Thursday, May 20, 2010



Photo: Rachel Been, AOL


By Nichol Nelson,  AOL, Slash Food

Oh, America. You just couldn't resist, could you?
KFC, home of the now-legendary Double Down sandwich, is proudly trumpeting the news: The eye-popping tower of bacon and cheese surrounded by chicken filets (no bun) is about to sell its 10 millionth sandwich. And to celebrate, they're going to extend its run.
"This truly an example of popular demand," says Javier Benito, executive vice president of marketing and food innovation for KFC. "Our plans were to feature the product only through May 23, but millions of Double Down fans have spoken and we won't disappoint them. You'll continue to be able to get the Double Down at KFC this summer."
Ten million. Well, perhaps it couldn't be helped. The fried chicken chain got a huge burst of free marketing when news outlets heard about the breadless sandwich. If you didn't see the ads, you read the scathing commentary. And to parrot a cliché, there's no such thing as bad publicity. The Double Down has become a cultural touchstone – look online for proof. Twitter feeds are full of people marking their first encounters with the sandwich, and videos of people eating it are all over You Tube. "We've really never seen anything like it," says Benito.

In defense of fans of the sandwich, it's really not that much worse for you than what's already out there. Something about the lack of bread makes people assume the worse. (For those who don't want to know, shield your eyes.) The original version of the Double Down contains 540 calories and 32 grams of fat. (The grilled sandwich cuts calories to 460 and fat to 23 grams.) Yet for all the hoopla, this isn't really that outrageous in the fast-food world: A McDonald's Big Mac has 540 calories, 29 grams of fat, and a Burger Kind Whopper is even worse, weighing in at 670 calories and 40 grams of fat.

So is it the worst thing out there? Not by a long shot. But it's still not exactly health food. Is the taste worth it? With 10 million sold, plenty of people seem to think so.
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