KFC 3

KFC was voted the favorite among a panel of Tulsa World staff. CORY YOUNG/Tulsa World

Do you like Cheetos? How about fried chicken? Ever want to mash them together between bread with some mayonnaise?

You are in luck. Just in time for the Independence Day holiday, KFC is launching the Cheetos sandwich on Monday at some locations.

Nothing is more American than jamming junk food into various forms for Frankenstein versions of a “meal.”

After test markets in North Carolina, Virginia and Georgia showed an overwhelming success of the fried chicken plank-Cheetos creation, it was set for wider release. This reminds me that Southerners boil peanuts and then sometimes put them in their Coca-Cola.

The KFC concoction features a toasted bun, smothered in mayo, layered with crunchy Cheetos (not the puffy kind), a fried chicken patty and a special cheese sauce.

“No,” said my 15-year-old son, who will eat pretty much anything.

It’s tempting to complain about this relating to the obesity epidemic or hunger; that this is symbolic of U.S. gluttony and poor taste. Yes to all those those things.

Setting that aside, this orange overindulgence showcases the Americana creative trait of designing weird food that never disappoints and strangely fascinates.

There is a double standard: Fancy pants chefs do it and call it fusion while fast-food restaurants get mocked for deep-fried experimentation.

If a person hasn’t ordered off a dollar menu, then it’s unlikely any appreciation will come forth for a $4.79 palate overload.

For so many years, McDonalds was the front-runner in serving the odd and unfortunate. I kind of miss the McDLT (keeps the hot side hot and the cold side cold). The McLean Deluxe didn’t cut it with the seaweed filler.

Under those golden arches, such failed masterpieces include McLobster sandwiches (mostly lettuce), onion nuggets, McSpaghetti and McPizza (horrifying to Chef Boyardee).

The old-school, fast-food chain seems to have eased up on the fads, but why keep the McRib on a limited-time only basis?

We all know those aren’t really ribs. But, that mold of meat substance covered in sauce and onions is irresistible sometimes, just like the allure of the Shamrock Shake only sold during St. Patrick’s Day.

Then, along came Taco Bell, the rising challenger of peculiar food. For so long, the most exotic thing on its menu was the morphing of an enchilada and burrito into something called an Enchirito. Genius. Who would have thought to put meat and beans in a flour tortilla topped with red sauce.

Embracing the challenge of mashups, made-ups and the bizarre, the Tex-Mex cooks got serious.

Now, there’s a fiery Doritos Locos Tacos (also in Cool Ranch flavor), Fritos or Cheetos beef burrito, Crunch Wrap Supreme, Naked Chicken Chalupa, bacon cheddar Gorito crunch, jalapeno popper Quesarito and the low-key double decker supreme taco.

I’m not sure what most of those are, but my arteries got a bit more narrow just writing the words.

Other places try, like Pizza Hut’s cheesy bites pizza (outer crust consisting of dough-wrapped cheese). But, this is a tough convenience food contest.

KFC isn’t new to this race. It had an earlier item called pickle fried chicken, featuring a dill sauce of secret ingredients. No one seems concerned about the proliferation of classified sauces for mass consumption.

Pickles are boring compared to the KFC Double Down from nearly a decade ago: two fried chicken filets serving in lieu of a bun for a sandwich of bacon, cheese and something called a Colonial Sauce.

Chips on sandwiches isn’t that original. I had an uncle add plain potato chips to every ham sandwich. That extra pop of salt and crunch seemed to elevate that boring Mom standard.

But the colonel’s latest offering takes comfort food to the extreme. Did anyone want that tornado of food in one bite?

KFC can’t possibly stop here: Cheetos wings, Cheetos fries, Cheetos mashed potatoes and Cheetos slaw should arrive.

My son may be turning up his nose, but there is a way to get fussy Oklahoma food snobs to bite; think like a state fair vendor.

Deep fry the sandwich and serve it on a stick.


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Ginnie Graham 918-581-8376

ginnie.graham@tulsaworld.com

Twitter: @GinnieGraham