This Just In ...

Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Culinary no-no #185

Culinary no-no's

If you ask me, the doggone thing sounds and looks delicious.

First you take a breaded deep-fried chicken breast.

Then you take another breaded deep-fried chicken breast.

In between you place white American cheese.

And some more cheese.

And a mayonnaise-type sauce.

And some bacon.

And some more bacon.



The two breasts serve as the buns.

Available since April, it’s KFC’s Double Down.


You may have seen a Double Down ad during this afternoon's Vikings-Lions game. 

I haven’t tried one yet because even I draw the line at some waistline busters.


But I want to wrap my hands around one.

No, the product isn’t new. Just about all of America has heard about this cardiologist’s dream. However, controversy still swirls around this obvious unhealthy creation. You’d think from the hellacious reviews that it was the most dangerous commodity ever unleashed on a hungry planet.

The New York Times:

“A greasy entree dish of chicken with bacon and cheese on it, slathered in sauce, that the company asks customers to eat with their hands. 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.”

The Chicago Tribune:

“Besides being plain gross, Double Down's larger implication is that 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.

Holding this meat-glorb (I shall no longer refer to it as the s-word) is a harrowing task — it's scalding hot to pick up, and oily through the parchment-like paper. Bread would have provided traction, but here, the cheese and mayo interior acts as a lubricant of sorts, allowing the fried boneless chicken fillets to slip and slide against each other.

Health wise, it has fewer calories and less fat than a Burger King Whopper. Tastewise, it’s exactly as you expect. The moist white-meat fillet has the original recipe breading, appealingly peppery and near-crunchy (a grilled version is also available, saving you 80 precious calories). The worst is feeling the warmness from mayo, creepily called ‘Colonel's Sauce,’ resembling the pinkish gunk found in spicy tuna sushi rolls. You should never place mayo between two just-deep fried pieces of anything. The pepper jack and Monterey jack cheese makes it taste “exotic,” with the pliable-bandage bacons lost in the glorb.

It's also unfathomably salty, and the exorbitant sodium levels could melt icy driveways (1,380 mg for fried version; 1,430 mg for grilled). I'm left with sandpaper mouth for hours, and I might as well have someone kick me in both kidneys with steel-tip shoes.”

Arizona Central

“Itching for the thrill of a near-death experience without the high costs of bungee jumping? Want the sting of salt to linger on your tongue for hours no matter how much spearmint gum you chew? Then this is the sandwich for you. Only the young and impervious to pain seemed to walk away from this grease bomb unscathed; the Double Down will leave everyone else doubled over.”


The LA Times

Sadly, within 10 minutes the sandwich caused some physical distress.”

"The vilest food product created by man."

We get the message. Typically, newspaper critics don’t like anything. KFC’s Double Down, to a print journalist, is like George W. Bush being president for four consecutive terms.

Unquestionably, the Double Down is deadly. According to the KFC web site, it’s a whopping 540 calories, a calculation Consumer Reports found to be accurate (KFC offers a Double Down with grilled chicken filets, but why the hell bother. If you’re going to tackle this baby, go for the extra 60 calories and the Colonel’s secret 11 herbs and spices, you fool).

40 calories, hey. That’s the same as a Big Mac. McDonald’s Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese has more calories. So do the Angus burgers at the Golden Arches and their Premium Crispy Chicken Ranch BLT and Premium Crispy Chicken Club Sandwiches and their McFlurry desserts and Big Breakfasts and shakes.

That’s just McDonald’s. Some Subway sandwiches are more calorie-laden and then there’s that Whopper.And the Monster Thickburger at Hardee's.

As for the taste? With all due respect to the NY Times and LA Times and anyone else that panned the Double Down, I trust my co-worker, Tricia Sieg, a true expert on fast food (Sorry, Tricia, but you are).  Tricia claims the Double Down is worth every lip-smacking dribble down your chin. That’s good enough for me.

If you’re like me and have reacted like Pavlov’s dog but are still worried about the effect on your life expectancy, one Internet suggestion is to cut the Double Down in half, share with a friend, and pair your half with a salad.


So the no-no is the Double Down isn’t the worst fast food item lurking outside the deep fryers and it may, indeed, taste really good as long as you don’t make a steady diet of them. So what are you waiting for?

End of Culinary no-no #185, right?


Colonel Harlan Sanders, the longtime spokesman and founder of KFC would have turned 120 years old last week. Everybody knows the white-haired Southerner in the white suit and the string ties with a goatee who proudly proclaimed his product was “finger lickin’ good,” right?

Not really. A survey conducted by the fried chicken chain discovered that more than six out of 10 Americans ages 18 to 25 could not identify the man in the KFC logo, five out of 10 think he’s just a made-up character, and three out of 10 have no idea whatsoever who he is.

So KFC has embarked on a major advertising blitz including social media like Facebook. The saturated campaign comes at the same time the Double Down is being promoted. You wanna sell your product so naturally you turn what generally sells well: sex.

The sandwich without buns is being advertised on female buns on at least one college campus and KFC hopes it will be expanded to others. To earn $500 apiece, young coeds are being asked to wear sweatpants with the words, “Double Down” printed on their tushes as they hand out sandwich coupons.

Cue the fanatics.

A NOW blog writes:

“The campaign is shameful. It takes advantage of broke college students to send a message that women's bodies are public property -- all to sell a greasy, nasty sandwich.” writes:

“Hey, KFC, taste THIS chicken nugget from an experienced former brand expert, au gratis: Go family. Roast whole organic chickens and offer them up with enough nutritious sides (like sauteed kale and baked sweet potatoes) to feed a family of four for under $17, and you'll be back in business.”

Yeh, that’ll work.

Even the conservative Concerned Women for America is… GASP… appalled. writes:

“Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America (CWA) thinks the marketing campaign is the exact opposite of what KFC founder Colonel Sanders would have wanted.

‘Colonel Sanders was a gentleman,’ she points out. ‘The people who took over his business are no gentlemen. This campaign treats women like the products that they sell.’

She further argues that the bad taste of the campaign does not justify bringing more attention to it, but she thinks it should be criticized for using women as billboards and for promoting a product that is high in calories.

‘This is a sexist and a dumb campaign’.”

These are the same ridiculous arguments that have been waged for at least 40 years, that somehow lovely young women are being “exploited,” a favorite term of the left that sees injustice around every corner. Apparently pretty women are stupid, have no brains or minds of their own. Funny, I don’t see a gun to their heads saying, you must help us make money by showing how attractive you are……baby.

HELLO!  We are in a recession!  Everyone’s struggling! You would deny a pretty young college student a change to make $500 simply because your Victorian nose is all bent out of shape?

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Here, ladies and gentlemen is what all the fuss is about:


In Louisville, Spalding University students serve as billboards for KFC's Double Down. Photo: USA TODAY.

Look, I am not a pig, but I am not a prude.

Are you kidding me?

Take a look at those gals.

Let's be real. You see a lot less at 76th and Layton (Hooter’s).

Or at Bradford Beach, and I’m talking about high school girls.

I find it very interesting that these students…..

Attend Spalding University that bills itself as the oldest Catholic college west of the Alleghenies.

Good grief. In an age where no one gets upset that Miley Cyrus prances around a stripper pole nearly naked, suddenly college girls dressed from head to toe handing out chicken sandwich coupons are considered Jezebels.

Sweetheart, I’ll take one of your coupons and thoroughly enjoy my Double Down, thank you very much.


Hey, guys, don't you know you could hurt yourselves doing that?

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Page Tools