Saturday, November 20, 2010

Food Review: The KFC Double Down

When the Double Down was announced on April 1st, many people thought it was either a prank or the downfall of human civilization. Consisting of two battered and deep-fried chicken breasts embracing cheese, bacon, and "the colonel's secret sauce" (stop hitting on me colonel), it's like everything unhealthy stuffed together in one big gob.

So when I got a car this morning1, the first thing I did with my newfound freedom was get myself to the nearest KFC. There aren't any near where I live, so the greasy monstrosity had been taunting me from afar for weeks.

You are probably wondering: how is it? Did I cry tears of shame upon its completion? How many heart attacks have I had since?

First, let me describe the chicken-bunned "sandwich" in less sensationalist terms: it is two small, breaded chicken breasts, two slices of cheese, and one slice of bacon, together. That is all it is. That is all it tastes like. It will not make you feel sick unless you mentally ready your gag reflex because the media told you to. And it will not make you fat.

At 540 calories, here are some things that will get you fat as quick or quicker than a Double Down will2:

  • Two KFC original recipe chicken breasts with nothing on them (640 Kcal).
  • A grilled cheese sandwich (550 Kcal).
  • Calamari (720 Kcal).
  • Eight chicken wings. Without sauce (950 Kcal).
  • Nachos. No, scratch that: one quarter of a plate of nachos (2160 Kcal).
  • A venti eggnog latte from Starbucks (610 Kcal).
  • A salad (chicken, bacon bits, guacamole, feta, croutons, and honey citrus dressing) (550 Kcal).

So if you're at the bar, downing a plate of nachos over a few beers, gabbing about how terrible the Double Down is, realize that you just stuffed 4 or 5 Double Downs' worth of calories down your pie hole. If you have a latte in the morning and a salad for lunch, you would have been better off with two mystery-sauce-covered meatwhiches jammed in your face. You're doing it wrong.

"Oooh, but it has way more sodium than anything else," I hear you saying. But no. It doesn't. Look it up. Also, why am I hearing your voice in my head? Could this be love?

Anyway, fast food paranoia is as dumb as any other media-fueled conspiracy theory, and falls apart under scrutiny. See also: the McDonalds burger that never rots because of magic chemicals they put in it (spoiler alert: no they don't). The Double Down is meat and cheese. It tastes like meat and cheese. Nothing more, nothing less. Nom up.

1 That is correct; I got a car and a Double Down and chose to write about the chicken.

2 These numbers are from the web sites of Kelsey's, KFC, and Starbucks.


Anonymous said...

Well, with the Phronk seal of approval I plan to get one myself.

stevenshelby said...

The sandwich was tastey but for the price I would prefer to get something else. It's something thay I'm glad I've eaten but will probably never get again

Tatiana said...

I don't like most fast food in general, since if I'm going to eat that many calories, it better be worth it. But occasionally I make the following recipe - split chicken breasts. Stuff with grated cheese, mayo, green onions, garlic. Smear with mustard and wrap in bacon. We call it heart attack chicken. And it's delicious. So I totally get KFC's impulse. And I'm shocked about the nachos!

Candice said...

See also: Twinkie Diet. A calorie is a calorie, and as far as I'm concerned, if your blood pressure is normal, who gives a fetid dingo's kidney about some extra sodium now and then? (A question, however: does the dingo have kidney problems because of a diet too high in sodium?)

Phronk said...

Steven: Haha, it's worth trying. I dunno if I'd give it my seal of approval, but it's at least got my seal of indifference.

Poop: Yeah, its main problem is how damn expensive it is. I can get more calories for cheaper in something else.

Tatiana: OMG, that sounds delicious. Yah, nachos are apparently terrible. Even if you share a serving with someone else, it's a huge number of calories. And they're usually considered appetizers!

Candice: I was thinking of linking to that! Yeah, when it comes to weight loss, seems to me that a calorie is pretty much a calorie. Since weight is such a strong predictor of overall health, eating a reasonable number of calories, regardless of source, is not a bad way of staying healthy.

Sinal said...

I dunno, dude. A calorie's a calorie, unless it's fat. I could care less about fat clogging crap up; I'm more concerned about the fact that fat is, between carbs, protein, and fat, the hardest to break down and convert into energy. When your body eats fat, it stores it, preferring to use the other two sources of energy first.

So, the guy eating only twinkies is getting primarily simple carbs, so at least his body is using the calories. The guy eating the same total daily dose of calories from exclusively butter will store nearly all of it, until his body has broken down its glycogen and muscle. Then he'll start losing weight.

At least 600 Kcal of nachos are complex starches that can be broken down and used. The double down's calories are over half from fat. That's a little nuts (although not weird for fast food).

Jennifer said...

I don't count calories, I don't even know how many of them I am supposed to eat per day. Several, I imagine.

It's just the concept of calling something a "sandwich" when it's meat between meat. It's just so...wrong. Would it have killed them to at least toss a lettuce leaf in there?

However, I fed my kids eggos for dinner last night, so at the very least my high horse has stumbled.

Jennifer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sierra said...

I think I would be more inclined to try the Double Down if the chicken pieces were actually wrapped in bacon, because just one measly slice in the middle feels like a tease. Or maybe if the bacon in the middle was breaded and then fried. Or if you fried the sauce on it. There's really a world of possibilities here, KFC, so maybe stop dicking around and go big or go home.

Hey Lady! said...

Thanks for bringing attention the fact that our whole society is super obsessed with fast food being the worst food ever. And people LOVE visiting the Cheesecake Factory, you should check out the calorie count on their menu (and not even the cheesecakes).

My hometown went one step further and banned Happy Meals (or an meal that offers a toy with the food for kids). Really, shouldn't it be my choice as a parent what to feed my kid? I;ll still chose Mc Donald's, only now you've taken away my kid's toy (that I paid for). (

Yvonne said...

1) Congrats on the new car! (What is it?)
2) Even with the lower calorie and sodium count, this seems like it would be hell on my digestion as a lactarded almost-vegetarian. :)

tornwordo said...

Loved the post by the guy who did the experiment. Looks pretty greasy, the sandwich. It seems like there's too much chicken ratiowise. I just finished losing twenty pounds and my overall fat calories were 40 percent of my diet. Calories are indeed, calories.

Phronk said...

I forgot to respond to your comments here. Um, you're all very insightful and correct.

Von: the car is a Honda Fit. It is red and fits a lot of groceries in it.