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Foodies vs. KFC's Double Down

"The absence of bread robs this 'sandwich' of dignity" — and other highlights from top food critics' deconstructions of the latest fast-food phenomenon

Restaurant critics have been falling over themselves to review America's newest food obsession. No, it's not pan-fried lobster heart or a confit de foie gras, but the KFC Double Down, a bacon and cheese "sandwich" that — in lieu of bread — is sandwiched between two slices of fried chicken. (Watch KFC's Double Down ad) Originally restricted to Rhode Island and Omaha, the admittedly unattractive Double Down has gone nationwide, prompting responsible critics everywhere to review the new gastronomic sensation. The results aren't pretty:

The Double-Down taints the sandwich tradition"KFC has broken through a barrier of culinary decency, besmirching the good name of sandwiches and all that is honorable. The sandwich was designed as the first mobile meal, the bread a vehicle to transport perishable and often-messy proteins. The absence of bread robs this 'sandwich' of dignity."—Kevin Pang, The Chicago Tribune, "First Bite: KFC's Double Down Sandwich"

Visually, the Double-Down is unnerving"As a matter of art and science and anthropology, you know I was destined to try it. Make no mistake, I am a lover of fried chicken. Just yesterday, in fact, I cooked it and ate five pieces of it, in what I honestly believed to be a restrained fashion. But with the Double Down in hand, feeling its heft, seeing its weirdly pale skin, shining with oils and lipids, I'm suddenly intimidated."—Francis Lam, Salon.com, "Release the cracklin'!"

It simulates food...or possibly an eel"The chicken is watery within its soft casing of 'crust,' the cheese familiar to anyone who has eaten food prepared by the United States government, the bacon chemical in its smokiness, the mayonnaise sauce tangy, salty, and sweet, all at once... [it is] a slimy and unnaturally moist thing, with flavor ginned up in a lab."Sam Sifton, The New York Times, "On Ingesting KFC's new product, the "Double Down"

It's a new, exhilarating way to pig outIt's a "more graceful approach to gluttony...a sports-car model, a newcomer that takes you down the highway leading to the next belt loop with a new approach to unhealthy eating."Frank Cerabino, The Palm Beach Post, "Frank weighs in on KFC's Double Down"

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