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11 Secrets You Never Knew About KFC

    There is much to learn about the chicken company, from menu tricks to hidden secrets.

    The ubiquitous red and white KFC fried chicken basket and the endearing visage of Colonel Sanders may be recognized to you. Even so, you probably aren’t aware of the real history of this fast-food chain, which dates back to 1952, or some of its other secrets.

    It might be difficult to tell fact from fiction when it comes to KFC and its founder Colonel Sanders’ world-famous fried chicken recipe because of all the hidden information. We dug deep to learn about the brand’s history, menu tips, foods to stay away from, and even some insight into those secret formulas.

    What follows are the secrets that you never knew about KFC.

    1) Customers in Japan celebrate Christmas Day with KFC

    According to Delish, some chicken lovers in Japan choose a family-sized bucket of Kentucky fried chicken while Americans intend to eat a sizable Christmas turkey or ham (or both). The famous advertising catchphrase from 1974, “Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii,” or approximately “Kentucky for Christmas!” went across the nation. Due to high demand, many of families in Japan now pre-order KFC buckets weeks in advance in an effort to uphold the tradition.

    2) The idea for KFC started in a gas station.

    Even though everyone from Kim Gaffigan to Ray Liotta has worn the fabled white suit in the Colonel’s iconic TV commercials over the years, you might not be aware that Harland David Sanders, the true Colonel, was the one who created the fast-food industry with his chicken formula.

    In Kentucky, Sanders started selling food to passengers out of a gas station. In contrast to the conventional diner food available along the highway, he became popular with tourists by selling his straightforward country cooking, which included country ham, okra, biscuits, string beans, and similar items. He realized in 1939 that pressure cookers could help him perfect his quick-frying chicken, which was covered with a blend of 11 herbs and spices that he kept to himself.

    3) Colonel Sanders took aim (with a gun!) at a business rival.

    According to History, Sanders was an aggressive marketer who painted advertising signs on structures miles away from his gas station turned restaurant. When Sanders learned that Matt Stewart, who operated a different neighborhood gas station, had begun painting over his signs, he hurried to stop him, accompanied by two Shell executives.

    Colonel Sanders and the American Dream by Josh Ozersky claims that Stewart pulled out his gun and fatally murdered Shell district manager Robert Gibson. Stewart sustained a shoulder injury when Sanders retaliated by firing. Sanders was never charged with anything, but Stewart was given an 18-year prison term for murder.

    4) White pepper might be the secret to KFC’s recipe.

    KFC’s chicken formula has long been kept a closely guarded secret, but in 2016 a Chicago Tribune writer discovered what is allegedly the authentic recipe, complete with all 11 herbs and spices—including white pepper.

    The addition of white pepper is rare, and the flavor profile stated in the recipe does resemble the flavors of KFC’s renowned chicken, though we cannot be certain it is the authentic recipe.

    5) They serve chicken gizzards.

    Gizzards, a muscle in a chicken’s digestive tract that contains all the dirt they take up when they peck on the ground, are not for the faint of heart (it helps the birds in digesting their food). They’re really popular, so when they were eliminated from menus a few years ago, customers demanded their return and started a Facebook page called Return Livers, Gizzards to KFC’s Menu. The ad was so successful that KFC brought back gizzards in certain of its restaurants.

    6) There’s a hack for ordering the discontinued Double Down Sandwich.

    There is no longer a Double Down sandwich on the KFC menu, which had bacon, sliced cheese, and the Colonel’s Special Sauce between two fried chicken filets.

    However, rumor has it that if you purchase the parts separately, the staff will assemble the deep-fried mayhem for you, sans the no longer available special sauce. Is this a wise decision? From a health perspective, probably not.

    7) KFC doesn’t want you to think about the chicken being fried.

    If you’re old enough, you’re aware that Kentucky Fried Chicken used to be the name of KFC. Why was the name altered? According to Bloomberg in 1991, the chain’s name was changed as part of a rebranding effort to make it sound healthier by dropping the word “fried.” Snopes asserts that the name change was necessary because of a Kentucky trademark dispute.

    8) The founder of Wendy’s actually came up with the famous chicken bucket.

    Unbelievably, Dave Thomas, the man behind Wendy’s, worked for and owned a KFC franchise in the early years. The reduced menu, the revolving chicken bucket signs, and the recognizable red and white striped chicken bucket were all ideas that Thomas came up with, according to The Balance Small Business.

    9) KFC once offered a fried chicken prom corsage.

    KFC enjoys stunt cuisine. According to the Los Angeles Times, the business had a fried chicken corsage that was appropriate for prom in 2014. A florist shipped the corsage structure, some baby’s breath, and a $5 KFC gift card to those who were bold enough to buy it for their date so they could finish the arrangement with some freshly cooked chicken. Yum?

    10) You can turn your KFC biscuits into tasty sliders.

    According to Buzzfeed, this one is very simple. The original recipe chicken, coleslaw, and biscuits are on the menu. The biscuits should then be split in half, topped with coleslaw, chicken that has been shred, and. Perhaps a little barbecue sauce would be nice.

    11) You can get fish donuts and shrimp stars (just not in the U.S.)

    Singapore’s KFC is quite crazy. Shrimp Stars and Fish Donuts were first made available in the chain’s Singapore stores in 2012, according to Mashed. What even does that mean? They’re actually not as eccentric as they might sound. Fish Donuts are fish patties that have been breaded and deep-fried in the shape of donuts, as opposed to Shrimp Stars, which are shrimp nuggets in the shape of stars.

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