While Americans ‘Indulge’ With Fast-Food Desserts, Iranians Indulge With $250 Bowls of Ice Cream


Regardless of what so-called experts say about the impact of posting nutritional information at fast-food and chain restaurants, it seems that most customers aren’t patronizing Checkers or McDonald’s with the idea that their bodies are temples. And so an increasing number of quick-service restaurants are creating new dessert lines to go along with their conciliatory apple slices and grilled skinless chicken breasts.

According to Nation’s Restaurant News, Wendy’s, Sonic, Checkers, and Krystal Burger have all introduced new desserts this summer. In addition to simply providing new sources of revenue, the desserts were created in response to customers who “still want to indulge,” in the words of one Checkers exec.

Though one could reasonably observe that the idea of “indulging” with dessert at a fast-food restaurant is redundant, it points to the inconvenient fact that, regardless of any PC rhetoric that chains are spouting in response to criticisms of their food, plenty of Americans are going to these places for the sole purpose of eating junk. Or, as one consultant told NRN, restaurants are “finding people are not as health-conscious as they say they are.” Reportedly, research has also found that the sky is blue.

But while many American would claim the ability to buy a Wendy’s frosty as their birthright, dessert has taken on an entirely different meaning in Iran. There, the gap between the country’s wealthy minority and poor majority is now symbolized by gold-flecked ice cream. As The Washington Post reports, patrons of the Milad Tower, which is billed as the world’s highest rotating restaurant, can order a $250 bowl of the ice cream, which also includes edible silver and caviar.

Here, of course, Serendipity 3 has given us the Golden Opulence Sundae, which, at $1,000, makes the Milad Tower’s offering seem like both a relative bargain and the work of rank amateurs. In both places, what you’re really paying for is the illusion that your indulgence is inherently different from that of the average prole sitting in the Krystal drive-through. Even where ice cream is concerned, context is everything.