Friday, April 23, 2010

The Double Down

Despite what many think, I”m really not too pretentious about food. I sneak a Del Taco burrito when I need a quick bite that’s easy to eat while driving. I’ve eaten at least one Lunchable in the last year. I eagerly and excitedly ate a McRib.

So as a naturally curious person who has a deep sense of irony, I was pretty damn excited about the Double Down.

For those uninitiated, the Double Down is Kentucky Fried Chicken’s new “sandwich.” It consists of bacon, cheese and special sauce sandwiched between two signature fried chicken breasts. No bread. Fried chicken replaces the bread.

(I will note that you can get the Double Down with “grilled” chicken, but that would be moronic. The calorie and fat difference is negligible and the KFC grilled chicken contains powdered beef. That’s as unnecessary as condoms at an open-carry rally.)

Unlike with the McRib, which I consider to be the spiritual cousin of the Double Down in its culinary fuck you absurdity, I found absolutely no pleasure whatsoever in the Double Down. The chicken breasts were dry and not crispy. The bacon and cheese were impossible to taste. The spicy sauce was pretty nice, I’ll admit. The McRib was meaty and pleasant, albeit fairly flavorless and too sweet. The Double Down is a fuck you salt fest that tea bags your taste buds and leaves your esophagus slightly mummified.

And can we talk about MSG? Now I am by no means averse to MSG. It’s a seasoning that’s been used for centuries. But KFC both seasons the chicken itself with MSG and adds copious MSG to the chicken breading. I think that the Colonel’s secret 11 herbs and spices are just 11 different varieties of MSG.

The sandwich has a lot of salt. It has something like 1400mg of sodium. For those of you keeping score at home, that’s almost 75% of your RDA on a 2000 calorie diet. It’s highly unnecessary. The Double Down could’ve had half the salt and still been too salty.

But I appreciate KFC’s take-no-prisoners approach, I just wish the sandwich was better. I mean, fuck it, I don’t get the uproar. There are a whole fuck tonne of sandwiches that are one chicken breast with bacon, cheese and sauce between a bun. I think that the subtraction of the bun and the addition of another chicken patty is a net nutritional gain.

Unlike the McRib, which I will recommend as a one-time indulgence, I see nothing redeeming in the Double Down, especially given its $5.49 price tag. Several thumbs down.

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