August 26: What's Jen Clicking on Between Newscasts?

It's been a while since I've written about food.  An eternity, maybe three or four days!  And while I enjoy a good Whopper (with cheese, no mayo please) every now and again I'm a little averse to these mad compilations you can get at the drive-thru these days.

I'm talking about KFC's Double Down, which is being test marketed in cities in Rhode Island and Nebraska.  The bun in this thing is actually two fried chicken fillets.  MSNBC's Willie Geist has this review which summarizes it well:  "As part of a combo meal, it will cost you $6.99.  In addition, it will later cost you your life."

I love Willie Geist; he is a regular on Morning Joe and now has his own show called "Way Too Early," which, since it's on the air at 2:30am Pacific time, is my morning news of choice.  But I digress.  I wrote about a bunch of really bad food a few months ago when I discovered a website called "this is why you're fat."  Here's a sampling:

This is oreo stuff dip!  The middles of Oreos, removed and melted...

Oreo Stuff Dip Oreo cream centers removed and melted into a dip. (Submitted by Jeff Rubin)

Or how about this: Tempura Bacon!

Tempura Bacon Bacon strips battered in Panko bread crumbs then deep fried and served with soy sauce. (via lthforum)

Third one's the charm:  the Double Cheeseburger PoBoy:

Double Cheeseburger Po-Boy A 14 inch po-boy filled with eight six ounce cheeseburger patties. (submitted by Mr. Boone via poboyexpress)

Now, as far as these go...this isn't really why most of us are fat.  These are created as individual masterpieces and not available to the masses -- not like fast food.  As we debate health care reform (see, I'm bringin' it all on home, linking this to a serious topic of the day) we really have to do something about the demand for it if we're going to keep the costs in check.  And I think maybe some of the things your Generic Uncle America-man loves may be killing him.


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For a while I thought the worst thing in the world to eat in a fast food joint was one of those Famous Bowls ... you know where they stack up pretty much everything on their menu, top it with cheese and throw it in a bowl?  KFC's website says it has 700 calories and 32 grams of fat, for the mashed potato version.

KFC is estimating calories for the Double Down at 590, with 31 grams of the Famous Bowls still win.

My favorite review of the Famous Bowls was in LA TImes magazine in 2006.  It was called "The Verdict: Oink:"

And there it sits on my desk, a steaming, sweating pound of food goo that I purchased at a drive-in window (more anonymous that way) for $3.99. Let me tell you, it's one thing to muse upon the Famous Bowls in a detached, ne'er-shall-pass-my-lips sort of way. Quite another to address the product, spork in hand.

And now, in the interests of participatory journalism, I take a bite. Hmmm. Uh-huh. OK. It's like throwing up in reverse.

Oh there's more.  I'll let writer Dan Neil have the last word in this space today, because he uses them so perfectly well:

"Gone is even the pretense that someone might eat this for its taste. This is gerbil food for the disenfranchised. One KFC marketing exec, in a moment of linguistic clarity I'll bet he wishes he had back, is quoted as saying the meals are directed at "heavy fast-food users." Never was the connection between fast food and addictive drugs made more explicit...."

"...A couple of questions immediately present themselves: Why not go all the way and top the Famous Bowls with an apple pie and pour Coca-Cola over them? To save customers the struggle to pocket their change at the drive-thru, why not throw it on top as well? If the product developers thought Famous Bowls were a good idea, I have two words for them: chicken smoothie."

Editor's Note: Here's some bacon-flavored nostalgia from the salad days of this column.Those were the days when embedding video was new and fun... now, it's just fun.

See what else Jen is clicking on...

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