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Big Mac Creator Dies at 98; Food Facts Behind Jim Delligatti and His Iconic Burger

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McDonald’s Big Mac creator, Michael ‘Jim’ Delligatti, died at the age of 98 in his home in Pittsburgh on Monday, November 28. It was on 1967 when Jim, an owner of a Mcdonald’s store, thought about the Big Mac.

Delligatti came up with the idea about producing a bigger sandwich from a customer who ate at his franchise store. One of the first franchisees during 1950s, his Mcdonald’s franchise was located in Uniontown near Pittsburgh.

Initially, Mcdonald’s was hesitant to accept his idea since the chain’s basic menu was selling well. The menu offered the usual hamburgers, cheeseburger, fries and shakes.

Delligatti told The Associated Press in 2006, “They figured, why go to something else if (the original menu) was working so well?”

He then revealed that his invention was well-received in his franchise. Eventually, they were allowed to sell the food for a couple of weeks in two Pittsburgh branches.

Big Mac was then spread to 47 branches around Pennsylvania due to the demand. It was during 1968 that his sandwich was included to the Mcdonald’s national menu.

“I would never have dreamed that my creation would turn into a piece of Americana,” Mcdonald’s quoted Jim on a Twitter post to thank the creator.

BIG MAC’S SECRETS

The iconic Big Mac is made of two 100% beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions layered within a three-part sesame seed bun.

Originally, Delligatti served it with just the top and bottom regular bun without the center slice of bread.

Delligatti told Reuters in 2007, “Making it that way made it very sloppy. The next day we put the centre slice in, and today it looks the same.”

Also, Jim ate one Big Mac a day for decades before his health began to deteriorate as said by his son, whose name is Michael too.

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Michael said, “He was often asked why he named it the Big Mac, and he said because Big Mc sounded too funny.”

Since its national recognition in the menu, Big Mac has sold billions in more than 100 countries. The chain estimated that every second, 17 Big Macs are being sold.

For the love of Bic Mac, Jim opened the Big Mac Museum in 2007. A huge Big Mac, more than four meters wide, is within the museum.

He joked about receiving a dollar apiece when Pittsburgh Tribune-Review asked if he receives royalty for his product.

He then stated to his interviewer, “No, honey. I don’t get anything. I’d love to have a tenth of a cent.”

At his death, he is survived by his wife, two sons, five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

ALSO READ: Jim Delligatti Death Reveals Net Worth: How Much Did Big Mac Give Him?

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