The anticipation for it builds daily like all that sugar-white snow accumulating up on the rooftops. While out shopping, you can't help but notice signs all over town heralding its glorious arrival.

The anticipation for it builds daily like all that sugar-white snow accumulating up on the rooftops. While out shopping, you can't help but notice signs all over town heralding its glorious arrival.

Yes, 'tis the season when it's beginning to look a lot like ... a new KFC meal deal has just been released!

You know, nothing says Christmas feast like a big old box of fast-food grub thrown together by KFC. But this particular Christmas miracle has a hook attached to it unlike any other before it.

What I tried: $3.95 Grilled Chicken meal

By the numbers: Deciding to largely forego trying to lure in customers based mostly on taste, KFC has opted to sell their new box munch with an ad campaign that focuses on cold, hard numbers. In an interesting pricing scheme, this thing is sold on a scale of a penny per calorie.

I'm guessing KFC won't be implementing the same pricing strategy anytime soon with the rest of its notoriously fatty menu. I mean, think of the cost for a family trying to afford one of the company's infamously high-caloric cavalcades. In other words, purchasing a 12-piece, extra-crispy bucket bonanza might necessitate remortgaging the family home.

Got your number: When I looked down at the little $3.95-er in its sectioned-off, toy-like, black plastic tray, I thought it looked like something between a hospital meal and a frozen dinner.

Still, the undersized pieces of "grilled" chicken (a thigh and a leg) actually didn't taste bad. They mostly tasted like ... chicken. They had a decent-enough crust, juicy meat and occasional hint of herbs, like rosemary.

The junior-sized scoop of mashed potatoes with gravy was the sad, disappointing, usual Colonel fakers. Just less of them, which I guess is an improvement.

As for the soft and soupy green beans, they had an OK oniony aspect but were so salty I couldn't finish them.

Would I eat it again?: If KFC could sell me just the OK "grilled" chicken at a penny per calorie, then I might.

Spot a new menu item you'd like Taste Test to try? E-mail gbenton@columbusalive.com