Bamboo Charcoal, Peppered Steak, and Squid Ink
Right before we left on this trip around the world, I read about an all-black burger offered Burger King Japan. It was called the Kuro Burger (kuro is Japanese for black), and it featured a peppered beef patty topped with black cheese (colored from from bamboo charcoal) and black ketchup (which gets its color from squid ink) nestled between the two halves of a bamboo charcoal-blackened bun. Many people were calling it "the Gothburger."
What it's supposed to look like
Okay, maybe it sounded a little weird, but I still found it somehow enticing. I was determined to try one during our time in Japan.
So on a fateful, chilly Thursday night in November, as we were heading back to our apartment from a day of touring Tokyo, we found a Burger King in a subway station somewhere in Roppongi Hills and ordered up a pair of black burgers.
What it actually looked like
I was disappointed that the burgers were delivered to us wrapped in standard Burger King white paper and not the mysterious black paper I'd seen pictures of. And when we unwrapped our burgers, this is what we found.
I didn't really expect the real-life burgers to look like the product shots, but what we got was quite a departure from the images of glossy, sexy, perfectly lit burgers we'd seen.
The Kuro Pearl is a straight up Burger King cheeseburger—if all the ingredients of the cheeseburger were black.
The black cheese didn't put me off as much as the black squid ink ketchup, which tastes as weird as it looks. I'm not a big fan of ketchup, so I may not be the best to judge. However, my daughter consumes ketchup with the enthusiasm of youth, and she assured me it did, in fact, taste weird.
The Kuro Diamond added regularly colored tomatoes, onions, lettuce, and mayonnaise to the black burger equation. Oddly, this made it less appealing.
But I'd started down this path, and it was too late to turn back now. I closed my eyes and took a bite. Of the two sandwiches, the Pearl was the better burger. The extra ingredients on the Diamond made it that much slimier and harder to keep together as we ate it.
Admittedly, it's been a long time since I've eaten at Burger King, so I can't say if this was any better than a standard Burger King burger, but I will say that I won't be rushing out to try another one.