Duncan’s Degustations – KFC’s The Double thingamajig

As far as I can recall, I’ve never voluntarily entered a KFC “restaurant”. It’s not snobbery. It’s revulsion. The same revulsion I experience when contemplating a McDonald’s or Hungry Jacks/Burger King. Occasionally, social pressures mean I have to tag along. Sometimes it means I eat a piece of chicken.

If you have to dine in the enemy’s clutches, you might as well make it an experiment. As KFC’s “The Double” (known as the Double Down overseas) is the latest nutritional-outrage-fuelling fast food product, it seemed like an ideal target for the second epsiode of Duncan’s Degustations!

Marketed as “manfood”, and characterised by the use of fried chicken fillets in lieu of the customary burger bread (enswathing bacon, sauce and cheese), the product is the perfect object of loathing for seemingly every anti-chauvinist and every nutritional nagging person.

What does it taste like?

Okay, so the bread is gone, leaving only moist or fatty elements. If someone tells me that the outer elements are fried chicken, I would anticipate some crispness or textural contrast. Instead, there’s moist chicken coated in a very thin layer of soggy “crust”. You bite into The Double and it’s, um, almost denture friendly. Soggy “crust”, moist chicken, thin slices of fast food cheese (not at all as putridly foul as the McDonald’s version), some thin slices of bacon, all kept together somewhat by sweet, characterless BBQ sauce.

Except for its novelty, this product is neither daring nor delicious. Even real KFC lovers would be somewhat disappointed, I think. It’s a dull gimmick.

As for the much criticised nutritional aspects of the product, there’s not much reason to lose sleep over The Double either.

KFC’s The Double weighs approximately 212 gm, which is not excessive for a light fast food “restaurant” meal. The sodium levels are horrendous, even compared to many other products at KFC, but the total energy isn’t markedly different from KFC’s products of equivalent weight and carbohydrate is in fact lower, thanks to the absence of any bread. Naturally, add-ons would change the total meal values, but that’s too variable to consider.

kJ total fat sat. fat sodium carbohydrate
KFC The Double,
original recipe, 212gm
1939 22.3 12.3 1681 17.8
KFC Snack Box,
original recipe, 195gm
2087 26.6 12.1 797 41.6
KFC Original BBQ, Bacon
and Cheese Burger, 213gm
2061 19.6 7.5 1369 46
McDonald’s Big Mac,
2060 26.9 10.6 958 35.1
McDonald’s Crispy
Chicken Deluxe, 240gm
2350 25.7 6.2 1020 52.3

I can see no reason to eat this product, but no doubt many people will try it once. There’s no point in journalists and nutritionists harping about this particular product, as in most regards it’s no more unhealthy than the other high-fat, high-carb, high-sodium, low-fibre stuff from fast food “restaurants”, which the typical eater will return to once they have tried the new and novel.

10 thoughts on “Duncan’s Degustations – KFC’s The Double thingamajig”

  1. Brilliant, Duncan. A truly classy meal.

    I particularly like that in the second photo the cheese looks as though it’s a tongue, licking its horribly chicken-y lips. Mmmm.

  2. On a few levels, it was very clever marketing by KFC. They had the nutritionists snookered. If they don’t say anything, then it’s almost silent approval that it’s not a bad product. But if the nutritionists do say something, then the free publicity is priceless.

    I know plenty of people who regularly eat KFC ordered this burger simply to snub the nutritionists, and then later boasted about it on facebook. It was an attitude of, “I’ll eat what I want, not what you tell me to eat.”

    And finally, it got people into their stores. On that point alone, KFC achieved their key aim.

  3. @Lucy: I hadn’t seen the lickity tongue, but that’s oooo good;)

    @Daniel: Yep, very clever indeed. The nutritionists in particular should learn to moderate their message to something less confrontational (or just choose their battles better). It’s so obvious they and the journalists just walked straight into the marketing trap.

    @Michelle: it is of course possible to make equally unhealthy stuff at home, but at least the effort is likely to mean it’d happen less often;)

  4. Denture friendly mantime manwich. Even after reading your review I am still tempted to try it. I am a sucker for food-related gimmicks. Although I will most likely split it with my sister and eat it with two pieces of bread. That makes it healthier, right? 😉

    Fast food cheese is weird, it’s the colour of cheese and is kinda milky tasting, gooey and melty yet the oil doesn’t bleed out…ahh the wonders of food science.

  5. The Boy tried this last week and declared it over rated… it is a marketing gimmick after all…

    The only thing I like about this? The ad for it… hee hee

  6. This does bring the contrarian out, doesn’t it? I’m surprised that, after their awful commercials using Australian cricket players, that KFC has a savvy marketing strategy but Daniel is right – very cleverly done. I was almost tempted to try one… thanks, Duncan, for saving me from that experience. Denture-friendly is *not* how I want my fried chicken!

  7. What’s so manly about eating a burger without any bread? I can only imagine making even more of a mess of it than I already do!

  8. The children recently wanted to indulge in this brand of crud and I begrudgingly gave in as I don’t want them to think they are missing something by never eating the stuff so many of their friends indulge in all the time. The Lovely Man ordered one of these for us to ‘share’ and I had one bite. Funny, I thought it sounded good (?!) but no, it was oily and yes, soft. The best option at that place seemed to be the zinger burger, though, thank goodness for the ‘zinger’ coating as the meat within really doesn’t seem to have *any* flavour whatsoever. Back to Nando’s for my chain take-away chicken fixes thanks.

    PS, the children prefer Nando’s too – I should be safe from KFC for another couple of years at least.

  9. Yuk.
    Nothing really beats KFC when it comes to the levels of MSG either. If I have a slight piece of their fried chicken, I’m sick for 2 weeks since I’m allergic.

    So the choice is really easy: No KFC and very little fastfood overall.

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