Cheeseburger from Paradise This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

April 9, 2013
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It was a taste like no other. No, a sensation, that of which I had never experienced before. I bit in again, savoring each flavor as they settled on my tongue. This was the moment I knew my life had changed forever. Brought into a new light, I was never to be the same when ordering meals.

Cheeseburgers. Juicy, sloppy, and well rounded, this is the food that changed my life. I fell in love with this sumptuous meal in the eighth grade. It may seem a little late to be trying your first cheeseburger, but I had always been so enchanted with the regular hamburger to even glance at something different. I didn’t necessarily have a hatred for cheeseburgers, but more an attraction to the regular hamburger. Why change my views if what I already ate was so wonderful? The moment I did stray from my norm, I was immediately captivated.

It was the fall of 2008 and I had just entered eighth grade. My two best friends Haley and Alex had accompanied me to a University of Nevada Reno football game. Haley’s father, being the fan of college sports that he is, is a member of a group that gets discounts to games as well as other special treatment. One of the most important of that treatment being the pre-game meal. Dressed in our cutest Wolf Pack gear, the three of us sat down to enjoy a soda and each other’s company. Soon after sitting down, a smell drifted over our way, lifting our noses high into the air.

“Cheeseburgers,” Haley whispered, a glint in her eye. I started to smile, and then remembered my “hatred” for the thing I hadn’t ever tried.

What will I eat? I thought to myself, becoming increasingly concerned. How could I abandon my sweet love, the hamburger? So faithful, so understanding. I hadn’t strayed to this point, how could I now? But the smell, the overwhelming, intoxicating smell of beef juice and cheese cooking on a barbeque was filling my nostrils and enticing my brain.

“Guys, I’ve never had a cheeseburger before,” I said, making sure to keep my eyes down to hide my embarrassment, studying every detail of my black ballet flats.

“WHAT! Why not?!” They yelled in unison.

“I just really like hamburgers, I never wanted to try anything else,” I responded.

“You have to try one,” Haley said, intently staring at me with her dark brown eyes.

“Yeah, they’re like, the best,” added Alex, serious for the first time since I had befriended her a year ago.

I laughed. How, after all these years, could I have missed something as delicious as they suggested it was. My advanced and complex palette was well beyond the average thirtenn year olds. There was no way I’d rejected something so love by so many people.

Or had I?

Intrigued, I decided to try one, To humor my friends, I thought.

We made our way to the line for food and waited for our turn. A medium sized slightly over cooked cheeseburger was placed on my open bun. I added tomatoes and lettuce, completing the meal.

As we headed back to our seats, my nose tingled with delight as I inhaled the smell wafting from my plate. We sat, and Alex and Haley patiently waited as I lifted the masterpiece to my mouth. I bit down, juice rolling from my lips to my chin, and tried to contain my excitement.

It was delicious.

A perfect combination and it was in my mouth. I felt the warmth of the hot burger, tasted the melted cheese. At that moment, I knew my life had changed forever.

I closed my eyes, taking another bite. When I finally opened my eyes, I was greeted by Haley and Alex’s beaming faces. They had persuaded me, with great success.

“Do ya like it?” they asked, and I nodded, my mouth full of food.

We continued our meal in silence, each one of us enjoying our cheeseburger. I went home from that game enlightened, but also confused. What was it about this combination that sparked my happy brain cells to through a disco party in my pleasure center? I loved regular hamburgers, but why was this so different, so spectacular? The only that was added was cheese, how could that possibly change my outlook on burgers all together?

I pondered this question silently for the next few hours following the game, all the while asking every friend and family member I talked to how much they loved cheeseburgers. Each reaction was whole hearted and I could see the love in their eyes that accompanied their response.

So what is it about this food that opens people’s minds, tingles their senses and excites their taste buds? I thought for hours, and dreamt of cheeseburgers as I slept.

Finally, I came to a conclusion: a cheeseburger is the perfect combination of every food group. If you order a regular cheeseburger at most any burger serving restaurant, you will be served a bun, a hamburger topped with melted cheese, lettuce, tomato, and sometimes onions and/or a pickle. These ingredients hit every food group. Not only that, but a cheeseburger is not what most people consider “health food.” And who doesn’t love greasy, unhealthy food every once in a while? But wait, it only gets better. Cheeseburgers can also be made in a more healthy way, for those who are concerned over that sort of thing.

This monumental idea changed my perspective of food completely. How many foods can hit every food group in one sandwich? Also, you would think this would mean that the food would be considered healthy. But no, not in most circumstances at least.

Once I solved the puzzle, I was greeted with pleasant satisfaction. Not quite as filling as the meal I’d had the day before, but satisfying none-the-less.

I can still taste the juice tingling my taste buds and dripping down my throat=]
. The cheese that continued to melt in my mouth, even after I’d taken a bite. The crunch of the lettuce, soothing the heat from the burger, and the juice of the tomato softening the bread just the right amount.

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