October 8th , 2012 9:16 am Leave a comment

From The Publisher’s Desk: On my plate, less is always more


It’s not easy making good and healthy food choices. You know why? Because some fool is always coming up with some crazy thing that we’ll put in our mouth and say, “Yum!”

Earlier this year, while still living in Louisiana, where you know they eat weird things like crawfish, the local Burger King was promoting a new chocolate sundae with, wait for it, BACON. The newsroom went out and got a bunch to try. It was weird — that’s the best I can say about it.

A while back, I read about a Krispy Kreme Chicken Sandwich, and I thought, “Krispy Kreme. Like it. Chicken sandwich. Like that, too. Maybe together, it’s good. Who am I to judge?”

Apparently in Orange County, Calif., the county fair was serving up a chicken breast topped with Swiss cheese sandwiched between two Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

Oh, it came with a side of honey sauce, too.

It sounds disgusting, but so did the McRib, and McDonald’s keeps bringing that thing back.

It reminds me of that sandwich KFC brought out a few years back — the Double Down sandwich, which was really not a sandwich. You know why? Because the sandwich had no bread, and that apparently was the catch.

Here’s what the Double Down came down to, according to the folks at KFC HQ: It’s two thick and juicy boneless white meat chicken filets (Original Recipe or grilled), two pieces of bacon, two melted slices of Monterey jack and pepper jack cheese and Colonel’s Sauce.

“The product is so meaty,” the KFC website said when the “sandwich” made its debut, “there’s no room for a bun!”

But there is room for 32 grams of fat and 1,380 milligrams of sodium.

If Clara Peller were alive today, she wouldn’t be saying, “Where’s the beef?,” she’d be imploring, “Where’s the bun?”

It was such a ridiculous concoction that KFC’s own website had to have a disclaimer that said, “The new KFC Double Down sandwich is real!” Here’s the thing: If your food product is so extreme you have to tell people it’s not fake, then should you have made it in the first place?

Of course, this comes from the same restaurant that changed its name a few years back from Kentucky Fried Chicken to KFC to be hipper and more with the times.

I’m not sure you can make fried chicken hip. I mean, it’s good for a leg or a thigh, but a hip? I don’t think so.

Of course, I don’t want it to look like I’m picking on KFC, which I happen to love (and, OK, I eat there at least once a week), because all restaurants are serving up food that’s not necessarily good for us — and too much of it, too.

When people eat out today, bigger is better. McDonald’s coined the phrase, “Super Size,” and it’s come back to haunt the fast-food giant. Too much of a good thing isn’t always good.

Moderation isn’t a word used at fast-food restaurants or high-end restaurants either. Sometimes, there’s so much on my plate, I know immediately that half is going home in a doggie bag before I’ve even taken the first bite.

But it’s what we demand, isn’t it? We’re paying for it, so we want more — and more and still more.

Younger folks probably don’t realize this, but it’s a fairly new trend to “eat out.” When I was a boy, I don’t remember going out a lot. For one thing, we didn’t have the restaurants we do today.

We ate at home, and it was good food.

Folks talk about Southern cooking being bad for us, and I’m not sure that’s right.

My paternal grandparents, Amos and Verna Stevens, lived next door when I was growing up, so I had a lot of meals at their house. And every single one of those meals was delicious.

My grandmother loved me more than anything, but she didn’t fill up my plate until it overflowed. She’d put out whatever the meat for the meal was and then she’d spoon on mashed potatoes and, maybe, a couple of other vegetables, which were fresh from the garden or had been canned for use later.

Somewhere along the way, I think we forgot that good food is super — and the size of the portion has nothing to do with it.

My grandmother was the best cook I’ve ever known, and if someone had served her a sandwich made out of chicken and doughnuts, she would have thrown it out to the dogs.


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