Friday, May 21, 2010

The Double Down.

This is the most important blog I've ever written. Ever. I can't even think of a subject that has this caliber of global importance and cultural significance that could possibly arise in the future either. It's sad to think that my blog has peaked less than a year in, but hey you never know what's going to happen.

This year, the cosmos have spread their mammoth cheeks and something fell from the sky that was worthy of sonnets. It was worthy of more than that. "Cellos. Cellos in a dark room" set to a chorus of screeching angels. Imagine if you will, previously undiscovered forms of maritime quadruped; archaic varmint, hoisting themselves from the cavities of the earth. They are blinded for the first time by their alluvial surroundings as opposed to the dank sepulchers they've had no choice but to call home for centuries past. Scientists have only so much as fantasized about these sequestered beings who now cluster at the shore lines, their branlike grey skin festering in the sunlight. Finally, a crowd of walking innocuous comestible humanity has gathered before the lusus naturae and awaits their next move. What this?! Suddenly, the superannuated mandibles of the aquatic beasts begin to open. When the dust and brine settles around their feet, the most beautiful sound to ever be emitted from an orifice emerges. It is a song so exquisite and stupefying that heads of the nearby onlookers explode like mortar shells blasting provenances of human hemoglobin across the sands. A jaunty cheer erupts from the entire force of nature on planet earth. The world will never be the same. The song of the oceanic creatures was so sweet, so convincing so succinct, that it was beyond definition. This song is how I'm attempting to explain the miraculous acumen known only as the KFC DOUBLE DOWN.

A while back, more time actually than I care to research, KFC (which doesn't stand for anything anymore as I've learned from watching Between Two Ferns on Funny or die) announced a new menu item only known suspiciously as THE DOUBLE DOWN. Now, when we explore the latin root of the words "double down" we get the phrase geminus demitto meaning "twin payments to the church". In modern times, this pious sacrifice has become the action of a player of blackjack doubling his bet with his original hand from the dealer, including an additional card. It also is the name of a Saloon in Vegas which is famous for "ass juice".

But despite the acronym going the way of the homo erectus (a species of African hominids from 1.3 million years ago), I think KFC does stand for something. It stands for freedom and mirth and the true needs and whims of the human race. Thus the double down was created. Beautiful in its alarming simplicity and frightening to the old world pagan naysayers; no great landmark was ever created without being met by scrutiny and disbelievers. I still think the Double Down has done more in its brief period of circulation since its inception for American culture than Mount Rushmore ever did. Keep in mind, I'm the same guy whose reaction to Taco Bell's motion to buy the Liberty Bell turning out to be a farce could best be described as "blue balls".

And I'd be lying if I said there wasn't something inherently generative and wanton about the Double Down. Without further digression of discussing what it actually is consists of, the Double Down is two husky pieces of chicken with an oppressed smattering of bacon at the heart and some American cheese as well as an avaricious quantity of some kind of honey mustard ish sauce. A quick trip to KFC's website tells what it REALLY is:

"The one-of-a-kind sandwich features two thick and juicy boneless white meat chicken filets (Original Recipe® or Grilled), two pieces of bacon, two melted slices of Monterey Jack and pepper jack cheese and Colonel's Sauce. This product is so meaty, there's no room for a bun!"

I was really counting on that cheese to be American. The fact that I wasn't able to figure that out on my own shows what kind of amateur cheese savant I really am. Or perhaps I was just distracted. I'd also like to point out their description is not quite accurate. It's not that there's no room for a bun, it's that it's unnecessary because this is how we should have figured out how to make our sandwiches about 20 years ago. This shows a drastic progression of intelligence for sentient humanity and I can safely say I'm pretty proud it's finally happened. At any rate, as soon as I heard about this culinary novelty I also read tons of articles slamming it for the usual lack of nutritional value. I wonder if they'd heard of KFC before? Clearly they fail to understand the point of eating at such an establishment. I think Fast Food is more about the celebration of the food and togetherness of it than it is about getting daily nutritional benefit. Where else will you see homelessmen mingling with misanthropes such as myself and both singing the praises of fried chicken layered with bacon simultaneously? Should I even be singing the praises before consuming it? Well I knew I had to try it...but I was gearing up to it.

