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Will the deep-fried Twinkie burger finally put an end to stunt sandwiches?

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Is it time to put an end to over-the-top, waistline-expanding, headline-grabbing hamburgers? One writer for Slate thinks so.

It's hard to tell when stunt burgers slid down a greasy path into popular consciousness. KFC's Double Down, which featured two deep-fried chicken breasts in lieu of a bun, was an early example. Since then, all kinds of monstrosities have been thrown on the grill and served up for our base tastes: Paula Deen's doughnut burger and the cronut burger, which ravaged the CNE in Toronto this summer, are just two recent examples.

Now comes the deep-fried Twinkie burger. When it made its debut on Tuesday at PYT restaurant in Philadelphia, there was a line up of ravenous customers lined up outside before the restaurant even opened.

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"It's a really cool combination of salty and sweet. It's surprisingly very good," the co-owner of PYT, Sarah Brown, told the New York Daily News. "It is very rich, though."

How could it not be? It's made of funnel cake-battered, deep-fried Twinkies, with a patty of beef and pork belly topped with cheese and bacon.

And it's grabbing plenty of attention online, with several news outlets more or less reporting some version of: "Look at how crazy this thing is!"

"Behold the deep-fried Twinkie burger" proclaimed the Los Angeles Times, as if it was something from on high to bow before.

Not everyone is on board with the trend, however.

"A burger made with deep-fried Twinkies is just another example of foodies valuing foods precisely because most people find them disgusting," L.V. Anderson writes in a recent Slate article. "Contemporary food culture has taken on a Fear Factor-like ethos, in which he who eats the most bugs and offal without vomiting wins."

But that's not Anderson's main objection to so-called stunt burgers. It's that burger buns made of bread serve the function of absorbing juices – which deep-fried materials don't do so well – and that these burgers can't be defended as art.

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"The conceit of the droll postmodern hamburger is tired," she writes.

Eating one will probably make you feel that way, too.

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About the Author

Dave McGinn writes about fitness trends for the Life section and also reports for Globe Arts. Prior to joining the Globe, he was a freelance journalist, covering topics from trying to eat Michael Phelps' diet to why the Joker is the best villain in comics history. He's working on improving his 10k time. More

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