A few years after attempting to gloss itself over as “Kitchen Fresh Chicken,” Kentucky Fried Chicken is going back to its greasy, buttery roots — and then some. Select markets have introduced the KFC Double Down. And humanity shuddered.
Food as spectacle has long had a tradition in the United States. Gargantuan portions and colossal calorie counts are amusing. Many steak joints across the country have a sort of “eat the whole cow”-style challenge — brought to cinematic life in ‘The Great Outdoors‘ when John Candy struggles mightily to finish a 96 oz. steak so his family can eat free. Nathan’s International July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Contest has been around for 94 years and is only growing in popularity, even being televised on ESPN in recent years. Then there are local sports promotions, like the Fifth-Third Burger — a $20, four-pound, 4,800-calorie monstrosity — which helps draw people to watch the West Michigan Whitecaps minor league ball team.
All of these are, in their own way, ridiculous. But when ubiquitous, value-propositions KFC and corporate sibling Pizza Hut wield their considerable market share to promote gut-busting, heart-stopping fare like stuffed-crust pizza and this new Double Down, it’s a little obscene.
I’ll resist the urge to go over-preachy (yadda yadda obesity, yadda yadda health risks, blah blah minorities overly affected). And lord knows nobody expects health foods from Kentucky Fried Chicken.
But, come on. This ostentatious ploy to put KFC’s name the news cycles is just not responsible. Tale of the tape. The KFC Double Down Sandwich:
— Has no bread; substituting instead two pieces of deep-fried, boneless chicken
— Between these vein-cloggers lies cheese, secret sauce, and bacon.
— The Vancouver Sun changed its original more-than-1,200-calorie estimate based on some input from KFC’s damage control people. Now the Sun guesses KFC’s Double Down Sandwich has 590 calories, 31g of fat, 10g saturated fat, and 190mg cholesterol.
The Sun characterizes that as being “in line with the mid-to-high range of most fast food outlet menu items.” Which may be true in a statistical sense, but it’s certainly not in a “balanced food group” sense. Unless the food pyramid now prioritizes grease.