New England is known for many things- polo shirts, PT Barnum's freak show, and summer homes, to name a few. We're not known for our selection of fast food. On a trip to Maryland a few years back, I made it my personal goal to visit no tourist attractions or interesting places, but to eat at every single new fast food restaurant within a five mile radius. The only real regional place New England can claim ownership to is Dunkin' Donuts. Hardly fast food, but a delightful morning staple or afternoon snack. I personally ate at least sixty thousand buttered bagels and croissants on my morning commute to high school. We had a Dunkin' next door. Brilliant marketing.
Had I not had a terrible aversion to mayonnaise at the time, I'm sure this sandwich would have seduced me out of my eighth period math class. My nostalgia for Dunkin' and need for a quick snack before catching a train led to my eventual purchase of the sandwich. The press release for the new chicken salad sandwich tells me that it's tasty and affordable. I should have known that the emphasis on cost would be its ultimate downfall as far as flavor goes, but with the influence of chicken salad in the fast food market lately, I figured I'd give it the old high school try and eat it while soaring through Connecticut.
I was initially skeptical about eating the sandwich on a croissant. Greasy filling and buttery bread did not sound like a palatable combination. And chicken salad on a bagel just seemed inherently wrong, like something I'd make at home in a pathetic, mismatched attempt to avoid buying groceries. You know the type- hot dogs on tortillas, random condiments on Triscuits. The sandwich was average in all respects. You'd think that with the competition from Arby's and Subway, they'd try to do something to jazz it up, but this salad's provenance is clearly from the ever-generic ChickTron 92A. It is industrial and plain, a mere step above Elmer's glue and three steps below school lunches.
The filling was loose and goopy with small pieces of chicken no larger than a penny. There were no vegetables, fruits, or nuts, and while I generally advocate for a meat and condiment only sandwich, chicken salad really needs that extra somethin' somethin' to break up the banality of shredded chicken and mayonnaise. Apparently, that somethin' somethin' was vinegar, and lots of it. It made the sandwich filling ooze in a gloppy paste out of the croissant, which, with its center hole, looked a lot like a pustulating wound. The vinegar was all I could taste in the sandwich filling. Combined with the butteriness of the croissant, a mediocre specimen yet guilty pleasure of mine, it was astringent and overly salted.
Keepitcoming Love now uses this photo and meticulous arrangement of its subject as evidence of my obsession and insanity. She calls it Exhibit C.
As a recent convert to chicken salad, I'm certain that if this had been my formal introduction to all things mayonnaise I'd have run screaming for the hills and not come back until I'd donned a paper SARS mask and latex gloves. Its blandness and oily, sour flavor doesn't quite make it offensive, but if I hadn't been incredibly hungry I'd have had no problem tossing it after a few bites.
Labels: 4, chicken, fast food, lunch, sandwich