I was reminded of my affection for the Egg McMuffin recently when I came across a newspaper obituary for Herb Peterson, the product's inventor, who died last March at the age of 89. A former adman for McDonald's, Peterson developed a friendship with Ray Kroc, the man who purchased the fledgling burger chain in 1961 and turned it into a fast-food phenomenon. After a successful corporate career in Chicago, Peterson relocated to Santa Barbara, California, where he opened his own McDonald's franchise. According to McDonald's: Behind the Arches (Bantam Books, 1986), a corporate history by the journalist John F. Love, Peterson departed from the burgers-and-shakes script and started opening early to serve breakfast. His signature offering was a fast-food take on eggs benedict, the brunch classic consisting of poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, and Canadian bacon on open-face English muffins. Since poaching the eggs was out of the question in a fast-food kitchen, he cooked them with a tool that a local blacksmith had custom-made for him: a grill-top Teflon mold that fashioned eggs into perfect rounds. For efficiency's sake, he swapped in cheese for the hollandaise.