Perhaps playing for cash in Vegas isn’t exciting enough for you, but risking your life in Russian Roulette seems a bit too extreme? Enter the Colonel. His new passport to heart failure, dubbed the “Double Down”, seems to celebrate sweeping several of the seven deadly sins under the proverbial rug. I wish I’d been in the KFC marketing department when they thought up the name: “Since each subsequent bite is like gambling with your health, why don’t we name it Double Down?”
So, what the hell is this behemoth? I’m glad you asked. Not looking to be outdone by other gustatory abominations like the McRib, KFC decided to stack two slices of Monterey Jack cheese, two slices of Pepper Jack, two pieces of bacon, and an oil slick better known as the Colonel’s hate sauce in between “two thick and juicy boneless white meat chicken filets”. Ignoring all the obvious roads that lead straight to cardiac arrest, I have to immediately point out that this is no sandwich.
Even though it might induce a raging hard-on for followers of the Atkins Diet who still haven’t gotten the memo, the definitive guide to all things culinary, the Larousse Gastronomique, defines a sandwich thus:
“In its simplest form, two slices of bread enclosing a plain or mixed filling[…] Sandwiches are named after John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, an inveterate gambler who acquired the habit of sending for cold meat between two slices of bread so that he would not have to leave the gambling tables to eat.”
OK, so we found the gambling link. Double Down is more genius than I’d originally thought; a double entendre that honors other lazy fucks from times past who couldn’t be troubled to even walk to get their fix. KFC is betting that you’ll order one at the drive-thru to keep the same slothful lineage alive for generations to come. You may only live to be 48, but you made sure to spread your sloppy seed before slowly strangling your own heart. In your face, God!
So, where is the bun? Again, the marketing gurus responsible for opening this medical Pandora’s box propose that, “This product is so meaty, there’s no room for a bun!” Horseshit. Somebody, somewhere, in that cockamamie corporation has some semblance of a conscience (or a really paranoid lawyer), and refused to include bread, often referred to as “the staff of life”, in any such preparation that so blatantly shortens and disrespects the miracle of life.
There is of course, a workaround. If your level of self-loathing is so intense that a Double Down seems but a mere mile on your highway to coronary hell, then Midtown Lunch has the fast track for you! “There’s always room for some carbs, or in this case a couple of buttermilk biscuits. I stacked them on top and bottom and created my own adaptation and it was pure perfection.”
(Full disclosure: I would be lying if I didn’t admit to loving the Colonel’s biscuits. Yes, yes, I know, what a hypocrite. But at least I’m honest, no?)
Think I’m a food snob? Maybe. Am I an ass for lambasting a sandwich I never have and never will try? Meh. (Although I might just have to try making my own Double Down like the folks at Serious Eats.) Hell, if it’s taste testimonials you’re after, look no further than The Arizona Republic, which subjected some of its staff to the Double Down, calling it a “salty kraken” unleashed on the world. Sam Sifton of NYTimes.com braved a sample, ultimately deciding it was “a slimy and unnaturally moist thing, with flavor ginned up in a lab. It is, in all, a disgusting meal, a must-to-avoid.”
Those of you who know my affinity for craft beer know that I would be remiss if I didn’t offer up some sort of beer pairing for such a greasy mockery of cuisine. Alas, Garrett Oliver, brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery, beat me to it: “Colt 45 with a dissolved Pepcid AC. It works every time.”