Lordy Lordy Look Who's Forty!

By Chuck Sudo in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 23, 2007 3:29PM

2007_08_big_mac_shirt.jpgNo, it isn't us; we'll get there soon enough, thank you. The Big Mac, one of Oak Brook-based McDonald's signature hamburgers, debuted forty years ago this week. The sandwich was created by Jim Delligatti in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. Even though the Big Mac today is a part of American food and popular culture, Delligatti had to convince executives at Hamburger U that the concept of "two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun" would actually sell.

They finally relented, allowing Delligati, a McDonald's franchisee owner, to place it on the menu for the princely sum of forty-five cents. A year later, the Big Mac was available at every McDonald's restaurant, and the rest is history. Today, 550 million Big Macs are sold around the world in the company's 31,000 restaurants. It's success spawned other big burgers like the Quarter Pounder, the Big 'N Tasty, the McLean Deluxe, the Arch Deluxe, and the Big Xtra. Big Mac even survived the age of the McDLT (and check out that link for the odd sight of Jason Alexander with hair).

One would think that McDonald's corporate would have given Delligatti, who also came up with the idea for McDonald's Hotcakes and Sausage, some special recognition. You know, like a big-ass cash bonus or something. According to Delligatti, however, "(a)ll I got was a plaque." That's been remedied with this week's opening of the Big Mac Museum in a McDonald's franchise owned by the Delligatti family locations in North Huntington, Pennsylvania.

So celebrate your birthday today, "Le Big Mac," but don't get too wild. You're not that spry anymore.

T-shirt image courtesy of www.animationshops.com.