Not since McDonald's failed "McDLT" ("the hot stays hot and the cold stays cold") has a fast food sandwich been part of the national conversation. But that is the case with KFC's new "Double Down." It's basically a grilled cheese and bacon sandwich, only with the bread substituted for two pieces of fried chicken breast. KFC's website calls it a "one-of-a-kind sandwich." Critics have not been as kind. Here's a sample:
The sandwich "vilest food product created by man," consists of bacon and cheese sandwiched between two fried chicken breasts, and according to KFC, is only 540 calories—and 32 g of fat, and 1,380 mg of sodium. With two chicken breasts, cheese, and bacon, the Double Down means quadruple the Kentucky Fried Cruelty for animals, and it could mean quadruple bypasses for consumers.
-- PETA (see OpposingViews story here)
Besides being plain gross, Double Down's larger implication is that KFC has broken through a barrier of culinary decency, besmirching the good name of sandwiches and all that is honorable. The sandwich was designed as the first mobile meal, the bread a vehicle to transport perishable and often-messy proteins. The absence of bread robs this “sandwich” of dignity. Holding this meat-glorb (I shall no longer refer to it as the s-word) is a harrowing task — it's scalding hot to pick up, and oily through the parchment-like paper. Bread would have provided traction, but here, the cheese and mayo interior acts as a lubricant of sorts, allowing the fried boneless chicken fillets to slip and slide against each other.
-- Kevin Pang, Chicago Tribune
Delicious but salty. Fillings taste good. I had fun taste testing these, but I don't believe I'd ever eat a whole one. But all the food at KFC, not just this sandwich, even though it tastes good, always makes me feel bloated.
-- Susan Dunne, Hartford Curant
Did you notice? How in one pseudo-food item, you are consuming not one, not two, but the mutated, chemically injected flesh/byproducts of fully three different distended, liquefied, industrially tortured creatures? Feel the love, pitiable animal kingdom. You got your chicken-like creature, your pig-like creature, your dairy cow-like creature, all wrapped in a $5 fistful of nausea, ready to strangle your heart and benumb your brain. God knows what's in the "special sauce." Maybe some sort of fish byproduct, just to round it all out. It's like a wild kingdom in your mouth! It's like a toxic zoo in your colon! It's like a suicide note from what's left of your brain! "If you eat this, you are a complete and total idiot, and we're through. Signed, You."
-- Mark Morford, San Francisco Chronicle
The “Double Down,” arrives at a new low: a greasy entree dish of chicken with bacon and cheese on it, slathered in sauce, that the company asks customers to eat with their hands. The chicken is watery within its soft casing of “crust,” the cheese familiar to anyone who has eaten food prepared by the United States government, the bacon chemical in its smokiness, the mayonnaise sauce tangy, salty, and sweet, all at once.
-- Sam Sifton, The New York Times