KFC is one the world’s leading restaurant chain that serves more than 115 countries. In 2013, KFC made a sales of more than $20 billion. KFC is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands. KFC makes different types of chicken burgers and chicken fries in various parts of the world. KFC’s secret recipe is one of the most well-kept trade secrets in the world. KFC has an interesting history and success story. Certain things about KFC are strange and weird. We have created a list of 10 bizarre facts about KFC that is not known to many and is worth knowing.
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10. KFC entered China with the slogan “Eat your fingers off”
KFC’s original slogan “finger-licking good” was mis-translated to a weird slogan in China. the original slogan of KFC was changed in the year 2011. Ridiculously and erroneously, in China KFC translated the slogan as “eat your fingers off”. This was first reported by Buzzfeed.com.
9. Pressure cookers were used initially to fry chickens in KFC
Sanders was not happy with the speed with which his chickens were fried. It took nearly 30 min to fry the chickens. Pressure cookers were invented during the same period when KFC’s business was kicking off. Sanders used frying pans to fry chickens that didn’t work well as chickens were not fried properly or half fried. Using wire mesh frying, chickens were deep-fried and some portions of the chickens didn’t get equal frying. Also, Sanders wanted to reduce the amount of time required to fry the chickens. Hence, Sanders used pressure cookers to fry chickens that reduced the frying time to nearly half. Pressure cookers also make the fried chickens less moist and deep-frying the chickens were avoided.
8. Recipe of KFC Chicken remains the same from 1940 except the frying oil
Only the frying oil has changed in the recipe for KFC Chicken. Even today the recipe of KFC Chicken remains exactly same as it was in 1940. Initially, Sanders used hydrogenated vegetable oil to fry KFC chickens. Today different countries use different frying oil for making their products cost-effective. Cheaper oils such as soybean and palm oil are used in some countries. Expensive cottonseed and corn oil are used in Japan for reducing the trans fat level in chicken.
7. Sanders Court & Café was KFC’s original name
Initially, KFC was not called as KFC but as Sanders Court & Café. Sanders passed through several types of professions which didn’t succeed. Finally, Sanders decided to sell fried chicken and country ham recipes which he had learnt as a child. He first served the travelers from his dinning room and the gas station nearby for more than four years. Later, in 1937 he expanded his hotel along with a motel he had purchased. He called this 142 restaurant as Sanders Court & Café. In 1955, the route planned for Interstate 75 bypassed Corbin, Kentucky, Sanders decided to sell the property and travel across US in search of franchise until he found Harman.
6. The Secret Spice blend can be purchased under the name “99-X”
The 11 secret herbs and spices can actually be purchased under the name “99-x”. The KFC’s secret chicken seasoning “99-x” can be purchased from Marion-Kay Spices. Sanders has only revealed that the secret recipe contained only the day-to-day kitchen shelf products like salt and pepper. Scientific researches on KFC chicken ingredients have revealed and confirmed that it contains wheat flour and MSGs. There are numerous videos and tutorials to make chicken fries like KFCs and none are proved to taste like the ones given at KFC restaurants.
5. Sanders didn’t coin the name KFC
Colonel Sanders opened his first restaurant in 1930, but didn’t coin the restaurant name as KFC. It was actually coined as Kentucky Fried Chicken by Don Anderson, a sign painter hired by Pete Harman. Harman wanted his franchised restaurant to be unique and differentiated from other competitors to make it successful. Sanders then adopted this name because he found that it distinguished KFC from deep-fried “Southern fried chicken” and from other restaurants that offered fried chickens.
4. Japanese eat KFC chicken during Christmas
A popular custom and tradition in Japan is to have KFC chicken during Christmas. What made this custom so popular? Thanks to the 1974 marketing campaign of Kentucky Fried Chicken that became insanely popular and successful later. This marketing campaign was tagged as “Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!” (Kentucky for Christmas). Still this tradition is followed in Japan though only 1 percent of the population are Christians. There has always been shortage of Turkey meat in the country and KFC chicken has become an alternative. KFC targeted this as a marketing strategy in the country and became widely popular.
3. First KFC Franchise didn’t open at Kentucky
The first KFC actually opened in Salt Lake city, Utah. This location is 1500 miles away from Kentucky. This happened on Aug 3, 1952 when colonel Harland Sanders visited Utah to meet Pete and his wife and convinced to be his first franchise. Pete and Sanders were friends even before this event occurred. Sanders opened his first restaurant in 1930 and he wanted to sell his franchise to someone but nobody wanted to buy his franchise until Pete Harman accepted the franchise. This restaurant was later demolished and converted into a museum and an even better restaurant in 2004.
2. “Secret Menu” exists in KFC that aren’t actually on the KFC menu
Triple Down, make your own chicken bowl, Poutine, and bacon bonanza are some of the items that are not listed on the KFC menu. These are hidden menu items in KFC that you can ask for. Unfortunately these hidden items are not available at all KFC joints, but you may get lucky if you ask and get them. Many do not know about the existence of such secret menu. If you know then you are part of an exclusive club of knowing such hidden menus. Secret menus have become popular in many parts of the world.
1. Only two people know KFC’s secret recipe
The mystery behind the 11 herbs & spices is still not known to the world and is one of the most highly guarded catering secrets in the world. Only two people in the world know the secrets behind these 11 herbs and spices. These herbs and species are not allowed to even travel together in the same plane or car for security reasons. The original copy of the recipe and the vial containing these herbs are safeguarded in KFC’s headquarters in Louisville inside a safe vault. Many people and scientists have tried to decipher the contents of KFC secret herbs and have failed.