February 26, 2007
Pope-Mobile at KFC?

KFC has come to the party late, but it isn't being shy about announcing its arrival. In adding fish to its national menu for the first time in its 68-year history, just in time to capitalize on Lenten observances, KFC has gone straight to the top for a pitchman - Pope Benedict XVI. In a letter to Vatican City, KFC president Gregg Dedrick is asking the pope for his personal endorsement of the new Fish Snacker "as a way for members of your flock to keep a holy Lenten season," reports USA Today.

While I haven't been authorized by the pope to extend his blessings to this or that fast food, curiosity got the best of me over the weekend and I stopped by a KFC to see what the Fish Snacker had to say. Besides, I'd just finished a package of stories about seafood for this Wednesday's Taste section in The Sacramento Bee and wanted to make sure I hadn't overlooked the fish tale of the year. I hadn't, at least not as far as the Fish Snacker is concerned, though it is an adequate little sandwich, a veritable seafood slider. A breaded and fried filet of Alaskan pollock smeared lightly with tartar sauce and sandwiched in a sesame-seed bun, it was hot and fresh, crispy on the outside, moist and white inside. It's small, but that's why they call it a snack and why they charge just 99 cents each. Service was so slow, however, I thought I was going to have to resort to prayer to get my bag and get out of the place.

When I pulled the sandwich from the bag when I got home I found that the wrapper said "buffalo snacker" as well as "fish snacker." I presume it's an all-purpose wrapper, and that the "buffalo" refers to a version of KFC chicken seasoned with buffalo-wing sauce. On the other hand, the pope could be a big fan of buffalo and KFC is preparing to approach him with a new appeal after Easter.

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