Thursday, 26 March 2009

Product Profile: The Zinger Tower Burger

The Zinger Tower Burger, arguably the greatest burger for sale anywhere.

Created and launched during the 96/97 season under the stewardship of Martin Shuker the then marketing director. Today he enjoys the role of chief executive of KFC UK & Ireland.

With impressive vital stats:

Average Height: 68mm
Average weight: 204g
Calories: 668

This wonder burger cannot fail to impress.

The Zinger Tower has become KFC UK's greatest selling burger. Ensconed within the toasted Sesame Kaiser bun are a number of impressive premium ingredients which together form this taste sensation. Although not prepared using Original Recipe coating this burger employs a revolutionary coating known as ETC (Extra Tasty Crispy) but has its own much loved secret ingredient. . . . ZING.

Zing itself is not prevalent throughout the world's KFCs with only a handful of countries, including the UK lucky enough to have had a full roll out early on. In the USA it can only be found occasionally and only in Zinger sauce format rather than the exquisite tumble marinated fillets enjoyed here in the UK.

Of course the Zinger fillet burger existed for some time before the addition of the hash brown and spicy salsa to what was already a much loved and admired burger. Little could Mr Shuker and his team have known that the addition of these two simple ingredients would combine to form the vaunted super burger we enjoy today.

There have however been criticisms, aside from the constant moans of "But it's just too tasty!" and its rumoured addictive qualities some want to know why it can't be prepared using Original Recipe coating. Sadly this comes down to the threat of cross contamination, frying spiced Zinger Chicken with ordinary Chicken pieces can taint the other products, with space at a premium in many kitchens a second bulky Zinger only pressure fryer is untenable.

Presentation often causes concern too, with some ZTs presented to the customer lopsided forcing a quick re-alignment job whereby the top section of the bun has to be removed, the Chicken reseated centrally on the bun's base and if necessary the Hash brown needs to be gently shifted so it rests directly atop the Zinger Fillet.. More recently I was presented with a foreign style burger as it is prepared abroad. This was in the Fenton branch where the hash brown can clearly be seen below the Zinger fillet with the cheese below this.

Criticisms aside it is the role of the two additional ingredients that needs to be examined. Working in tandem, the Hash Brown near the top provides a satisfying crunch and additional titillating texture, whilst the salsa at the bottom adds moisture and a cool sensation before its spices begin to dance on the tongue prior to the delightfully brutal onslaught of the Zinger Fillet.

This really is the acme of the burger world and is best enjoyed fresh as part of an eat in meal but can be subtly enhanced by being smothered in delicious 3 step gravy.


RoBad said...

Pretty sure I have had a zinger with 'Zinger Mayo' on it.
At the same time I have had many with regular mayonnaise. They do put zinger mayonnaise on some other special products and at one time you could buy it or add it separately.

They definitely included it on that special Zinger Maxx they did. You know the extra spicy zinger tower. That was amazing.
I would love them to bring back the spicier zinger, blue cheese tower and hot rods should be a permanent menu addition.

paulbot said...

Great post! Although I have been a lifelong Fillet Tower fan, (in most cases choosing it over the Zinger) I am now starting to throw the Zinger in the mix more often now - really enjoyed a Wicked Zinger box meal I had yesterday for example.

Oh yeh, will be writing up a Whitechapel KFC review later.

RoBad said...

Yeah the fillet tower is a KFC classic. If you are a fan and true believer in the original recipe then it's for you.

Strike me down if I'm wrong but the original coating seems to contain less salt than it did a few years ago. As a result it can't tempt me away from the zinger.

The disadvantage with the zinger of course is that it completely overpowers the Colonels original recipe.
However it is still a unique taste sensation and a classic. I think the colonel would approve of this particular bastardisation of his recipe.

I never find a decent breast piece in a bucket now either. They used to be massive and you had to fight your siblings in order to get one from the bucket. Sometimes i think that they only uses the big breasts for the burgers and just leave the smaller breasts for the buckets. This is a real shame.

There are lots of things about KFC that I think are going wrong; less salt, smaller chicken pieces and NO MORE SOUR CREAM AND CHIVE!!!!! (to name a few)
But then they come along with the inspirational Hot Rod box meal and other twists on the food. So it kind of balances out the sacrifices.

I feel sorry for people who eat at McDonald's or Burger King. Beef is nice but everything from McDonald's tastes of soggy cardboard, you can't even tell what's meat and what is bread. I've still never eaten there in well over a year.

Burger King is a lot better but even there best burgers on s good day can taste stodgy and a little sickening.


The fast food choice is poor at best. KFC really has no competition.

The only thing that comes close is Allen's Fried Chicken which seems to stick closer to the authentic recipe than KFC actually does.

If you want to taste the best KFC in the UK/The world I would go to Allen's.
They don't have the Zinger Tower though and that is what keeps me loyal to KFC.

The quality of KFC compared to the 2 other main fast food retailers can not even be compared. If I want to eat a load of shit, then I'll go to Burger King. If I want real food, fast I'll be at KFC.

Ho, ho. This rant might seem somewhat disjointed but I am currently several sheets to the wind.

RoBad said...

Just noticed so many spelling mistakes and grammatical errors in that. Could be something to do with the six pints of Erdinger I've had this evening.

Sorry folks.