Social media’s latest fast food fascination has a simple formula: one sesame burger bun plus 20 slices of American cheese.
This invention from Burger King Thailand has no sauce, pickle or vegetable adornments. Nor does it have a patty. By many accounts, the cheese is often not even grilled or melted.
The so-called Real Cheeseburger prompts disbelief, but Burger King Thailand confirmed the new menu item was real in a Facebook post announcing it on Sunday: “Not for fun, this is for real!”
The sandwich was priced at 109 Thai Baht, about $3.15, and Thursday would be the last day it was available, the company said. In an email, it described the Real Cheeseburger as a “limited-time offer.”
The sandwich’s life span was less than a week.
While the Real Cheeseburger was never recognized as a culinary masterpiece, its distinctive cheese tower geometry and terrifying ingredient simplicity attracted outsize attention.
Social media posts showed customers sampling the sandwich, with mounds of American cheese seeming to fuse together with each bite.
Reviews of the Real Cheeseburger were not kind.
On the Thai news site Coconuts Bangkok, Nicky Tanskul said “it was the driest burger I’ve ever tasted” because it lacked sauce and a patty.
Eric Surbano of the media company Lifestyle Asia said the dry sandwich was “a shock to the digestive system.”
“It makes me wonder why Burger King thought of this aside from the viral aspect of it,” Mr. Surbano said. “Perhaps they just have a surplus of cheese lying around. Perhaps they just hate us.”
Fast food companies have long relied on shocking food formulas to draw in new customers.
In January, Burger King Thailand also sold a burger with a chocolate bun and French fries drizzled with chocolate sauce.
In the United States, KFC created a sandwich called the Double Down, which used two hunks of fried chicken in place of bread, selling it for short spans in 2010, 2014 and March of this year.
Dunkin’ Donuts debuted a breakfast sandwich in 2013 that put eggs and bacon between two halves of a glazed doughnut.
Pizza Hut in the United States sold a pizza in 2015 with a crust that was decorated with 28 tiny hot dogs resembling pigs-in-a-blanket.
It was called the Hot Dog Bites Pizza.
That pizza had been a success in Asia before it was introduced in the United States, but Burger King had bad news for those hoping a similar fate for the Real Cheeseburger.
The company said in an email that the sandwich “will not be featured in the United States nor elsewhere.”