Burgers may cause health fanatics to grimace and animal rights activists to protest, but rarely does a burger spark a religious controversy as readily as the one recently cooked up at a restaurant in Chicago— made with a red wine reduction sauce and topped with a communion wafer.
Kuma’s Corner features a special burger each month and on Oct. 1, they introduced their "Ghost" burger, dedicated to the Swedish heavy metal band of the same name.
The band dresses as Roman Catholic Cardinals when they perform, but their music is the opposite of Sunday morning choir songs.
The resaurant often names their burger of the month after heavy metal bands, according to NBC Chicago, and Kuma’s website said they “take great pride in supporting the Chicago heavy music community at large.”
Kuma’s acknowledged the sacrilege of the creation as they announced it on Facebook on Tuesday when they posted, “we give you the Ghost which we think is a fitting tribute to the supreme blasphemous activities carried out by the band itself.”
Luke Tobias, Kuma's director of operations, said that he hoped people would appreciate the joke and that he and his colleagues were not looking to offend anyone.
He said the reaction has been a “mixed bag,” but mostly positive, which is clear in the over 300 comments on Kuma’s Facebook post, featuring a picture and description of the burger.
Joe Reed facetiously commented, “I find it offensive ... that I'm 900 miles away and can't eat one of these,” while Facebook user Brendan Lynch wrote, “Classless, I'll never go to Kuma's again." Several other Kuma's fans called the burger “Sacrilicious” in response to those who expressed their disgust.
Jeff Young, who runs the blog Catholic Foodie, compared the use of a Eucharist wafer on a communion-inspired sandwich to, “taking a flag and burning a flag."
The burger is garnished with Ghost chili aioli and aged cheddar cheese, in addition to the wafer and reduction, which the Facebook post referred to as “the blood of christ [sic]” and “the body of christ [sic].”
"Hopefully people will have a good time with it — that's certainly what we're trying to do," Tobias said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report