Within the first two minutes of its premiere episode, Bob's Burgers — the Fox animated series about a not-quite-successful burger joint, now in its sixth season — revealed that its in-the-background diner chalkboard would emerge as a major character. In that episode, the board — offering a multi-ingredient "Burger of the Day" dreamed up by Bob himself — featured one promised burger that changed as Bob's family started imposing their will upon it. "The Burger of the Day board came to be sort of a smudgy little window onto Bob himself," writes show creator Loren Bouchard in The Bob's Burgers Burger Book: Real Recipes for Joke Burgers. "The names Bob gives his Burgers of the Day are supposed to feel not just like a free joke glimpsed in the background of an animated show but also — and this is going to sound grandiose and gross, sorry — an expression of the internal life of the character (there, I said it)."
The names are also full of puns. And from the giggles surrounding the "If Looks Could Kale Burger," the "Romaines of the Day Burger," and, blessedly, the "Edward James Olive-Most Burger," Cole Bowden was inspired in 2013 to start the Bob's Burger Experiment, a blog that would "attempt to create all of Bob's Burgers of the Day" and share the recipes with fellow fans. Now, Bowden, Bouchard, and the writers of Bob's Burgers have their own proper cookbook with more than 60 recipes, all offering different topping/flavor combinations for beef patties.
The recipes themselves aren't complex, and as the main author, Bouchard (who also co-created the cultishly beloved Home Movies) doesn't exactly write from Bob's — or any other character's — point of view. (Sorry, no erotic burger fiction by Tina here.) Instead, the book's tone reflects the sincerity and enthusiasm of the show, peppered with the occasional well-timed statement of fact that functions as an unexpected joke. Often, these appear in the recipes' step-by-step instructions: "Fragrance is like obscenity," Bouchard writes in the "Cheeses Is Born Burger" recipe. "You'll know it when you smell it."
The Bob's Burgers Burger Book hits shelves March 22. Pre-order on Amazon, and catch a sneak peek below: