31 July 2007

KFC Mashed Potato Bowl

Supposedly made of "all the things that made us famous," KFC's Famous Bowls come as a mashed potato bowl, rice bowl, and chicken & biscuit bowl.

Having loved KFC's potatoes and corn as a kid (seriously, was KFC ever famous for rice?) I opted for the mashed potato bowl. According to their marketing department: "We start with a generous serving of our creamy mashed potatoes, layered with sweet corn and loaded with bite-sized pieces of crispy chicken. Then we drizzle it all with our signature home-style gravy and top it off with a shredded three-cheese blend."

Let's follow their order.

Remember when KFC's mashed potatoes were good? Ok, maybe you never remember them that way. How about "acceptable?" Well, now they're barely below that threshold. What once almost passed as the all-American side dish of choice is now some watery, powdered mess that you wouldn't use to caulk your bathtub.

The corn's surprisingly good, not swimming in water like KFC's cobbettes usually are, and the bite-sized pieces of chicken are just what you'd expect from the Colonel. You wouldn't serve this at a fancy banquet, but you wouldn't wish it on your worst enemy, either.

The gravy – like the mash underneath – isn't nearly as good as I remember. Or at least falsely remember. It, too, is watered down, runny, and pretty much as useless.

Overall this package would be OK at best, were it not covered with the egregious offense known as cheap shredded cheese. Perhaps it's my ethnic background, but I really don't understand the American obsession with putting shitty processed cheese on everything. I mean, honestly, do you really need a fistful of some faux, oil-based cheese-esque (and that's a stretch) product on top of your already dangerously unhealthy meal? Does it serve some purpose other than to mask the flavors you're barely getting as it is? Is it helping put your cardiologist's kids through undergrad?

What really confounds me here is that if these famous bowls are made of all the flavors that made KFC famous, why the hell is there cheese on it? The only dish here that's ever contained cheese is the Mac & Cheese side. Why couldn't they scoop that on top of it? Or a heap of Cole Slaw? Or a ladle full of BBQ Baked Beans? I mean, if you're going to feed me a disgusting heap of food that gives me 98% of my daily sodium intake, why not at least make it from the flavors I actually equate with the Kentucky Fried Chicken of the days of yore?

Perhaps the saddest part of this so-called Famous bowl is that it's so small. For something that's giving you all that aforementioned sodium, 54% of your daily value of fat (35g), and nearly half of your daily allowance of saturated fat (9g, or 45%), you'd think it would be a lot more filling.

Overall, I give 2 and a half skulls. It's not that deadly, and the bowl tastes decent enough, but between the starkly out-of-place and unnecessary cheese, small size, and hideous presentation (the plastic top makes the contents of the bowl steam and melt into mush), there really isn't any reason to come back for one of these. Ever.

2.5 skulls

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