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Apple and Google Can’t Agree on Cheese Placement in Burger

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Should it go on top or below the meat?

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The cheeseburger at P.J. Clarke’s
Nick Solare

A revelation about Silicon Valley’s biggest tech companies sent shockwaves through the hamburger-loving world this weekend. On Saturday, writer Thomas Baekdal shared an astute observation about the difference between the Google and Apple cheeseburger emoji:

This tweet caught the attention of Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who vowed to get to the bottom of this issue:

At first, it might seem like Google made a careless mistake with the design of this emoji. But it’s also quite possible that the people behind the playful illustration simply ascribe to the cheese-on-the-bottom principle, a cult strand of sandwich/burger-making that gains more and more followers every day. Arguably the strongest evangelist for the cheese-on-the-bottom construction theorem is Dan Pashman, the food obsessive behind the Sporkful podcast and the Cooking Channel’s You’re Eating it Wrong and The Snackdown.

For the last eight years or so, Pashman has been arguing that this method of burger engineering improves flavor — because the gooey cheese hits your tongue first, instead of the roof of your mouth — and it also serves as a buffer between the juicy meat and the semi-porous bun, thus preventing the bread from getting too soggy and falling apart after a few bites. This strategy was one of the major reveals in Pashman’s 2014 book Eat More Better: How to Make Every Bite More Delicious, and he’s talked about it several times on his podcast over the years.

Meanwhile, another noted food theorist, Kenji J. López-Alt, also had strong opinions about the burger emoji. Kenji disagrees with Pashman about the cheese placement, but he also has other quibbles with the layering of ingredients

If you have any thoughts about the correct way to layer the buns, meat, lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese in a classic American cheeseburger, please share them in the comments of this post.

@baekdal [Twitter]
@Sundarpichai‏ [Twitter]
@Kenjilopezalt [Twitter]