Yes, folks, you heard it straight from the pursed lips of Wile E. Pickle himself:
Meanwhile, as Jeff points out, mass-produced hamburgers were actually pioneered by…brace yourselves…ol’ Joe Stalin himself:
While the Soviet Union was indeed opposed to the vulgar excesses of materialistic US consumer-capitalism during the Cold War, Mr Gorka linking Ms Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow “blue wave” idealists to the Russian dictator’s reign of terror is as obvious a piece of scaremongering as it is hysterical and disingenuous.
He is also incorrect in singling out the humble hamburger as an emblem of Bolshevik disapproval. At one time, the regime positively envied the all-American lunch option and considered it a model meal: simple, affordable and nutritious.
Anastas Mikoyan, a long-serving Minister of Foreign Trade, visited the US on a diplomatic mission in 1936 where he observed the American economic system at close quarters, studying its food industry, meeting with auto tycoon Henry Ford and visiting Macy’s department store in New York City with a view to improving efficiency at home.
Mikoyan – recently portrayed on screen by Paul Whitehouse in Armando Ianucci’s satire The Death of Stalin (2017) – had already introduced canning to modernise Soviet food plants, his efforts hailed (or satirised, depending on your point-of-view) in Boris Pilnyak’s socialist-realist novel Meat (1936), a Soviet answer to The Jungle (1907) by Upton Sinclair.
He returned from his trip with a number of souvenirs of American goods he felt had virtue and should be introduced at home. His haul included ice cream, corn flakes, popcorn, tomato juice and hamburgers.
“You, Anastas, care more about ice cream, than about communism,” Stalin joked when Mikoyan encouraged the manufacture of the dessert in the USSR.
The food commissar would commission The Book of Tasty and Healthy Food in 1939, a state cookbook intended to encourage homecooking and quell interest in restaurant dining and its associated service culture. It was read by one-sixth of the world’s population at the time.
His interest in the mechanisation and mass production of a Russian equivalent to the American hamburger was halted by the Second World War and instead the “Mikoyan cutlet” emerged, a cheaper burger patty (“kotleti” in Russian) intended for the common man that was popular for many years after. The Kremlin, of course, preferred gourmet sausages.
The New York Times wrote about the dish in a profile of Mikoyan, “the man who introduced Eskimo Pie to the Soviet Union”, in November 1964: “The ‘Mikoyan cutlet’ – nobody knows whether it is pork or beef or perhaps fish or fowl – is still the cheapest, most popular if not most revered piece of meat a few kopecks can buy.”
So there you have it, folks. Stalin not only came for their hamburgers, he left the US’s burgers alone…and put them into production back in Russia, too.
But if anyone could stand to lose a few hamberders, it’s Wile E. Pickle, who is rather a large lump and has plenty of beef to spare on his portly frame.