Monday, 30 March 2009

True Dedication


Someone with more dedication to the Colonel than KFBloggers? Say it aint so!

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Whitechapel/Aldgate branch review

Fried chicken fans are not left wanting in the Whitechapel area of London. A short stroll up Whitechapel road and the evidence is clear, with both sides of the street awash with the kind of eateries that could have quite easily featured in Dave's Rogues Gallery post - Perfect Fried Chicken (PFC), Perfect Fried Chicken 2 (PFC2), and Trio Fried Chicken to name but a few. I have had the misfortune of visiting PFC2 late one night (under the influence I should add) and it was not a pleasant experience, neither in terms of service nor food.

Alas, there is hope. Like a shining beacon, Whitechapel KFC stands out as a refuge for any hungry passer-by who demands the kind of quality that only the colonel can provide.


View Larger Map

On first inspection, Whitechapel KFC seems somewhat of a mixed bag. Externally, the signage is modern and uses the 08/09 branding. Internally the fittings are also up-to-date, but as is so often the case in these areas of central London, space is at a premium. This was especially noticeable during the lunchtime rush when it's not unusual to enter the front door and immediately join the back of the queue for a till. My recommendation here would be to take away rather than eat in - you're unlikely to find a seat anyway on the small 2 seater tables or limited bar seating.

Things took a turn for the up though when I arrived at the front of the queue to place my order. Front of house staff were pleasant and helpful, working efficiently to get my order to me as quickly as possible (and within the official 5 minute service deadline). This is a busy location with lots of offices close by, so I'm sure they are well trained and used to dealing with a quick customer turn-around and large quantity orders. I opted for a Wicked Zinger Box Meal (towered up) and picked up a Boneless Banquet for a colleague.

This brings me to one of the most interesting features of the Whitehchapel branch. Standing at the right-hand till, I soon noticed that the burger construction station was not out back in what would normally be the kitchen area, but just a few feet from the service counter (I can only assume that this unusual layout is due to the limited floor space). In the picture I managed to snap, you can clearly see a bag of Kaiser buns, a bun toasting machine, containers of lettuce and other essential ingredients such as salsa, ketchup bottle and a mayonnaise gun, and the preparation area. Watching the chicken technician construct a Zinger Tower so closely gives an insight into the step-by-step process which is employed. Interestingly, this particular technician used what I am now calling the Reverse Stack© technique, whereby the burger is constructed from top down: top bun -> mayo -> lettuce -> hash brown -> cheese -> chicken -> salsa - >bottom bun, then flipped. Clearly he had this down to a fine art, as my burger was neatly constructed and well presented.

Overall, I'd recommend the Whitechapel branch for it's speedy service and attention to detail, but get ready for some queueing if you're visiting at peak times and be prepared to take away.

KFC branch

February 26 2009 - A name that will go down in infamy amongst KFC fans, as the day that a branch died.

The 677 Daniel Webster Highway branch of KFC was innocently operating as normal, producing delicious chicken and chicken-related products for local consumers, when store manager Sonia Gilbert recieved an unusual phonecall. Ostensibly from head office, the caller informed Sonia that it would be necessary to test the fire supression system immediatly. Innocently obeying, Sonia activated the sytem - and all hell broke loose.

Immediatly, chemical irritant fire-retardant power flooded the sandwich preperation area - immediatly destroying the delicious meals of literally hundreds of consumers, and covering the staff working there with dangerous chemicals. Springing into action, Sonia lept to the phone to ask her, "superior" what could be done, who promptly informed her that it would be necessary to, "strip off and urinate on each other." By the time that she had gotten outside, stripped naked and her and the other team members had began to prepare to do so, it occured to Sonia that the call, may have been a malicious prank.

Using the latest in forensic technology and voice analysis, we here at the KFB have constructed a visual composit of what we believe the criminal prank caller looks like. Please, please, contact us if you have any information whatsoever, so that we can ensure that he is put on trial at the United Nations for war crimes. And take a moment to think of the saddest victimes of these events - the delicious Zinger towers that might have been. Goodnight old friend - may flights of angels sing you to your rest.


Friday, 27 March 2009

My New KFC Diet


Since my return from the KFC road trip around the States I have had to cut down on the amount of KFC I'm eating. This combined with 10 hours a week down the gym have helped me loose over a stone and a half in the last month.

Though I cut down my KFC intake from 4 meals to only 2 per week I felt that I should increase the quantity.

