Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Why Did I Eat This? Shanghai Edition

In Shanghai, the Colonel's face is literally everywhere. Peppered in between wet markets and high end retail stores, the unmistakable smell of fried chicken even cuts through the malodorous fog of the diesel fueling the country's endless growth spurt.  Typically, "Why Did I Eat This?" is a result of marketing, but I had a different reason this time around.  I read that Yum! Brands—the fast food behemoth whose weapons in the war against health also include Taco Bell and Pizza Hut—pushed into emerging markets by catering to local tastes, and I was curious to see how these local tastes were interpreted as fast food.  But I fucked up (typical).  Instead of seeing how the classically good KFC meal of a two-piece, mashed potatoes, and a biscuit stacked up to the American version, I wound up ordering the New Orleans Chicken sandwich, a non-breaded breast filet doused in not-very-hot sauce on a sesame seed bun (who orders non-fried chicken at a fried chicken joint?).  As expected, the sandwich was pretty terrible, although the amount of mayo they put on it kind of made up for things.  The videos give you the whole story (if you turn up the volume), plus an awkward interaction with a deaf Chinese panhandler, who, had he not been deaf, would have panhandled himself a faceful of high fructose corn syrup.  Buen provecho.

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