According to Pickle Packers International, Inc., the trade and research association founded in 1893, the perfect pickle should exhibit seven warts per square inch for American tastes.

The year was 1985.  Ronald Reagan was in the White House, Huey Lewis was smirking on MTV, Bernard King was scoring at will for the Knicks, and McDonald's introduced a new product: the McD.L.T™.

It was a departure for McDonald's because it was an attempt to make a burger like the average American would make at home on their Sunbeam grill:  a juicy, USDA-certified 1/4 pound beef patty topped with cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, mayonnaise, ketchup AND mustard.  The rollout of the product was expensive for although the existing Quarter Pounder with Cheese patty was used, many ingredients were new: new lettuce (not the shredded Big Mac type), sliced tomatoes, mayonnaise, and fancy new packaging were needed.  The packaging was a problem from the start.  It was styrofoam, twice the size of existing packaging, and an easy target for militant environmentalists.  The packaging was designed to "keep the hot side hot and the cool side cool" by separating the two bun halves - one side with the hot off the grill burger, and the other with the various cold toppings.  In practice, the cool side got lukewarm as the burger sat under a heat lamp and then the consumer was forced to put the two limp sides together and altogether miss the point of this creation.

Oh how I remember biting into a fresh McDLT™: the lightly toasted bun gave way to the crunch of crisp lettuce, the summer-fresh tomato, the cold creamy mayonnaise, the zesty pickles and finally the luscious, perfectly grilled burger.  I get misty thinking about it even now.  So it had 680 calories ( 60% of them from fat), required assembly and tended to mess up your Lee cords.  Who cares. It was a small sacrifice to make for what was quite simply the best burger that the fast food chains ever produced.  And it died very very young.

Help us right a horrible wrong by bringing this misunderstood burger back to the public.  It's about time.