History of Food

History of Food

Sunday, June 17, 2012

June 17 and Cheeseburger in Paradise

As with every day there are numerous topics I could discuss.  First, I have realized that I am selling my readers short because I am neglecting other important days in food history.  Therefore, beginning today I will be changing the format a little bit on my blog postings. 
June 17, 2012
Today is - Eat Your Vegetables Day and National Apple Streudel Day. 
1239 King Edward I of England was born (ruled 1272-1307).  His coronation feast included 278 bacon hogs, 450 pigs, 440 oxen, 430 sheep and 22,600 hens and capons.
1870 George Cormack, the creator of Wheaties cereal, was born.
1872 George M. Hoover arrived in Dodge City.  He was the second settler there, and opened the first business, a saloon of course.  Whisky was 25 cents.
1903 Ruth Graves Wakefield was born.  Inventor of the Toll House Cookie, the first chocolate chip cookie, at the Toll House Inn near Whitman, Massachusetts in the 1930s.

Because I tend to be a Parrothead – (Parrot Head or Parrothead is a commonly used nickname for fans of Jimmy Buffett. "Parakeets" or "Keets" is the term used for younger fans of Jimmy, or children of Parrotheads).  I decided to investigate the history of the song 'Cheeseburger In Paradise' by Jimmy Buffett.  On this day in 1978 this song peaked at #32 on the charts.
"Cheeseburger in Paradise" is a song written and performed by Jimmy Buffett. It appeared on his 1978 album Son of a Son of a Sailor and was released as a single, reaching #32 on the Billboard Hot 100. "Cheeseburger in Paradise" has become one of Buffett's best-known songs and was selected as the first track on his greatest hits album Songs You Know by Heart.
According to Buffett's Margaritaville web site, the myth of the "cheeseburger in paradise" was inspired by a boat journey Buffett once took in the Caribbean.  Buffett said of this song: "The myth of the cheeseburger in paradise goes back to a long trip on my first boat, the Euphoria. We had run into some very rough weather crossing the Mona Passage between Hispanola and Puerto Rico, and broke our new bowsprit.  The ice in our box had melted, and we were doing the canned-food-and-peanut-butter diet. The vision of a piping hot cheeseburger kept popping into my mind. We limped up the Sir Francis Drake Channel and into Roadtown on the island of Tortola, where a brand new marina and bar sat on the end of the dock like a mirage. We secured the boat, kissed the ground, and headed for the restaurant. To our amazement, we were offered a menu that featured an American cheeseburger and pina coladas.”
According to the lyrics found on the vinyl sleeve, Buffett sings "cheeseburger is Paradise" twice throughout the song. It is unclear whether he is actually saying in or is, but "cheeseburger is Paradise" can clearly be heard during live performances. Whether this is a fact for the studio version hasn't been confirmed.
 Also, another lyrical-confusion is in the second chorus, during the line "medium rare with Münster would be nice"; the line is commonly mistaken as mustard instead of Münster.
This song has become so popular, that in 2002, Buffett's company Margaritaville Holdings LLC licensed the name of the song to OSI Restaurant Partners as the name of the Buffett-themed Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant chain. As of 2006, the restaurant has 38 locations in 17 states in the United States. A Cheeseburger in Paradise is a menu item at Buffett-owned Margaritaville Cafes located in the United States, Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean, as well as being on the menu at his sister Lucy's restaurant "Lulu's" in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

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