The hour has come: KFC releases the kraken

If you don’t think this qualifies as news, I encourage you to do a YouTube search for “KFC double down” and count the number of videos trickling in. So completely has this greasebomb captured America’s imagination that people not only feel compelled to film themselves eating it but to make their films public for the gratification of others. We have officially entered the age, my friends, of the food sex tape. Newsworthy, no?

Salon is right on the money, for once:

There are 540 calories in KFC’s Double Down, about the same as McDonald’s suddenly quaint Big Mac. But the Double Down, and everybody’s peeking-through-covered-eyes reaction to it, is not about logic. It’s about balls.

The balls of a fast food chain, in the middle of rational America’s hand-wringing about obesity and sustainable eating, to come out with a sandwich made of bacon, cheese, mayo-ish sauce and two slabs of fried chicken as the bread. The balls of KFC, which, in the weak-willed ’90s, changed its brand from Kentucky Fried Chicken to its lame initials because it didn’t want you to have to say the word “fried” every time you spoke its name. The Double-D is so macho, so deeply, dumbly dude, it’s a sandwich for people who want to take down Michelle Obama in an arm wrestle.

Call it the audacity of lard. My Twitter feed is overflowing with friends who dared to try it (“Save your money and drink a can of Morton salt instead”). The good news? It’s more appetizing than it seemed in these photos at Consumerist, which made it look like hot garbage. The bad news? The verdicts are trending decidedly towards the mediocre. I know some of you took the plunge today, so let’s have it: Is it good enough to warrant arterial blockage? Comments are open. Exit question: If tough economic times influence men’s tastes in women, isn’t it possible that they influence our tastes in food too? Without the recession, the Double Down might never have happened. Silver lining!

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