Downing a Double Down

First, it was invented.
Next, it crossed the border.
Then, it created a political storm.
Then, Pretend challengers showed up.

Finally, The Waffle got his hands on one.

Once I arrived at the Rideau Centre location, I hesitated. Perhaps I should go for a healthier choice, like the Chicken Caesar Salad.

Alas, it was sold out.

Apparently, it is a very popular item at KFC. Only 190 calories. Only 8 grams of fat. Only 830 mg of sodium. But that’s before the croutons. But again, it was sold out!

I had no choice but to go back to the original quest:
the Double Down.

The breadless sandwich was offered on it’s own for $6.99 – or as part of a trio, with french fries and a pop for $8.99.

Scared by the amount of sodium, I ordered the trio – not for the fries and their 770 mg of extra sodium – but for the Super Size Pepsi I thought I would need in order to down the Double Down.

A few minutes after I ordered it, I witnessed a kitchen staff preparing it for me. Not that it’s really made to order, but at least they assemble it to order.

A piece of fried chicken.
A piece of processed cheese.
Two slices of bacon.
A piece of processed cheese.
A few squirts of sauce.
A piece of fried chicken.

Once I got it, I was amazed at how delicate it looked.

Yes, delicate.

It was much smaller than I expected. The entire sandwich didn’t quite fill up the small cardboard box it came in. Although I did know that the filet was removed from the breast I didn’t realize they had removed the breast from the breast.

Perhaps I should have ordered two, I thought. Because at first bite, its pretty good.  The classic recipe spices do go well with the chicken.

One can only imagine how much more of a health hazard it would be if it was bigger but it would certainly make for a better sandwich.  Small pieces cook faster and therefore have a tendency to be dry.  Considering how much salt there is in the Colonels original recipe, bigger pieces of chicken could have helped to keep the meat moist once past the classic crispy coating.

The bacon was disappointing.  Not very crisp, not very flavourful, it didn’t actually do anything.  You had a sense it was there, but it wasn’t really bursting in your mouth one could say it was indiscernible if you had a full bite.

The pepper jack cheese slices were thick but melted, thanks to the chicken being freshly cooked and warm.  So on the texture front, it was alright. But the flavour seemed slightly out of place. It didnt quite fit despite the hot pepper bits.  Too middle of the road, I think the sandwich would benefit by having the pepper jack replaced with either a sharp cheddar or a mild mozzarella.

The sauce looks like some sort of mayo variation (or Thousand Islands?), sweet and spicy, (chipotle?) and salty. More sauce, less salty, would have made for a better sandwich.

All in all, I cant say this is a bad sandwich.  However, the problem with the concept is what made it a novelty item in the first place: without buns, nothing can soak up the juices, nothing can hold the sandwich together. Its a little awkward to hold and you end up with very greasy fingers.  And very thirsty.

The Double Down will be out of circulation by November 15th.  More than 10 million were sold in the United States in less than a month, becoming the most successful sandwich in KFCs history.  Considering its success, I have no doubts it’ll be back for another limited time run in Canada. I doubt, however, that Ill have it again.

UPDATE Nov 15 2010 @ 18:14

KFC says it sold over 1 million Double Downs in Canada basically the same trend as the United States. Apparently, enough Canadians Double Downs to stretch across 2,083 hockey rinks.

If you missed out on the Double Down, you can try to make your own – like the Fork in the Road version.

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