[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/20/kfc.double.down.cnn.art.jpg caption="KFC's Double Down sandwich is two pieces of chicken, two slices of cheese and two strips of bacon – without a bun."]
By Dashira Harris, CNN
I took a deep breath. I was next in line. "Uhhh, can I have a grilled and fried Double Down," I stammered once I got to the cashier. I imagined a collective gasp once the words left my mouth, but no such occurrence.
The cashier said the grilled Double Down will take six minutes to make. I waited while two others in line got the fried Double Down, one was a 70-year-old woman with a cane.
I have to admit, the blogs and tweets proclaiming, "heart attack," "instant death" and "you will die" unnerved me. On the other end, low-carb dieters rejoiced at the grilled option, only three grams of carbs and the fried, 11 grams.
Still, as I tore through the brown bag and popped the cardboard lid, I wondered would I spontaneously combust? I just had to find out for myself.
First bite. Hmmm, tastes like chicken. Fried. Grilled. And very salty.
The original Double Down is 540 calories, has 32 grams of fat and 1380 milligrams of sodium. The grilled version is 460 calories, 23 grams of fat and has 1430 milligrams of sodium. Those 50 milligrams are considerably distinguishable.
After two bites of each, a bottle of water was on order. The grilled was less tasty than the fried and the sodium made it harder to eat. So did I die? No, not yet at least, but I doubt any moderate Double Down consumer would.
The hoopla may be unwarranted, there are worse options in the fast food world.
The classic McDonald's Big Mac is 590 calories, 34 grams of fat and 1010 milligrams of sodium, not that far off from the Double Down. Wendy's Double Baconator is double the health hazard. 980 calories, 62 grams of fat and 2020 milligrams of sodium.
So what explains the big splash the Double Down made when it was introduced a week ago?
Is it bread discrimination? Is the special sauce not tangy enough? Are Americans just tired of being forced to eat fast food against their will?
The million dollar question, or perhaps the $5.49 question is what critics charged: Did KFC shirk their moral responsibility to the public in offering healthy food choices by introducing this two fried slab, two cheese, two bacon, supposed artery-clogging, heart attack-inducing delight?
The health risks of the bread-less wonder aren't anything new when it comes to fast food. If one wants healthy food, fast food wouldnâ€™t be at the top of my list. Bun or not.