So here is what my current plate looks like (I ate one hot wing in the car)

KFC AM

One of the final taboos of modern life has been broken, the eating of Chicken for breakfast. KFC is in the process of launching its breakfast menu on an unsuspecting but soon to be eager clientele.
This is not the first time KFC has attempted breakfast, Foodspot.org reports of their paltry attemps in 2004 at an egg end bacon sandwich, paying only lip service to the Chicken (with the egg)


The Company's flagship marble arch branch was chosen to host the ops shakedown of the planned breakfast menu. This is the process whereby one store trials said product and perfects timings, staffing levels, popularity and equipment amongst other criteria.
KFC UK is currently the vanguard, spearheading the development and implementation of KFC breakfasts the world over.


From 6am until 10.30 am those finding themselves in West London can enjoy a breakfast from en extensive range of newly developed products. What's more following the success of the Marble Arch trial, an extended test area has been set up in the Tyne Tees region in the North East of England in a further 15 branches. With it's own local TV advertising the nation waits with baited breath for KFC UK to give the go ahead for a nationwide roll out in the coming months.

In its nascent stages there was an extensive menu featuring some prime time menu items turned breakfast and some entirely new concepts in fine morning dining such as the AM Loader, along with the Breakfast platter which this reporter has been lucky enough to sample.
My First sample was of te A.M. Loader. This product is breakfast, eggy bread, sausage, tomato ketchup, hash brown & bacon make this the greatest fast food breakfast item currently on the market. With wholly oven cooked ingredients there is no greasy griddled sausage patty unlike some competitors. This is a heavyweight breakfast product presesnted in attractive, innovative packaging.

Most recently on the 24th March I opted for the AM Platter which gave me the chance to sample each constituent ingredient individually as well as sampling the new Lavazza coffee which will be rolled out nationwide, replacing the ersatz Nescafe we've had to endure up until now.

First off, the AM platter represents fantastic value for money. For under three pounds (2.79 to be exact) you get: bacon, sausage, hash brown, eggy bread, omelette, regular beans and a Lavazza coffee. I set about eating, in no particular order at first thinking my platter was a little dry. I had of course forgotten to open the beans. The beans however were unnecessary, no ingredient was soggy but nor could any be described as dry. Particular stand outs were the eggy bread, hash brown and sausage. So good in fact that at times i was forced just to pause and let it all sink in, this was haute cuisine fast food.


Of particular interest to myself was the new Lavaza coffee. I was trained by one of the UKs leading coffee experts Paul Meikle Janney at his Yorkshire Coffee Academy. Therefore I wanted to give the coffee a thorough critique. I am pleased to report that this has a true coffee taste, smooth and flavoursome unlike most burnt tasting coffees.I found it full-bodied and fat on the tongue, with the kind of pleasantly fermented fruit tones that suggest chocolate-covered cherries. A shimmer of sharp acidity is balanced by sweetness. The finish is clean, rich and chocolaty. Slightly disappointing in small milk, where the coffee seems to simplify without softening, but in larger milk the fruit and chocolate tones bloom nicely.
There are of course detractors. David Kisilevsky BK vice Pesident said he would be "surprised" if the initiative takes off and went onto say "I believe KFC will struggle to pursuade UK customers to accept a breakfast offering"
However neutral parties take a different view:
Penny Harris, senior inventor for innovation agency ?What If!, called in on day two and was impressed by the food, staff attitude and reaction from customers. 'What struck me is that it felt quite natural. People seemed to take it for granted that KFC was open at that time serving breakfast,' she says. Nonetheless she also questioned its positioning. 'I would like to see KFC communicate a freshness message,' she says. 'The menu offers free-range eggs and smoothies but KFC doesn't seem to want to capitalise on that.'
The real acid test however comes from the customers and judging by the success in London and subsequent expansion, people it seems are voting with their feet.






High-speed chase ends in crash into KFC restaurant

Published: March 26, 2009

The Tribune-Star (Texas Newspaper)

TERRE HAUTE A high-speed chase Wednesday night ended with a pickup crashing into a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet and left a man hospitalized and the restaurant manager thankful no employees were hurt.

The chase ended when the Chevy S-10 to avoid stop sticks placed by police on Lafayette Avenue, and the truck tumbled severa
l times and deflected off the southeast corner of KFC, police said.

The impact shattered two storefront windows and left structural damage to the corner of the building.

“We’re just lucky he flipped a few times before he hit the building,” said KFC outlet manager Theresa Watts, while she surveyed the damage Thursday.

A hit at full speed could have been catastrophic. When the truck smashed into the building, one of the KFC’s five stunned employees was standing near a soft drink machine on the south side of the seating area.

“A tire landed right behind her,” Watts said.
“She’s still digging glass out of her hair.” That employee’s only injury was a cut lip.

The KFC store was closed Thursday while workers repaired the damage. W
atts, the manager, said she did not know when it would reopen.

