Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Pale imitations: SFC

KFC's well-deserved and hard-earned popularity has spawned a number of imitators over the years, ranging from the sinister chickeny doppelgänger stores that crowd our streets (as seen in the rogues gallery article of this very blog) to suspiciously similar products lurking in the shadowy recesses of our stores and supermarkets. Latest to step up to the plate of shame is Sainsburys, "Southern fried chicken family feast box".

The concept is ostensibly exciting: what sane man or woman could resist the concept of KFC styled chicken in the comfort and convenience of your own home? Fearing perhaps that it was all too good to be true, I took the time to examine the packaging more thoroughly, and noticed a few disturbing discrepancies. In bold writing at the top of the packaging, large text shouts, "with barbecued DIP". Does this imply that the sauce contained therein had been precariously balanced on top of flaming coals during preparation? My confidence shaken, I examined the rest of the packaging, only to discover an itinerary that appeared to have been written by Brian Butterfield including, "cooked portions" and, "poppets" along with an unusual disclaimer for a product sold in only certain stores and only in the UK, "loved worldwide." Choking back the rising tide of bile at the desecration of a beloved idol, I opened the packaging to see what further horrors awaited.

As you can see, the frozen lumps of plastic-wrapped chicken therein do not exactly inspire the delirious joy of receiving a true KFC product, and it is important to note that during the complicated 3 stage hour long preparation of what I hesitate to call a chicken dish, it would be more than possible for most people to simply walk or drive to the nearest KFC branch, order their choice of food and return home with the hot, freshly prepared chicken dish. Nonetheless, to give this dish a fair chance, it was prepared exactly according to the instruction on the packaging and arranged as best we could as shown on the front of the box. This... this was the result.
The patchy, mottled coating of brown bread-dust doesn't compare very well at all to the rich golden glow depicted on the packaging, or the superior blend of herbs and spices that adorn the Colonels finest chicken products. The smell is stale, like an old man who ate chicken earlier that day, but can't remember doing so. The chicken is much smaller than depicted on the packaging and squats evilly on a corner of the plate, bringing to mind unattained dreams and failed objectives, and as for the taste...

Imagine sneaking into a cemetery at nightime, and finding the oldest tomb there. Exhuming some ancient bones, you proceed to a low-grade processed chicken factory, where you kick them around the floor until they are coated with a mixture of of discarded chicken scraps and dirt. Finally you drape it with discaded skin, liberally baste a coating of near flavourless bready goo over the top of your mockery of all that is good and right in this world, and freeze it for an unsuspecting chicken-fan to consume, rubbing your filthy hands together with barely-constrained malice. As you may have gathered, the flavour was disappointing, especially combined with the guilt of betraying everything the colonel stood for in chicken products.

Overall, the SFC experience was a disappointment, made bearable by the fact that KFC continues to produce food of excellent quality and taste, that can easily be acquired instead of relying on terrible imitation products. In light of this, I am awarding Sainsburys the Kentucky Fried Bloggin' "worst product of the month" award, and will take the chance to remind readers that there is a reason that official KFC food items will always be better than their poor-quality, "rivals."

1 comment:

dg said...

Ol, Fantastic and well constructed award. I think that that picture of the colonel really captures the gravity of the situation if you are unfortunate enough to warrant receiving this award