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KFC Double Down Sandwich-Swoof Guest Post*

*This blog is not liable for any KFC Double Down related heart or health problems for the valiant Swoof, whom we applaud for taking this gentlemanly slap on the face from KFC.

DoubleDown

With an hour to kill until the Celtic v. Arsenal match I thought I’d satisfy my growing curiosity about the KFC Double Down (the new KFC menu item consisting of two breaded chicken breasts playing as the bun for bacon and cheese), and really, with a soccer match taking place in Glasgow eating something fatty and disgusting looking seemed somehow appropriate. That the Double Down put me into a near coma was of no consequence to my enjoyment of the soccer match since Arsenal managed to win 2-0 without kicking or even heading the ball into the opponent’s goal.

Now let’s take a look at this thing, the Double Down. First the name. It’s clearly a dare on KFC’s part. Double down is something I do at a blackjack table when I have a 6 and a 5. It’s taking a risk for a greater reward. Is KFC implying I’m taking a risk by eating this thing? I think they are. Are they implying there is some greater reward for eating it? I hope not. When the person in the drive-thru handed me my sandwich she also handed me a card on which was a number I could call to give my impression of the Double Down in exchange for a $10 gift card. Clearly KFC is betting on instant death for at least a percentage of Double Down consumers.

“But how does it taste and what does it look like in real life?” you ask. The taste was pedestrian at best. “Ruff”, said Santa’s Little Helper. It’s standard Original Recipe chicken with a little bacon flavor. The cheese and mustardy sauce kind of cancel each other out into a bland sweetness.

It was also kind of impossible to eat in a civilized manner. Mine weighed in at around 9 oz. The commercial gives one the impression one could eat it with one hand on the wrapper. That is so not the case. The chicken does not have a uniform y-axis so often times the bite is too big for the mouth and everything sort of slides around in an ungainly manner due to the melted cheese and sauce. This is a “sandwich” to be eaten in the privacy of one’s own home with the blinds drawn and a napkin over one’s head so God can’t see.

I’m not sure what KFC is going for here. It’s not the low-carb crowd since the breading on the chicken is probably at least equal to a bun. The undiscerning, glutton crowd is a good bet, I guess, but does that market segment stop at chicken?

I Doubled Down and I drew a 4.

READER POLL

Readers shall vote.

On the menu having been eaten or ready to be consumed:

GIANT Cheetos

Orange Creme Milkshake, Blueberry and Vanilla Whoppers
[you know, I think Jennifer’s blog would be better if she could just get a hold of these Whoppers]

Malto Bella Gourmet Almond Toffee Malt Balls

Reese’s Pieces Easter Eggs

Reese’s Big Cup With Nuts

No posts until 10 total votes.

Burger King Ketchup And Fries Potato Snack-FISH VERSION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fish brings us his take unknowing on UC’s primal ketchup chip territory.

There I was, minding my own business, strolling down the hallway past the vending machine, when I saw these. This is just the kind of junk food throwdown that I cannot ignore, so I dropped in the $0.60 needed to satisfy the jones for a bag-o-fries I didn’t know I had (if only they had the Flame Broiled Burger flavor in my machine). The bag was nearly ethereal when I picked it up, weighing nary an ounce. The front of the package contained the now famous saying “Have it Your Way.” All I could think was that this was being uttered by evil, bearded-Spock, because I believe this bag is the embodiment of anti-my way. But I soldiered on for science and the greater good.

I opened the bag.

I reeled back in horror.

I regained consciousness.

The smell of ketchup was stunning in both is emotional and physical impact. This was not a natural experience. I was not smelling the feet of god, it was of someone a bit more sinister. Perhaps Mike Huckabee.

I took out one of the “snacks” and had a closer look. It was a flat light tan rectangle, with a fine powder over it. The color of this power was red, but not in a way that evoked fond memories of dipping French fries in Heinz as you sat in a Burger King laughing it up with your high school buddies, but more like the red you see in the Kleenex after you gave yourself a bloody nose by jamming your finger up it one too many times.

