Saturday, April 24, 2010

Culinary Confession

Bless me, James Beard, for I have sinned. This is my first culinary confession.

Beset by curiosity, in a moment of weakness I purchased, then ate, a KFC Double Down. Behind me in line were two hip smartasses who were also there to get Double Downs, no doubt to be consumed in ironic fashion, much like $3 cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Ah... the Double Down, what can be said? This is a food item with a minimal amount of plant matter, some wheat in the breading, a trace amount of jalapeƱos in the pepper jack cheese, probably some hydrolyzed vegetable proteins, and maybe a bit of high-fructose corn syrup in the sauce (but I cannot be sure of these). Yeah, there's no bun, no wisp of iceberg lettuce to distract one from the meat and dairy (so called) products. To be fair, however, the end result is much like a dumbed-down chicken cordon bleu, reconfigured for the "eat in the car, guzzle a liter of Mountain Dew" demographic. While the chicken, cheese, pork product combo is not foreign to le gastronomie, the whopping 1380 mgs of sodium per serving is appalling, a really nasty legacy of our modern food-processing industry. It would be interesting to create a "homemade" version of this fast-food monstrosity to determine what the sodium content of such an item could be under "optimal" circumstances.

Even more appalling than the sodium content of the Double Down was the fact that the "medium" sized soft drink accompanying it looked to be about 24 ounces. I shudder to think of the calorie and sodium content of such a soda serving.

I have no doubt the Double Down will sell well in it's initial run, as curious gastronauts and postmodern ironic hipsters will seek it out, as well as the target audience of true fast-food fanatics. The Double Down is most properly eaten in quick, wolfish snaps, as one's wife or significant other looks on, silently weeping.

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