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McDonald’s giving out free Egg McMuffins on Monday

On the calendar of faux food holidays, March 2 was looking a little light. It had been declared National Banana Cream Pie Day by whoever declares these things.

So McDonald’s decided to call a holiday of their own, announcing National Egg McMuffin Day and vowing to give our free breakfast sandwiches from 6 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Makes sense, seeing as how this was the first fast-food chain to introduce breakfast sandwiches to the American public back in 1971.

McDonald’s gives credit to Herb Peterson, an owner-operator in Santa Barbara, for the creation. He apparently was trying to make eggs Benedict and screwed up — no doubt realizing that once you lose that runny yolk, you’ve lost your Benedict credibility and need to salvage your reputation by inventing a whole new dish. Or maybe he messed up the hollandaise.

Either way, an Egg McMuffin has for nearly 50 years contained the egg, muffin and Canadian bacon of a traditional Benedict, with a slice of American cheese subbing for the sauce and a second muffin half making it a sandwich. (BTW, lean Canadian bacon is lower in fat and calories than regular bacon and sausage. The classic Egg McMuffin has 300 calories. If you sub sausage, the calorie count shoots up to 480.)

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