It wouldn't be a stretch to say that the hamburger is second only to the Stars and Stripes as a globally recognized symbol for all things American. Beef and bun are soft, round targets for those who have appointed themselves defenders against the encroachment of fast food, agribusiness, American imperialism, or some combination thereof. "Whether or not hamburgers can be considered good food is a personal matter. But then, of course, I'm no fan of hamburgers," said Jack Lang, then the French minister of culture, in 1991, to a classroom of ten-year-olds, on the occasion of the founding of a primary-school course in French gastronomy. "Better a day of tortellini than a hundred days of hamburgers!" went an early rallying cry of the Slow Food movement. On the other side of the trenches, cultural commentators have trotted out the burger as the embodiment of American-style entrepreneurship, representing the essence of our country's egalitarian spirit.