Once in high school, for lack of better things to do my friends and I tried to come up with the nastiest thing to eat. The only condition was that the ingredients are legit food items. I think the winner was a sandwich made of two slices of pig fat spread with butter with a glass of cooking oil to wash it down—or at least this is the one contender I remember.
The memory of this pastime surfaced the moment I read about the KFC’s Double Down—a sandwich of two chicken breasts with bacon and cheese in between. Sure enough, CNN picked up the story the same day and put a quick vote – “have the fast food companies gone too far”, the food sections in most media are buzzing with the news and some health activists are going berserk.
I don’t know how (un)healthy the sandwich is, although perusing through foodies’ blogs it appears that it is salty, greasy and around 500 calories which is on par with most junk food meals, or even “inferior” in terms of calories. I know, however, that I will definitely try it soon. It is one of those things like the beer-milk shake in Steinbeck’s Cannery Row that you’d love to try if the occasion presents itself but wouldn’t mix at home for the sake of trying it.
I think introducing the Double Down is a well-calculated gamble on part of KFC. Today, when social responsibility is a major factor in the business environment, the DD chicken breast (pun intended) sandwich debuts as outrageous, over-the-top, how-dare-you, menu item that has the potential to become a fad in certain circles. Plus, in an industry where all players are moving in lockstep towards healthier meals, someone should stay behind and claim the pig-out category—KFC is the best suited player to do so as the F in their name stands for fried after all.