Death Pittsburgh chef Michael Delligatti, who died surrounded by family at the 99th year of his life, riveted the attention of the world media. Such a large-scale farewell was the result of the recognition of Delligatti as the Creator of the flagship global industry of fast food – big Mac.
Big Mac called Elvis among the sandwiches, it’s the solid equivalent of Coca-Cola, totem, instantly recognizable around the world, writes The Washington Post. In India, where cows are sacred, big Mac made of mutton or chicken and call it the “Maharaja Mac”. Former US President bill Clinton, a known eater of hamburgers, publicly talks about Big Mac Attack.
Delligatti, has created a double-Decker in 1974, when he became one of the first in the history of McDonald’s franchise holders. He sought to make more complex and nutritious Burger than those that were presented in the traditional line of the restaurant. He had to special order increased bun, which could be divided into three parts, distributing two burgers and two slices of cheese. Sesame seeds have become the highlight of decendents sophistication, which emphasized the Royal status of big Mac menu at McDonald’s.
Big Mac, says the press has become a favorite food of generation X and have experienced a lot of criticism and scandals. McDonald’s was accused of using antibiotics stuffed meat, the documentary film Super Size Me said about the serious health risks of fast food lovers, and the book “fast food Nation” revealed serious errors in the selection of products from the company.
“Big Mac had a huge impact on American – and world – relation to food, and not the best. He has become synonymous with American fast food icon,” said Marion Nestle, Professor at new York University in nutrition and public health.
The big Mac has become a Rorschach test in an all-out discussion – is fast food the emblem of the life-affirming abundance? Comforting arms fat and salt? Threat to public health and maiden mills with a capacity of 540 calories? This is American cultural imperialism in the form of a sandwich? – says The Washington Post.
From any point of view, Delligatti left a legacy of more than food. The Economist magazine began publishing its annual “big Mac index” three decades ago, tracking the cost of a hamburger across the globe. “Burgernomics” has become one of the versatile and popular units of currency value. For example, in a PivotTable Statista Russia is on the third place the cost of big Mac, bypassing Malaysia and Ukraine.
In 1974 the cost of a big Mac is a whopping 45 cents, but this did not prevent the sandwich with hot sauce, lettuce, pickles and onions become popular, notes The Wall Street Journal. Delligatti not received royalties for the new item in the menu of the restaurant and any royalties from the sales, despite the fact that McDonald’s has sold billions of big Mac in over hundred countries of the world. When dvuhsotletnego hamburger was 40 years old, experts estimate that the network of fast food has reached the level of sales of 550 million big Macs per year, or one in 17 seconds, notes CBS.
Michael Delligatti insisted that he was not a pioneer in the world of double-Decker burgers – like Bigmac sandwiches were sold in a small network of fast food in the early twentieth century. However, its undisputed merit is the overcoming of caution and conservatism of managers of McDonald’s. By the way, Pittsburgh cook was not the only holder of the franchise, which made a change in Mac-menu – his colleagues invented macmuffin with egg and fillet-o-fish.
Delligatti also actively worked on the implementation of Breakfast in the restaurant chain – he sought to feed the hungry Steelworkers, who were returning home after shift. And he supported Ronald McDonald House in Pittsburgh to take care of the families in which children need serious medical care.
Michael Delligatti died at his home surrounded by his wife, two sons, five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Today his family operates more than two dozen McDonald’s restaurants in Pennsylvania.