It is the second time in recent years an errant motorist has closed her store down. A few years back, someone threw a cigarette from a car that ignited landscaping mulch and sent smoking billowing through the building.


“We don’t need anymore bad luck,” she said, “especially the way
the economy is. We don’t need to be shut down.”

Thursday, 26 March 2009

No.1 Wicked Zinger fan


This picture was taken from a document located deep within the Vatican Archives. It depicts J. Christ inspecting a 'hot wing'. Many believe this was his last meal before he was put to death on the cross.
If any further proof was needed to support the theory of creationism, then this is surely it.

I ask you followers;
How can one believe that the sheer perfection contained within every piece of the Colonels chicken is there because of luck or dare I say it "Natural Selection"?
No, one cannot. The chicken was put on earth for one purpose, to be coated in 11 secret herbs (urbz*) and spices and then fried to a delicious beauty.
So next time you're tucking-in to a delicious Zinger Box, rest assured you're in great company.

Be blessed.

Product Profile: The Zinger Tower Burger

The Zinger Tower Burger, arguably the greatest burger for sale anywhere.

Created and launched during the 96/97 season under the stewardship of Martin Shuker the then marketing director. Today he enjoys the role of chief executive of KFC UK & Ireland.

With impressive vital stats:

Average Height: 68mm
Average weight: 204g
Calories: 668

This wonder burger cannot fail to impress.


The Zinger Tower has become KFC UK's greatest selling burger. Ensconed within the toasted Sesame Kaiser bun are a number of impressive premium ingredients which together form this taste sensation. Although not prepared using Original Recipe coating this burger employs a revolutionary coating known as ETC (Extra Tasty Crispy) but has its own much loved secret ingredient. . . . ZING.

Zing itself is not prevalent throughout the world's KFCs with only a handful of countries, including the UK lucky enough to have had a full roll out early on. In the USA it can only be found occasionally and only in Zinger sauce format rather than the exquisite tumble marinated fillets enjoyed here in the UK.


Of course the Zinger fillet burger existed for some time before the addition of the hash brown and spicy salsa to what was already a much loved and admired burger. Little could Mr Shuker and his team have known that the addition of these two simple ingredients would combine to form the vaunted super burger we enjoy today.


There have however been criticisms, aside from the constant moans of "But it's just too tasty!" and its rumoured addictive qualities some want to know why it can't be prepared using Original Recipe coating. Sadly this comes down to the threat of cross contamination, frying spiced Zinger Chicken with ordinary Chicken pieces can taint the other products, with space at a premium in many kitchens a second bulky Zinger only pressure fryer is untenable.

Presentation often causes concern too, with some ZTs presented to the customer lopsided forcing a quick re-alignment job whereby the top section of the bun has to be removed, the Chicken reseated centrally on the bun's base and if necessary the Hash brown needs to be gently shifted so it rests directly atop the Zinger Fillet.. More recently I was presented with a foreign style burger as it is prepared abroad. This was in the Fenton branch where the hash brown can clearly be seen below the Zinger fillet with the cheese below this.

Criticisms aside it is the role of the two additional ingredients that needs to be examined. Working in tandem, the Hash Brown near the top provides a satisfying crunch and additional titillating texture, whilst the salsa at the bottom adds moisture and a cool sensation before its spices begin to dance on the tongue prior to the delightfully brutal onslaught of the Zinger Fillet.

This really is the acme of the burger world and is best enjoyed fresh as part of an eat in meal but can be subtly enhanced by being smothered in delicious 3 step gravy.

The Lost Supper

During a major restoration of one of Da Vinci's masterpieces The Last Supper, some previously hidden details were uncovered. The painting in Milan has recently been given a deep clean and restoration when the surprising details emerged.
" We never knew what supper was supposed to be and didn't think it mattered"
said chief curate Alphonso Darichi.
" However Da Vinci is famed for the inclusion in his works of code, mystery
and intrigue so perhaps he was trying to convey to us some details about the
recipe"

The Painting was begun 1n 1495 and finished 3 years later. No reference in recorded history exists and neither has there ever been any rumour pertaining to the menu. Following the discovery museums around the world holding Da Vinci's works have announced plans to thoroughly inspect them for evidence of other hidden gems.
In this exclusive picture showing the new details, the fayre is plain to see. Jesus and his disciples are enjoying 3 Bargain Buckets for which they would have paid around 29.97 Shekels.
There appears to be plenty of food to go around although Jesus can be seen to be hoarding one bucket to himself whilst 3 disciples to the right of Jesus look on enviouisly at the Finger Lickin' Chicken.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Colonel 'defaced'. Quite literally.

Imagine our disgust upon gleely perusing the newly launched Google Maps Street View* UK only to find evidence of defamation of our glorious leader, Harland (may he rest in peace).

