KFC wasn't always called Kentucky Fried Chicken. While it did originate in Kentucky, Harland Sanders first sold his fried chicken out of the front of the gas station he operated, and he named the restaurant Sanders Court & Cafe. The original location, which is located in Corbin, KY, is still there today and functions as a normal KFC, but with a museum dedicated to Sanders attached.
KFC maintains that they use a secret blend of 11 herbs and spices; it’s been in their advertising for awhile. The website BuzzFeed.com maintains that the handwritten recipe for the exact name and amount of each spice is locked in a vault at the chain’s corporate location in Louisville, Kentucky.
Harman introduced the first signature meal of KFC in 1957. The meal was served in a paper bucket with fourteen pieces of chicken, five crispy bread rolls and some spicy gravy. After the signature meal was introduced, it proved to be an instant success for KFC.
KFC earlier used hydrogenated vegetable oil for frying but due to criticism faced across the world, they switched to palm oil. Widely used in cooking, palm oil has poor environmental as well as health records. Due to other such reasons, they switched to high oleic rapeseed oil with an assurance that customers would benefit due to reduced saturated fats.
The iconic paper buckets associated with KFC today were nonexistent until 1957, or nearly 27 years after the original restaurant opened. Up until then, you could only buy single pieces of chicken. The bucket meal was actually created by one of the first KFC franchisees and it included 14 pieces of chicken, five bread rolls, and a pint of gravy.
While Harland Sanders might have been the face of the company and the creator of it's signature chicken recipe, the name Kentucky Fried Chicken wasn't his idea. It was instead coined by a painter hired by one of Sanders's first franchisees. That same franchisee was the man behind the creation of the bucket meal and even the infamous "finger lickin' good slogan" which was dropped in 2011 in favor of "So Good."
KFC’s founder, Sanders, held many different jobs in his lifetime, according to KFC’s own biography. One of his last jobs before becoming the Colonel was the owner of a gas station. To increase his income, he started selling fried chicken out of his own house, feeding customers at his own dinner table. He did this for four years before opening a venue with tables just for customers.
Pressure cookers were invented right about the same time that Sanders’s chicken restaurant business was starting to really take off. The pressure cooker reduced the amount of time it took to cook the chicken versus pan frying it and Sanders didn’t want to deep fry it. However Kentucky Pressure-Cooked Chicken doesn’t sound quite as good.
While the original recipe is nearly impossible to come by, there is a worthy substitute out on the market by Marion-Kay Spices known as 99-X. Many sources agree that Harland Sanders once asked Bill Summers of Marion-Kay to recreate his blend of eleven herbs and spices and recommended that version to franchisees over the corporate concoction, believing that it was higher quality. After his death in 1982, Marion-Kay was barred from selling said mixture to any KFC franchise. Josh Ozersky, a food writer and author of a biography on Sanders, claims that 99-X is indistinguishable from the original blend. A bottle of it will cost you only $22.
YUM! Brands is just about killing it on all fronts: Taco Bell has had a few good years with its Doritos-flavored tacos and revenue is through the roof. Except in China. KFC is pretty common in the largest Asian country, but it is not doing so well at the moment. Fears of bird flu are keeping Chinese diners away from KFC and its chicken meals
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