Yes, ladies and gentlemen, on this day, Monday, April 12th, KFC introduced, nationwide, a new “sandwich”: The Double Down.  So Good first wrote about this bizarre creation last August when it was being test marketed in Nebraska and Rhode Island. At the time, I spent a week investigating in order to be the one that could prove it was nothing but a hoax.  So what is the big fuss? Well, it’s a “sandwich” in which two fried chicken patties serve as the “buns” with bacon, cheese and sauce in the middle. Atkins diet fans rejoice!  In the last 10 days the internet has been all abuzz about the coming foodpocalypse that the sale of this monstrosity surely represents.

KFC announced on April 1st that they would begin selling the Double Down across the country, and this was, unfortunately, not an April Fools prank.  Why do I say unfortunately? Well, quite simply, because the Double Down is an edible representation of what is surely the first of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.  Some of you are probably thinking “waaaaaaa? Eick, you are the guy who invented Meat Madness and the Fast Food Bracket! surely if anyone lives and dies for this kind of thing it’s you right?”

Well, lives for this? Maybe. Dies for it? Most certainly there will be some dying involved, and I’m not just talking about potential heart attacks. Your chances at getting laid will surely die a fast death if you ever have the audacity to order this in front of a first date (note to on-the-market single men: don’t bring a first date to KFC).

Look, I love writing about fast food and ridiculous food creations: it’s a way to take food writing away from the snooty foodies, pop culture-ize it and spread it to the masses.  But I don’t eat shitty fast food. Almost never. Dirty little secret: I eat damn healthy. Salads, fruit, home-cooked meals, avoid fried foods.   Sure, I like to hit up my favorite local burger joint from time to time, and I’ll give a try to the occasional ridiculous creation, but I avoid fast food chains at all costs. The hormone, grease and preservative laden crap they give you at most chains pales in comparison to the good, solid and usually fresher food you can get at local joints. I had to eat Wendy’s and Burger King on the same weekend 10 days ago when traveling and it was like a  kick-in-the-nuts to my digestive system.

But this is the world we live in and Americans love fast food.  I must admit, goddamn do I love the crazy ways they go about marketing it and coming up with new products. It’s absolutely fascinating.  They are competing not just with each other, they are competing with your natural sense-abilities and good judgment.  Trying to ease back on how much fast food you eat? Haha! Good luck, cause we have a creation you just HAVE to try. It’s a sandwich! But with FRIED CHICKEN for a bun! I know! For reals!  The Double Down is yet another ominous sign that mainstream fast food chains are inching closer and closer to becoming the Nebraska State Fair.

What is absolutely fascinating about the marketing of the Double Down is KFC knows just how ridiculous it is, and they aren’t trying to hide it.  Look at the promotional image earlier on in this post, the Double Down is being marketed with the tagline “It’s Real!”  ARE. YOU. SERIOUS. We have now reached the point where fast food chains are no longer trying to convince someone that the food they sell is tasty and delicious but trying to convince them that the twisted combination of grease, fried batter, hormones, preservatives & sauce is in fact “real.”  In their review of the Double Down, Salon makes light of just what lengths KFC had to go to in order to get the “shock” factor behind the release of this product, writing:

The really funny thing about the Double Down is not that it exists, not that it’s a dare pretending to be a lunch, but that it would be nothing special if they added a bun to it. Think about it. It’d be like, “What’s that? A double chicken sandwich? Pffft. Snooze. Any jackass can make a double chicken sandwich.” Somehow, by taking off the processed-food bread, KFC made this thing look deadly.

Americans have no expectations that fast food companies are trying to sell them anything but junk, but the fact that the tagline is “It’s Real!” is a stunning reflection of the attitude we have towards fast food: they know it’s ridiculous, but no one ever thought KFC, or any national chain for that matter, would take it THIS far.  But they have, they did, and now they want to convince you that “yep, we’re KFC, we have such gigantic balls that we actually made this shit a reality. Believe it haters.”

The Double Down is the Narnia of the fast food world: no one will believe it exists until they stumble into a funny smelling room and emerge with two fried chicken patties jammed in their mouth after getting raped by a minotaur.