I braced myself and I popped it in my mouth. The best word to describe them is “confusing.” It didn’t taste like a chip. It didn’t taste like a cracker, it was more like a chacker. With a flavor that neither evoked the thought of French fries, nor ketchup. More it evoked a sense of ennui. Not this Ennui which also contains an element of jejune, but more a sense that nothing happens when you eat them. I, of course, ate the whole bag. The product packed an initial wallop of olfactory sensation, but failed to elicit any other emotions whatsoever. It fell far short of the promise to have it my way. I am disappointed in the King. Maybe if he slept at my house tonight we could discuss the issues over Whopper Jr’s and if one thing leads to another, who knows what we will invent together…

Verdict: Dislishous.

Ssamjang

This Korean condiment, featuring hot chili fermented soybean paste and regular fermented soybean paste and other seasonings like some sugar and some rice wine is NOT like CIA-funded taste bud illicit drugs sold to funnel money to terrorists so they can conquer your addicted mouth in the name of freedom. It is not LIKE that, because it IS that. I have had this with Korean BBQ before, but couldn’t find it at the store. Little did I know that it comes in TUBS in its own AISLE. It even has a warning label on the back:

“Do not feed to Res Publica, he will be unable to stop, and his head will pop off from mouthly ecstacy.”

UC, LOOK FOR IT IN TUBS LIKE THIS!!!!

Korean Fried Chicken

Long story short, chicken is fried to order (takes about 15-20 minutes) and the pieces are exclusively drumsticks and wings. A New York Times article describes how these pieces cook perfectly so the fat is entirely rendered and the meat very juicy. Korean fried chicken is served relatively unseasoned in the plain style, but then there are sauced varieties which are more similar to American buffalo wings dressed with a variety of sauces.

Now for the chicken- it was exactly as described in the article. We happily discovered a combination option for trying all the styles of chicken with the different sauces- this option is listed on the menu as something like (“Modeum chicken- 3 plain, 3 spicy, 2 sauce, 2 sweet”). We found out what those descriptions mean:

“3 pieces plain”: fried chicken, relatively unseasoned. However, each table was furnished with a shaker of seasoning mix that seemed like salt and pepper, but actually tasted like salt/pepper/msg. No bother for us, a light sprinkling of this mix on the plain chicken really accented the chicken, the main attributes of which were crispiness and juiciness. The peppery/savory seasoning was perfect.

“3 spicy”- 3 pieces liberally slathered in a spicy, savory, touch of sweetness, garlicky, red colored sauce. The way the chicken is sauced directly before serving means that there is still some crispness to the skin even though the chicken is covered by the sauce. This form of chicken is most similar to eating buffalo wings with a slightly different sauce and quite similar to a number of wing places [Spicy Pteradactyl in everything but color -Ed.] I have eaten that offer many types of sauce. The sauce is advertised as homemade and was a nice touch, but be warned this chicken is quite saucy, so be prepared to be licking fingers.

“2 sauce”- Same sauce as above but not spicy, still quite good, but I would skip this and get either more spicy or more plain.

“2 sweet”- the sweet sauce is more of a syrup or a glaze- a clear, sticky glaze lightly covering the plain fried chicken. I personally love honey on american style fried chicken, and this was close to that, although the glaze had no honey in it. For the “sweet” chicken to really shine, it needs either seasoning in the coating or some at-the-table sprinkling of the magic mix (and happily that was provided).

The chicken is also served with some pickled daikon radish that is sweet/tart and totally addictive. The Times article described that this food is kind of bar/drinking food in Korea and the savory/saucy chicken and pickled radish would be perfect for having with beer or a cocktail. The owner also brought some slightly sweetened bagged Korean popcorn over and this was a great snack too. Especially with some salt/pepper/Msg sprinkled on it. Read it and weep, UC. Next time you go to NYC you have to get this stuff.

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Item – Chewy Chips Ahoy!