I fantasized for a bit over a month until today about my personal encounter with the Double Down. What kind of KFC would I go to where it would finally enter into my stomach? Would it be an urban chain location? What would the double down be packaged in? How much would it cost? As fate would have it, when deciding what to have for lunch today something suddenly clicked and I knew the time was right and there was no sense in putting it off further. I ended up at one of those KFC/Taco Bell hybrids. Not the choicest of locations, but it was appropriately underwhelming for the heroic feats I was about to execute in the ingestion of their featured menu item. For a second I feared that the senior citizens of the city still clinging to delusions of societal importance had deemed the double down inappropriate and had banned it; but sure enough as soon as I walked in a giant glorious poster greeted me like it seemed to understand my doubts and reassured me I was in the right place.

To the tune of 6.99, I ended up getting the Double Down Value meal which also included DP and some of their disgusting over-spiced mutant home fries or whatever they're called. Tater-wedges. Seasoned batter. Something like that. After what seemed like an eternity waiting for my order to be processed, IT was finally in my possession.It's hard to impart with this picture I took quite how small it was in person. I must say I was mildly disappointed upon first coming eyeballs to fried chicken with it. First of all, this tin foil wrapping did not explicitly state "double down"...and where was that french fry sleeve I'd been expected to hold it in that was on the posters? I was reserving my judgment until I'd eaten it in its entirety though.
So here's my own double down unwrapped. You'll notice the batter on the top layer is a bit sparse, which also disappointed me at first, but the promise of that bacon teaser attempting to escape was drawing my face to the beast. Upon first seeing this, I thought I might have to buy a second one in one sitting, due to the small size of it. But as soon as it reached my eager maw, I realized I had greatly underestimated the double down.

It was a lot to bite off at first, and contrary to my fears, the bacon was actually fairly greasy and substantial. Last week I had some dreadful preservative bacon upon an airplane on the in flight meal that I didn't want to eat again. The sauce is almost non existent, which is fine at first because the chicken is so dry and succulent. You'll notice from the pictures, I was tempted to use ketchup to assist the chicken on its journey down my throat, but I wanted as pure and natural an experience with this product as humanely possible. I'm not sure mortals can get eat it to the full potential of the sandwich but I really put forth my game face.

I gotta be honest with you. I was getting a bit tired about two thirds of the way in. It was pretty dry and I could have used a refresher like a smidgen of bread or more sauce. At this point I'd already demolished the bacon and I was just powering through one chicken filled bite after the next. The cheese kept me motivated. It was hanging off the sides of the chicken sweating grease and singing sweet songs of southern redemption. For a second I was transported to a twilight period of that was some kind of cross between the civil war and Bladerunner as I was shoving the double down into my face when the realization that I was actually finally consuming it finally hit me. By the time I'd become cognitive of this fact, it was gone.
This is what a defeated double down looks like after being laid waste to by my vicious mandibles. I promise I didn't use the ketchup on the sandwich. I actually attempted to eat the fritter-fries after the filling sandwich, with turned out to be a pretty poor decision and left me with a case of the itis. They can't be stomached without some kind of sauce though, and as you can see, I didn't have time to trifle with copious amounts of ketchup being siphoned from individual meager packets.

Wanna know how I felt leaving the restaurant? It's better just to show you...

Well maybe not that last one so much. But you get the idea. I felt like I'd just achieved something monumental. I felt like I'd just overcome some kind of great oppression. I'd dethroned a dictator. It's been a few hours since my initial consumption and so far the Double Down hasn't had any shocking digestive repercussions or caused my body to create audible panic. While it's not perfect, we don't live in a perfect world, but it does give me hope at at least we're working towards one. I see more potential here than I do presently with health care reform so stick that in your light bulb or your 2 liter bottle and smoke it.

Do I recommend the double down? Yes. Yes I do very much so. If not so much for the fairly average chicken taste as for the combination with cheese and bacon and cultural impact. Next time I have it (and oh there will be a next time) I'm going to bath it in mayonnaise after having tried it in its most virginal form upon initial consumption. 4 out of 4 stars for fast food. Up next on my hit list is some shrek mcflurry I've heard about. Not too jazzed about that one, but it might be good. Mcdonalds has a good track record with green ice cream related products. I can't think of much else that could cause a stir like the double down short of the random re-emergence of the Mcrib, but even that feels bland in comparison.

Now go forth tender cutlets, and make sure you eat all the crumbs and the bacon.

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