For additional reviews/write-ups that are unlikely to contain any references to minotaur rape, check out Salon, Eater, Fork in the Road and the NY Times.

27 Responses

  1. thomas

    I really don’t get the hate for this sandwich. Compared to most Fast food fare it isn’t particularly unhealthy. Sure it has 540 cals w/32 g Fat but compare that to a standard Whopper @ 670cals /40g Fat or a couple orders of Wendy’s Nuggets (nobody just eats 1) @ 470cal/30g Fat.

    Really the only question I have about the KFC DoubleDown is “Where was this thing 4-5 years ago when Atkins was taking over the world?”

    Reply
  2. Anders

    I feel repulsed, yet this is what America is all about. Since I’m a bit of a sandwich maker myself, I shall attempt to re-create this monster, in some sort of healthy incarnation, at home. Maybe with a bit of greens, a grilled organic chicken, and some fresh Pesto inside… Meanwhile, yes, I will clog my heart and try it out. How can I not?

    Reply
  3. alex

    This is actually a lot better than eating bread and sugar. The bad part is the vegetable oil in the fried chicken. Solution? Order the grilled version.

    Reply
  4. Clay

    For the love of god, stop writing “American’s”. Compulsive apostrophe abuse is grounds to have your blogger’s license revoked.

    Reply
  5. Ben

    First of all, Clay is right about the punctuation. Secondly, this article is fantastic! Bravo.

    Reply
  6. Lewis

    According to the website the grilled version has more sodium and only saves you 80 calories. Not exactly a stellar alternative, alex.

    Reply
  7. thomas

    @Lewis
    Yeah the sodium is high but what do you expect from processed fast food. Also the grilled version may only be 80 cals lower, but it has significantly fewer carbs and less fat and has more protein which is hardly a terrible thing.

    Reply
  8. Amy :)

    I have to say, no post – on ANY blog – is complete without a reference to minotaur rape. That being said, I think the whole “it’s real!” thing is more KFC saying “yes, this food item that you’ve heard of is not a joke, you can order it at your local restaurant” than “this is made of real food”. Because even they know it’s not really real food. That also being said, my husband ate one today. He gave it a resounding “meh”.

    Reply
  9. Blackdove

    I do not care if they used two pieces of “chicken/country fried steak” for buns (rolls eyes). That does not reduce the comon sense fact that Sonic Drive-In is and still will always be the best fast food resturant on the planet.

    There double down b.s. will never beat getting some very tasty boneless chicken with a biscuit, and the white gravy with it.

    Near my house is a chicken shack, a popeyes, and a kfc. Aside the fact that I could be bias cause i love sonic so much.

    Putting my devotion to sonic aside, the chicken i have had from sonic in general has always tasted better to me, than all the obvious competitors around me.

    When you deal with kidney disease like I do, and you have to watch what you are eating very carefully where I purchase my fast food is extremely important.

    I need to make sure whatever I eat is not going to make the nausea (one of the symptoms) any worse. Sonic has never given me a headache or migraine like the competitors always have done.

    Those are my “Two Sense” no more, no less, no b.s.

    - Blackdove.Bird of Pray

    Reply
  10. Lis

    The grilled version is definitely more atkins friendly, if potentially harder to eat. You’re not really supposed to eat grilled chicken with your hands.
    I’d try it except I’ve heard bad things about the cheese and the saltiness.

    @Blackdove, the expression is “two cents.”

    Reply
  11. Amy

    This is actually a lot better than eating bread and sugar. The bad part is the vegetable oil in the fried chicken. Solution? Order the grilled version.

    Reply
  12. Brian

    I have to say, no post – on ANY blog – is complete without a reference to minotaur rape. That being said, I think the whole “it’s real!” thing is more KFC saying “yes, this food item that you’ve heard of is not a joke, you can order it at your local restaurant” than “this is made of real food”. Because even they know it’s not really real food. That also being said, my husband ate one today. He gave it a resounding “meh”.

    Reply

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