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Chicago Restaurant Kuma's Corner Has Burger With Communion Wafer, Red Wine Reduction

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Oct 3, 2013 1:30PM

Kuma's Ghost burger. (Image via Kuma's Facebook page.)

Kuma’s Corner is known for its belt-snapping, heavy metal-themed burgers that are exercises in gluttony. But their latest burger has some people in an uproar.

The Ghost, named after the cartoonish Swedish band Ghost B.C., is 10 ounces of beef and a little bit of slowly braised goat shoulder served with a red wine reduction, aged white cheddar cheese, ghost chile aioli and an unconsecrated communion wafer.

The communion wafer and the symbology of that and the red wine reduction as the body and blood of Christ have some people upset that Kuma’s is being sacrilegious, as if serving someone 10 ounces of ground beef isn’t sinful enough. Kuma’s general manager Luke Tobias told the Tribune it’s no big deal because the wafers haven’t been blessed, which makes them simple, pretty crackers.

The response to the burger on Kuma’s Facebook page has been largely positive with a few people chiming in with “dude, not cool.” Keir Norwell of Buffalo Grove wrote on Kuma’s Facebook page, “so much for liking Kuma's or your page...insulting any other ‘religious group’ would've likely brought on the ACLU and a lawsuit. Very poor taste on your part here.” He told the Tribune the way the burger was being presented was “not as offensive to me as much to my God and my savior.” Norwell described himself as a former Kuma’s customer, so he has to know that cheekiness has long been a part of how the restaurant operates, right?

Jeff Young, who runs The Catholic Foodie blog, told the Trib the use of the communion wafer, regardless of whether it’s been consecrated or not, should upset some Catholics.

"For us as Catholics, the Eucharist is more than a symbol, it's a sacrament. At the same time, it doesn't mean that symbols aren't important. … It is a mockery of something that is holy. The same thing could be said of the band itself."

Frankly, if any Kuma’s customers upset over the use of the wafer in this burger can’t see past the irony that eating 10-ounces of meat in a single sitting may be just as offensive to their God and savior—gluttony is a cardinal sin, after all—they have bigger issues than Kuma’s.