Last week, Slate introduced a new feature called the Fast Food Generator. The concept is simple. Users rank how much they like the flavors of certain types of foods -- American, Italian, Mediterranean, Mexican, and Asian -- and from that information, an algorithm spits out a brand new fast food Frankenstenian concoction. Mine was "Mashed Licorice Bucket," which I would totally buy.
It's fun, but also somewhat troubling. While the innovations seem so far over-the-top that they'd never be actually made, they're not really that far out of line from the offerings currently out there. With all the grossness that's found its way into American fast food -- and, thusly, American stomachs -- it wouldn't be that surprising for a Mashed Licorice Bucket to be a new dessert offering at someplace like KFC this time next year.
So, for your enjoyment and disgust, here are eight of the worst FrankenFastFoods currently in existence.
Taco Bell Doritos Locos Tacos
This mash-up between Taco Bell and Doritos seemed inevitable, but what was surprising was how well it was received: Over 100 million were sold in the first three months. Those numbers not only mean the company will be trotting out new versions for the foreseeable future -- Spicy Chicken Cool Ranch is the latest -- but that other fast food franchises will be spending large portions of their budget trying to create copycats.
KFC's Double Down Sandwich
Remember this monstrosity from 2010, essentially a bacon and cheese sandwich that uses two chicken breasts as buns? Well, it's back for a limited time! Some might say this being introduced just as social media photo-sharing websites reached their peak started the whole FrankenFastFood movement. In other words, this might be to blame. When some future civilization discovers our relics, don't be surprised if they trace our extinction back to this.
Carl's Jr.'s Pop-Tart Ice Cream Sandwich
This follows the script from the Doritos Locos Tacos by taking a popular snack (frosted strawberry Pop-Tarts) adding their own filling inside (vanilla ice cream), and calling it a day. It also theoretically paved the way for the Krispy Kreme Sloppy Joe, which may only be a state fair novelty now, but odds are you'll be able to order that at a drive-thru within a few years.
Taco Bell's Waffle Taco
It's not surprising that Taco Bell dipped back into Frankenfoods following the success of the Doritos Locos, but it was surprising their next big "innovation" came in the breakfast department. The Waffle Taco is eggs and your choice of sausage or bacon on a curved waffle "taco," a serving of syrup on the side for dipping. You know, so you can start your day off right, if "right" means with "yellow egg-like blob" and "squeaky "meat.
Pizza Hut's Cheesy Bites Pizza
In the beginning, there was darkness. And then light, and dinosaurs, and mankind. And then pizza. Things were going pretty well. And then someone at Pizza Hut decided we need to stuff the outer edge of pizza crusts with something, anything. And that's where we're at now. The U.K. stuffed it with hot dogs, while New Zealand upped the game by making them chili dogs. America's offering, then, is quite modest in comparison. We just glue a bunch of mini cheese sticks on the end. But it's definitely the most visually unappealing of the bunch. It looks like a pizza that's been tossed by a lunatic and baked in a demonic oven.
Denny's Fried Cheese Melt
Speaking of cheese, Denny's got into the mix of over-the-top offerings back in 2010 by deciding that their grilled cheese sandwich was missing something, and that something was a lot more cheese. So, they added four deep-fried mozzarella sticks to the middle of it, because that's how you solve problems! If you eat one of these seemingly-simple sandwiches, you will have eaten a whopping 895 calories.
White Castle's Chicken Rings
The most interesting part of composing this list was seeing the mental shift that's taken place over the years. For instance, when White Castle first introduced their chicken rings way back when, they were probably seen as a big innovation. Now, when placed alongside the other items on the list, they seem downright quaint. Until you think about it and consider the fact that chickens probably shouldn't come in easy-to-dip rings.
Domino's Chicken Carbonera BreadBowl Pasta
To create this, make some pasta with some chicken, peppers and all the parmesan cheese. Not some parmesan cheese, all of the parmesan cheese. And then, instead of putting that into a normal bowl like a reasonable human being, make an edible bowl out of cheesy bread, because you deserve it. And then eat all of it, all 1480 calories and 2220 milligrams of sodium of it. And then, as is the case with eating any of the above selections, don't feel all that good for a few days and maybe schedule an appointment with your doctor.
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