#DoubleDown: Big on taste

 The KFC Double Down takes the Zinger chicken sandwich to its extreme, dropping the bread and using two chicken patties to encapsulate the inner ingredients.
The KFC Double Down takes the Zinger chicken sandwich to its extreme, dropping the bread and using two chicken patties to encapsulate the inner ingredients.

For those in the TLDR crowd, the recently released KFC Double Down is a Zinger sandwich taken to its physical and tastiest extreme. But why?

Rare treats

For that, we need to go back to the very essence of fast food, a concept based on a fixed menu that is quick and easy to prepare in order to serve customers as speedily as possible. The problem with such menus is that they stagnate after a while. In order to combat this, fast food restaurants have developed specialist foods, either available for a limited time, or seasonal. These rare treats are used to entice customers, who may have left due to boredom, back into the store.

McDonald’s has their McRib, originally introduced in 1982, with random revisits as early as 2012. Rival Burger King has similar items like their Chicken Fries. In the United States, the fall season is a particular time for such speciality items going along with the Halloween and Thanksgiving theme. Be ready for Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte. Some of these foods are also region specific.

 As a combo, the Double Down is a hearty meal.
As a combo, the Double Down is a hearty meal.

Taste buds

For Jamaica, this isn’t the first time in recent history that KFC has tempted our taste buds. Last year, the Chizza hit the market for a quick run. Based on the spicy chicken patty shared with the Zinger, it was as its name stated – the fusion of chicken and pizza. The patty was topped by cheese and pepperoni. In all honesty, it was not a favourite of your author.

However, another aim of these types of foods is to see if they’re popular enough to make the full-time menu, as did the Western Whopper for BK. So, experimentation shouldn’t be punished.

In 2010, KFC introduced the Double Down to the US market. It’s a Western Zinger in reverse. Rather than cap the sandwich with bread, two, yes two, Zinger spicy chicken patties are used. Sitting between them are similar ingredients. Cheese and bacon, gone are the onion rings.

The Double Down easily outdoes last year’s Chizza.
The Double Down easily outdoes last year’s Chizza.

Food heaven

On the surface, this seems rather close to the Chizza, but the taste couldn’t be more different. Whereas the salty pepperoni combined with the saltiness from the cheese and the spice of the chicken patty to create a less than palatable flavour, the trick in the Double Down is the barbeque sauce. Its sweetness cuts down what would potentially have been another overly brackish sandwich. The combination with the smoky bacon lifts the Double Down into tasty heaven.

In store, the promotional material screams $895 as a combo with a small drink and fries. Unless one is very hungry, it’s best to save the $100 and go for the sandwich by itself. The two chicken patties make the Double Down a very dense meal, meaning those indulging in its graces will have to be very hungry to finish the whole thing in one sitting. Thankfully it tastes good going down.

Written by Nichola Beckford