Takeaway Truth is an occasional Lifehacker feature where we compare marketing images against what you actually get served. Today: KFC's Double Shell Zinger Taco. (Plus taste test!)
Fast food restaurants have been known to fib when it comes to accurate depictions of their menu items. Far too often, the mouth-watering feast on the poster turns out to be a limp and oily morsel. In a bid to keep the fry-jockey overlords honest, we've decided to document the reality of fast food — it was either that, or go postal like Michael Douglas in Falling Down.
When KFC launched the Nacho Box a few months ago, the entire world recoiled in disgusted horror. There were multiple reports of the Nacho cheese containing mould and the company's Facebook page amassed more than 7000 comments about the new menu item; most of which were scathingly negative.
In our Takeaway Truth report, we described it as resembling week-old garbage mixed with surgery leftovers. We were only half-joking:
In the immediate wake of this massive PR disaster, KFC has taken the unusual step of launching another Mexican-themed snack: the KFC Double Shell Zinger Taco. (We're pretty sure the company is just trolling at this point — we kind of respect that.)
As its name implies, the KFC Double Shell Zinger Taco comprises a Zinger chicken patty enclosed in two taco shells; one soft, one hard. It also comes with lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese and "super charged" sauce. A single KFC Double Shell Zinger Taco packs in 1322kJ of energy and costs $3.95.
You can also get a combo meal which contains two tacos, a piece of original recipe chicken, chips, potato and gravy and a soft drink for $11.95. The nutritional damage for the combo meal is 4972kJ.
In terms of taste, I thought the KFC Double Shell Zinger Taco was a bit weird: the hard taco has an odd semi-crunchy texture and the sauce is surprisingly spicy for a mainstream takeaway offering. With that said, it's certainly not the worse fast food I've ever eaten. However, this is Takeaway Truth, where flavour is irrelevant.
So how does the real KFC Double Shell Zinger Taco compare to the advertisement? After the national bollocking it received for the Nacho Box, KFC has prudently kept its Zinger Taco marketing to a minimum. There has been no mention of the product on its Facebook page or website, no media release and no advertisements on TV or YouTube. We were subsequently forced to take a snap of the in-store poster.
Here's a side-by-side comparison of the KFC Double Shell Zinger Taco as it appears on the poster and in real life:
We really wanted to frenziedly attack this thing like it was a Matthew Newton-shaped piñata, but y'know what? The likeness actually isn't too bad. There's less sauce on the real taco and the lettuce isn't as artfully arranged, but otherwise this is a pretty faithful representation. The colour, shape and size are all roughly identical. Aesthetically, it's definitely a massive improvement on the Nacho Box.
Truth rating: 7/10
Which fast food franchise or menu item would you like us to tackle next? Let us know in the comments section below.