Grill’d courts controversy with roo and emu burger

From today, the two much loved native animals featured on Australia’s Coat of Arms will be re-united… on your dinner plate.

Grill’d, the cheeky burger chain that promises you “a great tasting meal that’s also good for you” will introduce a Coat of Arms burger with kangaroo and emu.  They proudly claim the burger is a world first – “allowing hungry Australians to eat their national emblem”.

In an invitation sent to noodlies, Sydney food blog, Grill’d says the “burger features a delicious blend of lean kangaroo and emu, along with with a host of other premium Australian-sourced ingredients – including award-winning Meredith Dairy goats cheese, bush tomato relish and native thyme mayo“.  As yet, noodlies hasn’t seen or tasted the burger but suggests the addition of golden wattle, as depicted in the Coat of Arms background would complete the package (well, why not go the whole hog, no pun intended).

On paper the meats fit the Grill’d brand of good and healthy food; kangaroo and emu are low fat and low cholesterol, emu is also particularly high in iron.

Would you eat your Coat of Arms?

Interestingly no one has done this before. Grill’d says they’re doing it to “celebrate Australia Day”. The company is no stranger to courting controversy, last year a cheeky campaign which banned food bloggers and hipsters from promoting their food, including in-store signage that screamed  “No blogging, no tweeting, no instagramming, no facebooking, no cravats”.  The tongue-in-cheek campaign succeeded in gaining attention, as it unfolded, according to mumbrella, Grill’d briefly trended on twitter.  Though judging from many of the tweets, food bloggers weren’t impressed.

Not surprisingly, the burger is causing angst in some quarters as reported by the Daily Telegraph today:

National convenor of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, Professor David Flint, called the use of a national emblem in fast-food marketing “wrong” and “inappropriate”.

“I think these symbols of the nation should be respected,” Prof Flint said.

Australian Monarchist League chairman Phillip Benwell added: “The coat of arms represents a nation and using it in a marketing campaign rather demeans the coat of arms and ridicules it.”

Despite the outrage, Australia is not alone – at least 21 countries dine on the animals represented on their Coat of Arms according to Asian Correspondent; from cattle, horses, deer, marlin, sharks even zebra, llamas, elephants and polar bear (Greenland, of course).

Grill'd Coat of Arms Burger

Serving up kangaroo may be controversial for some animal activists because they are not farmed but are shot in the outback.  Activists claim there is no satisfactory standard in relation the humane slaughter of roos are and that hygiene requirements are less stringent than in the production of other meats.

Grill’d is having none of that, in a tweet sent at 3.13pm yesterday, the company proudly teased “Burger-lovers, check in with us tomorrow morning. We have an announcement of marsupial proportions!”.

Besides, Simon Crowe tells noodlies, the roos he uses are farmed, negating the humanitarian and hygiene issues.  Noodlies talks to Crowe in the video below.

Launching a controversial burger today is pretty appropriate – it’s the same day as Lance Armstrong’s much anticipated tell-all interview with Oprah in relation to doping in cycling.

And the taste?

It’s lean meat so the patty is clean and on the dry side, creamy goats cheese, mayo, bush tomato relish and slippery beetroot helps provide the moisture. The bun deserves a special mention, not too fluffy and not too dense.

But heck, that’s just noodlies’ humble opinion, what does Grant Jones, national food writer for News Limited think?  Watch his review in the noodlies video below.

Channel 9’s Weekend Today also had a nibble on this burger, too.  See the video below.

The Coat of Arms burger is only available until the end of January and at ONE outlet in each state. Only 50 burgers served each day. Check Grill’d website for details.

Noodlies and guest experienced the Coat of Arms burger courtesy of Grill’d.

About The Australian Coat of Arms

Australian coat of arms

The present coat of arms was granted by King George V in 1912. It consists of a shield depicting the badges of the six Australian states, enclosed by an ermine border. The shield is a symbol for the federation of the states, which took place in 1901.

The native Australian animals featured in our Coat of Arms are the red kangaroo (Macropus rufus) and the emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae). It is thought the kangaroo and emu were chosen to symbolise a nation moving forward, reflecting a common belief that neither animal can move backwards easily.

Usually the arms is depicted on a background of sprays of golden wattle with a scroll beneath it containing the word ‘Australia’. The wattle and scroll, however, are not part of the armorial design and are not mentioned in the Royal Warrant.

The Australian coat of arms consists of the badges of the six states of the Commonwealth arranged on a shield in two rows of three columns.

The Australian Government uses the coat of arms to authenticate documents and for other official purposes. Its uses range from embellishing the Australian passport to forming part of all Australian government departmental insignias. The use of the coat of arms by private citizens or organisations is rarely permitted by the Australian Government, and doing so would contravene laws relating to misrepresentation, forgery or trademark infringement.