with hamburger patty-style ground beef, cheddar cheese, mayo, “burger sauce,” onion, mayo, and sliced pickles — all the sort of things you’d expect to find on an orthodox cheeseburger. Strangely, though, it’s called the “Big Dac Burger Pizza,” and no, “Dac” isn’t some sort of Japanese ingredient or slang term.

But as soon as Ahiruneko tasted the Big Dac Burger Pizza, the mystery was solved. It doesn’t just taste like a cheeseburger, it tastes just like a McDonald’s Big Mac.

This is, Ahiruneko is quick to point out, a very good thing. It may not be gourmet, but the Big Mac is a burger beloved across Japan, and one is always welcome in Ahiruneko’s stomach, so the Big Dac Pizza Burger is too.

“But wait, why not just eat a Big Mac?” you might be thinking. The answer, Ahiruneko says, is that even though the Big Dac tastes like a Big Mac, it feels very different. Instead of a bun, you’ve got pizza crust with a crisp surface and chewy inside, making the overall Pizza Burger eating experience satisfying in its own unique way, delivering a different set of joys than what you’d get from a traditional burger or pizza.

So while there’s an undeniable fun-novelty element to Domino’s Burger Pizza, Ahiruneko would love to see it become a permanent part of the menu/his meal plans. That may or may not happen, but at least it’s available right now, with take-out prices for the Big Dac starting at 1,745 yen (US$13.50).

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