At first glance, the Kuro (the Japanese word for "black") Burger appears rotten. The bun and cheese slice look like they were left to cook inside a hot dumpster for three weeks before a King fry cook scraped off the penicillin growing on them and stuck a slab of meat in the middle.
Courtesy of Greenway Dumpsters
But this is not the case. In fact, the King used smoked bamboo charcoal to give the ominous-looking bun its expired look. Bamboo charcoal is a popular cooking ingredient in Japan, and is actually more eco-friendly than America's briquettes. (Every bite of an American quarter-pounder should taste a little of global warming).
And that nasty-looking cheese? Well, it's actually just a regular slice of cheddar that's been injected with squid ink, a national delicacy. For those of you who have not indulged in the bounty of the squid's ink sac, the stuff has a rather salty flavor, a runny consistency, and many uses.
You can even lather up your Koru burger with a squid ink condiment or squid ink-infused ketchup if you're so inclined. Or fill up your printer cartridges with it.
Courtesy of Darkling Eye
When broken down, the Koru burger is pretty much just your average Burger King sandwich with a Japanese twist, not Death incarnate in a fast-food meal. It was even predated by a French burger called the "Dark Vader," a black burger rolled out in 2012 to celebrate the debut of Star Wars Episode 1 in 3D. The Koru burger looks way better than that did, and whatever pasta-impersonator Olive Garden serves.
Yes, Japan has a fascination with what we might consider "out-of-the-ordinary" food fads like canned bread, juice drinks mixed with pig placenta, and wasabi beer.
Courtesy of Incredible Things
But the country is actually on the forefront of international cuisine. Not only have sushi and Kobe beef swept America by storm, but Japan's restaurant scene is also one of the most decorated and highly ranked in the world. As more Japanese culture starts infiltrating America, we're likely to not treat their foods as so foreign or strange.
Part of the reason Japan has a reputation for being so trendy is that the country is constantly evolving to adapt to its people's rapidly changing tastes, preferences, and passions. Cuisine there takes on a kind of artistic statement absent in many other places (ehem, Uh-merica…), and vendors do their best to cater to their customers fancies. If you think about it, Japan actually cares more about consumers than we do here.
And if you believe the rest of the world doesn't take issue with any of America's fads, think again. The combination of peanut butter and jelly in sandwiches is so unpalatable to our neighbors that I'm sure it's the real reason why they despise us.