Last year, while we were on a short family trip to New Orleans, my brother and I were thinking of avoiding all our responsibilities to drive two hours west for worship to the last remaining Poppy buffet on earth. That sounds weird these days. Popaye, now a perfect eatery, has raised its own ante: Heavy Breast Breast – enclosed in legendary delicate fried breading – lined on both sides with mayonnaise, curled on top of a cool pad of two thick pickles, held in place by a gentle hug , buttery, flexible muffin with brioche. I spend my summer in Canada where a sandwich is not introduced;
The new Popeye's Chicken Chicken Sandwich looks like the best of all creatures in the world, a rare example of almost unanimous approval from the main stream. It takes the objective, populist perfection of Popey's signature flavor profile and applies it in the tried and tested form of sandwich popularized by Chick-fil-A for more than six decades: fried chicken, pickles (always under chicken, never on top), smeared with oil and not much. It's not the most ambitious crossover event in history, but it may be the most logical. Then her volatile success comes as a small surprise.
The sandwich has become a sensation. You know that. Competitive businesses are aware of this, as many drive the savings of memes with the prevailing notion that growing meme raises all brands. By the time you read this, the sandwich will already be sold out for the day. Left in the midst of it is the Great Fried Chicken Sandwich with 201
But while the introduction of the Popeye sandwich may seem like the most recent moment in the history of fried chicken sandwiches (if you live on the Internet), we've seen it before. Although hypersensitivity feels relentless, fried chicken sandwich in form really reached its phenomenon as a phenomenon in 2015.
In June of that year, David Chang offered his ideal version of fried chicken sandwich, opening the first Fuku in Manhattan East Village; weeks later, Danny Meyer's ever-expanding Shake Shack empire launched Chick's Shack in Brooklyn, later expanding nationwide in early 2016, contributing to a 43 percent increase in Q1 revenue for Q1 to 2016 of the company. In October 2015, Chick-fil-A opened a 5,000-square-foot space in Manhattan's apparel area, its first full-service location in New York, where opening lines were wrapped around blocks. Bestselling cookbook author and James Beard J. Kenji Lopez-Alt hosted pop-up fried chicken sandwiches in Harlem and the San Gabriel Valley in Los Angeles the same month, using science-driven techniques from his cookbook, The Food Laboratory . I watched the owners of the old food pantries stare in disbelief as a massive line formed in an Asian supermarket container that was sparsely populated most days – all to get a taste of the monstrous Lopez chicken sandwich. -Alt, fried twice in beef tenderloin, garnished with gochujang mayo and pickles. Ironically, 2015 was the year that McDonald's discontinued its fried chicken sandwich – an almost identical affair with chicken-fil-A sandwiches (Just last month, McDonald's franchisees asked the corporation to produce a new Chick-fil-A competitor to take advantage of the high-demand market.)
It was in 2015, when Los Angeles was first introduced in the latest addition to its sandwich pantheon. Howlin´ Ray's, a Nashville-style chicken restaurant that has become one of L.A.'s busiest food establishments, modestly introduced its hot chicken sandwich in August 2015, when the business operated off a food truck. Probably the most Instagrammed sandwich in town; Howlin 'Ray's Chinatown store now has a regular two-hour wait. I was one of the first to try the sandwich, a week after chef Johnny Ray Zone finalized the recipe, at the L.A. Farmers Market. Arts District. I had a moment of transcendence with a fried chicken sandwich years ago – at Bakes Belly in Auckland – but Howlin Ray was the closest I came from.
Until 2016, the fried chicken sandwich was recognized as a full-fledged national trend by Bon Appétit but until then they really only stated the obvious. The formula for the success of fried chicken over the years is really just the formula for fried chicken sandwich, right? At its center is fried chicken – a cornerstone of American cuisine, from every angle – and everything in its orbit is intended to serve as a counterpoint. The mushroom-like sponge offers contrast with the crispy fried exterior, with mayonnaise serving as a link to ensure that the textile transition is made smoothly; the acidity of pickles cuts through the fat of the frying job; fame (if any) offers a different kind of crunch, which persists even if the fried chicken is not. The fried chicken sandwich establishes its balance by simulating nutrition and all sensory factors that go into one. Fried chicken is universal; spices and party supplements can vary dramatically from one vendor to the next, but at its core it is a unifying form.
I can almost trace the rainbow of my life into fried chicken sandwiches. I was 6 for the first time and the only time I felt indestructible: I was putting myself a whole original Burger King chicken sandwich, its elongated submarine shape that made it look much larger than a typical burger. I was in Dallas for a high school speech and debate tournament the first time I ate at Chick-fil-A, which ignited my dedication to franchising through college. A new Chick-fil-A opened a mile away from my college, and each new Chick-fil-A had a raffle that provided a set of 52 free dining vouchers to 100 casual people who checked into the restaurant for the day; I made and suffered some of the worst food poisoning in my life for these free meals. In 2011, during the NBA blockade, I ran a blog on Chick-fil-A called "Starvation on a Sunday," where I reviewed menu items, ranked the strength of many sauces available, analyzed the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns, and ultimately I was aware of the fact that the corporation was openly supporting and financing anti-LGBTQ groups. Since then, I've been eating it moderately in Chick-fil-A. (For the sake of transparency, I didn't have waffles with fried chick-fil-A anywhere near the top five in my personal fast food chart.)
Chick-fil-A is, for better or worse, a bearer . He doubtfully claims to have invented the form, but given the history of the South by wiping out black communities and achievements, as in the case of the hot chicken in Nashville, the full chronology of fried chicken sandwiches can never be revealed. As such, Chick-fil-A can always be a measuring stick. Popayes has seen countless comparisons to Chick-fil-A over the past week, just like Fuku, Shake Shack and McDonalds had before.
Each of Popeyes' major predecessors has seen a huge surge of superfluity in the end, but the enthusiasm for fried chicken sandwiches seems endlessly regenerating. Even today, hand bite has become a form of passive resistance against titanium in the industry; Chick-fil-A can always stand as an archetype, but there is value, obviously, in the pursuit of something better. In this way, fried chicken sandwich – an amalgam of two ideal nutritional forms, right there in its name – has become the most essential food of the viral age: a symbol of perfection, which nevertheless has the power to capture the imagination.