Thursday, October 21, 2010

I Did It...I Tried KFC's Double Down Sandwich

Earlier this week, KFC's Double Down Sandwich made it's appearance in Canada. I can't really use the term "eagerly anticipated", because I can't really speak for the population as a whole. I can, however, use the term "hotly debated", since it's all anyone was talking about this week, including a report (that was officially refuted today) that the Ontario government was considering launching a probe into the sales of the sandwich.

Let me be clear on something: I had no intention of ever seeking out the Double Down Sandwich. I had said in the past that I didn't think my life would change based on whether I ate one or not. But tonight, when my self-induced long weekend started with having to change a flat tire on a gravel incline (that included the car nearly falling on top of me), my dinner plans went out the window, and I decided that I just needed something "junky." What better candidate than the Double Down?

So, off we went to KFC, where the glorious God of sodium, grease, fat, and calories was proudly displayed in full-colour on the board FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY! For those of you who didn't know, it's only available in Canada until mid-November. That's right, you have only 4 weeks to ruin a year's worth of healthy living. It stared back at me, taunting me...daring me...and I put my head down with shame and ordered it as other customers stared on. I felt like I had been branded with a Scarlet Letter.
When I got my little red box of death, I opened it to find my two chicken pieces, two pieces of Spicy Pepper Jack cheese, and two slices of bacon, all neatly wrapped up in a pocket of paper that I know any health-conscious person on the planet, upon seeing me in the picture above, would have yelled out "Just eat the paper! It's better for you!"

Now, it goes without saying that I ordered by Double Down without the special "Colonel's Sauce", so I have to think that I significantly cut down on the calorie count of 560 by going condiment-free. Although, in the interest of full disclosure, I did have gravy with my fries, so let's just call that one a push.

I tried to find out online if there was a calorie count without the Colonel's Sauce, but I wasn't able to find anything. I did, however, come across a couple of alarming things:

First of all, I saw the ingredient list for the Colonel's sauce, which reads as follows: "Soybean Oil, Water, Distilled Vinegar, Egg Yolk, Sugar, Salt, Modified Corn Starch, Paprika, Xanthan Gum, Monosodium Glutamate, Spice, Chicken Broth, Garlic Powder, Propylene Glycol Alginate, Potassium Sorbate, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Soy Sauce (Soybean, Wheat, Salt), Natural Flavor, Chicken Fat, Dehydrated Chicken and Hydrolyzed Corn Gluten. Contains Egg, Wheat and Soy."

Chicken Fat? On a sandwich that is made of essentially of chicken and I really need a sauce made with Chicken Fat? Not to mention the TWENTY-SIX other ingredients! And what the hell is "spice?" They're mentioning other spices in there, like Paprika or Garlic there's just a generic ingredient called "spice?" Does anyone else have an issue with that?

The second alarming thing I came across in my online search, was the KFC Nutrition Guide, found online at their website. Not because of the calories, or fat content, or any other nutrition concerns...but rather for some of the items that are listed. Listen to some of these (all listed under 'Other'): KFC Gizzards, KFC Livers, Country Fried Steak with Peppered White Gravy, and my personal favourite, Colonel's Buttery Spread.

Two thoughts: 1) Yes, I know that people eat chicken gizzards and livers and hearts (myself included), but is KFC the place you want to go for these? Are these big sellers? And I've spent a fair bit of time in South Carolina and Georgia, so I can appreciate a Country Fried Steak as much as the next guy, but KFC the place for this? 2) What the hell is 'Colonel's Buttery Spread?' After what I saw from the Colonel's Sauce, I didn't even want to go look up the ingredients, but I'll tell you one thing it's NOT based on the name alone: butter.
Nutritional ranting aside, the Double Down is here in Canada, and we're being inundated with media to let us know. As a matter of fact, as I was writing that last sentence, a commercial just came on the TV to remind me in case I had forgotten.

Bottom line: It wasn't bad. I can't say it was great, but I also can't say that there was anything wrong with it from a taste standpoint. I do think it says a lot, though, that I was utterly disgusted with myself afterwards, probably a combination of dehydration from the sodium...and pure guilt.

So what do you think? Have you tried it? Will you? Am I overstating my concerns? And what the hell is the Colonel's Buttery Spread?

Let me hear from you in the Comments section.


Anonymous said...

that's not a sandwich....this is a sandwich

P.S. Like and true north american slob, i drove to the US and A for a double down when it was first introduced.

Anonymous said...

How can I die laughing, and actually forsee death in this 503rd blog posting? Well I did. It was the only time in recorded history I think there was this much anitcipation with the end result to what looks like one of the most nauseating chicken fecal on a bun contraptions, perhaps ever created. I think you need to do two things. 1)Join CAA 2) Accelerate each and every time you drive by a KFC. You have escaped death twice in one day. Don't ever tempt fate like that again.

Anonymous said...

disgusting. truly disgusting.