Thursday, 4 October 2012

guilty culinary pleasures...

On a recent business trip to Penticton, I decided to mix business with a little bit of pleasure: guilty pleasure, that is.  It is nice to treat oneself every now and then, so normally when then becomes now I like to go all out and have an excellent 3-course meal and amazing wine to match.  However, this time around I thought I would delve deeper into my primal animal hungers; hungers so deep that they rarely reveal themselves among peers yet reach such a heightened sense of satisfaction that I am reminded that guilt is part of the parcel at the onset of being baptised Catholic. I am of course talking about fast food takeout.

I am proud of many things in my life, and one of them is that even under the influences of alcohol I have not stepped foot in a McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's in almost a decade. It is therefore of great significance when I decide to have the rare fast-food dinner, and such decisions must be taken with discretion for fear of being caught. Thus being away in a small country town in a room all to myself I could indulge in the one fast-food joint that tempts my taste buds everytime I pass it: KFC.

In all its finger-licking glory, KFC is one of those comfort foods that take me back to my childhood. Always the feature at family get-togethers or nights when Dad was left to "cook", there is something about the delicate balance of 3-pieces of crispy-fried chicken, a side of fries, and flourescent green coleslaw that is so wrong yet so right. Delving deeper into my devlish indulgence, not only did I purchase my KFC through drive-thru, but I also took it back to the hotel room and ate it in bed!

Naturally, I could not go all the way and indulge in a soft drink with dinner; I do, after all, have some standards. Passing on the Pepsi, I instead paired my poultry pleasure with a Pinot Noir Rose from Sancerre. Generally known for its Sauvignon Blanc, 20% of Sancerre production is of Pinot Noir, little of which makes it to the BC market. Light in body, the crisp acidity actually worked well with fried chicken-skin, and the flavour profiles (oddly) matched quite well too. I never knew a character profile for Pinot Noir could be "flavours of strawberry, raspberry, and eleven secret herbs and spices."

As with any over indulgence, however, I found myself waking the next morning with a greasy-meat induced hangover. The lack of nutrients in the meal (the wine was likely the healthiest of the bunch) wrecked unexpected havoc on my body, and made me wonder how people could live with this type of food as part of their regular diet. All day, I craved fresh fruits and veggies, but come dinner time do you think I was off to Wholefoods?

Nope. Instead, back to more fast-food at the new and well-reviewed Burger 55 ( To be featured on Food Network's "You Gotta Eat Here!" in January, Burger 55 is an awesome, design-it-yourself burger shack in Penticton that is worth checking out. As are the fries. And curry sauce for the fries. And ample toppings. All of which is certainly healthier than KFC....but enjoyed just as much in bed with a great wine (Hess's Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon in this case).

Forgive me, Colonel, for I have sinned in thanks to your greasy goodness....and enjoyed every morsel of it!

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