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I must say that I’m not usually a fan of store-bought chocolate chip cookies. There are a few excellent brands, President’s Choice decadent and Trader Joe’s crispy mini cookies come to mind, but I wasn’t too thrilled at the prospect of a cookie from a box. Then again, one of my majour issues with boxed cookies is staleness and I have to give the fine people at Nabisco tonnes of credit for creating a very kewl resealable snacking box. However, these cookies were horrible. They had the consistency of plasticine and the taste of, well, plasticine. I can deal with chewy cookies when they are maybe soft and warm, but these made me gag. The chocolate chips themselves were pedestrian at best and there was no good buttery or vanilla flavouring. I would rather eat a bottle cap any day of the week than one of these puppies.

Verdict: Disgusting

PINKO ADDENDUM:

Something must be in the water at Chips Ahoy. Recently they have released a snack machine item (you know we canvas the machine daily for new degradation)- “Mini Chips Ahoy- Now “Better tasting””

Of course makes one go “hmmm”- sicne Chips Ahoy have been on the market for a thousand years and have always tasted like Chips Ahoy, it seems the best way to make them “mini” is to either 1) use less dough when baking them or 2) create a fantastical machine to perfectly miniaturize existing normal size Chips Ahoy. Surprisingly, Chips Ahoy have taken a third, unforseen road. And that is to use a combination of flavorless sawdust and sand. Here’s a clue: make them taste like Chips Ahoy, for good or ill, that’s the brand you are leveraging, not sawdust.

Cookie Jesus is crying.

Verdict: Doubly disgusting

Wise Crazy Calypso


The closest possible thing to Ruffles Cajun Spice, Wise’s Crazy Calypso has a slightly sweeter taste, but some hotness but also complex seasoning, like some allspice, and probably paprika. Nice thin, crisp chips, with not to overwhelming spice nor oil. YUM. Back by popular demand!

UPDATE:
Sorry to sound all serious like Uncanny Canadian. What I meant to say was these chips are like a humongous orbiting potato sapce beast giving birth to a savory river of flavor on your head.

Route 11 Dill Pickle Chips

When I tasted and fell for Lays Tastes of America, California Cool Dill Flavor, Uncanny was all “I don’t like them, they aren’t that pickly” and I was all “that’s because they aren’t Dill Pickle flavor, they’re supposed to taste like Sour Cream and Dill and they do, delightfully so.” “Well I don’t want that” said UC. What he wanted was these, which he delights in. Yeah they taste like Dill+Vinegar=Dill Pickle, but I don’t want them to taste like that. I want them to taste like California Cool Dill, and they don’t.

Verdict: Push

You Asked, You Knew You Would Receive

Clif mentioned these bad boys…Walkers Marmite flavored crisps, an English brand.
and Three Bulls! has actually had them. Marmite flavor! Well, Marmite is yeast extract with spices, salt and vitamins. I’ve never tasted the real deal, but it is supposedly quite savory, salty and a little bitter and probably gross. Yeast extract is very strong and the chips have a strong, hard to describe salty-savory taste, kind of like chicken boullion. The most likely reason is that yeast extract has a lot of amino acids in it, including glutamate, so it is basically like natural MSG. So when something says “No added MSG!” but includes autolyzed yeast as an ingredient, they are playing you like a fiddle.

Verdict: Surprising push.

Kettle Chips Spicy Thai

Not a failure by any means, but this slightly sweet, complex spicy chip is still only a pretender to Cajun Spice Ruffles, here’s why. Kettle-cooked potato chips are most usually very crunchy, and sometimes even much more potatoey, but can be pretty oily, and kettle chips have a distinct greasy finish akin to a pork rind. This flavor is quite good, though, and reminiscent of CSR. Kettle Brand usually does their flavors well, and even their absolutely disgusting Cheddar Beer chips (Uncanny would love them) are incredibly accurate flavor wise. It’s just that a beery finish just makes the cheese taste fermented. I urge Kettle Brand to come out with a Beer and Bratwurst flavor instead.

Verdict: Push