I present to you Evidence A from the East Ham branch:

And Evidence B from our local Bethnal Green outlet:

Avid readers may remember a report on a similar act of vandalism last year. It would seem Google (whose motto is somewhat ironically 'Do nothing evil') have still not worked out a way to improve their automatic facial recognition and blurring software in order to ignore bright white and blue faces. Shame on them.


*For those readers that aren't familiar, Street View allows you to view Google Maps from street level. Click on the photos above to launch the examples.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

INCOMING: New KFC TV ads


Our sources inform us that the Colonel is set to roll out a new TV ad campaign in the near future focused on how the chicken is freshly prepared in each branch every morning. Frankly, any insight into the inner workings of the kitchens is fantastic news for us. Perhaps they'll be a behind the scenes vignette for us to pour over?

We've managed to obtain the following description of the content:

"...products such as the KFC Original Recipe chicken are prepared in store - which are hand-breaded by cooks in each store, every day. The 30-second ad features a chef discussing the importance of fresh ingredients, and highlighting the batches of fresh chicken that arrive every morning"

More news as the ads break.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

An American Odyssey, Part 4: The Road To Utah

The Road to Utah, 3,064 miles. Relentlessly we drove, sometimes not seeing a KFC for hours at a time. For endless days we strived to reach our goal. Crossing the great desserts of Colorado, journeying through the Badlands of South Dakota, traversing the barren wastes of Wyoming and braving the beautiful but treacherous wilds of Yellowstone.





This leg of the journey would see us enjoying KFC's in a further 9 states. We would encounter new menu items, visit one of humaity's most impressive achievements, be duped, find some KFC curios and end on a high when seeing evidence that our allies were active in this area of the USA, far from the liberal coastal areas.


The journey began and we took in as many branches as possible along the way. The first 2000 miles melted away uneventfully although our car was beginning to smell a little like a rotisserie.
One branch in Oklahoma state offered an interesting menu item seen nowhere else and sadly not one I was prepared to try: Kentucky Fried Chicken Livers. Instead I opted for the $3.99 original recipe strips deal which was a welcome treat after hours at the wheel.


The highlight of the journey was in South Dakota. Until 1980 this was a quiet little backwater with one small attraction known as Mount Rushmore. During the 1940's this mountain was transformed by the carving of the likenesses of four previous president's into its south face. This first picture shows the mountain as it existed up until 1980. It attracted only a small trickle of visitors and did little for South Dakota's tourism industry. In 1980 all of that was about to change.







In the December of that year Colonel Harland Sanders passed away and was lost to us forever. A week of official mourning was declared in many countries around the world and what looks like a small blip, actually representing a large drop in the world's GDP can be seen to this day on financial graphs of the period. Following the death of the Colonel an idea first muted by the press was seized upon by congress and gained much public support. Fedral funding was to match public donations which poured in firstly in their millions but soon in their hundreds of millions from not just Americans but from people all around the world.


The plan was to replace one of the busts carved into Mt Rushmore with a likeness of the Colonel and rename it Mt Sanders. By public concensus it was decided to replace the image of President Abraham Lincoln. He was an obscure choice when the mountain was carved, and having achieved little during his time in office it was decided he should stand aside. It was originally planned to be like the other carvings, but with so much money available and with the advent of new technology and carving techniques it was decided to make the Colonels likeness larger and to carve it in full colour. Something never before done. The result: an overwhelming success, with visitors flocking there in their millions.















From here, things took a turn for the worse. A low point was Cody, Wyoming. Whilst working my way through the menu I stopped upon this monstrosity: The Honey Barbecue Chicken Sandwich.

Shredded chicken absolutely smothered in honey barbecue sauce. No lettuce, no cheese, in fact absolutely no ancillary items whatsoever. Is this KFC USA's worst product!






At the same branch another of our missionaries was suffering from the drinking sickness and had speculated about not eating chicken at this particular juncture. Roused by the threat of Harland's wrath he succumbed to the original recipe, a moment gloriously captured on film.

video

We continued our journey, crossing Wyoming to the town of West Yellowstone, Montana. At first everything appeared normal, quaint in fact. From the outside this branch promised a lot, spinning bucket on a pole, and this exceedingly rare example of classic wooden signage featuring the Colonel sporting a fetching cowboy hat.

Maybe it had been left alone here in the wilderness for too long and had gone mad, for the inside was a hideous nightmare. Tired and tatty decor, staff with no uniforms and an abomination on the menu.

Again what I thought was a new product. . . . Kentucky Nuggets were on the menu. I ordered them, eager to try yet another of the Colonel's many facets and was greeted with a nugget of such poor quality that I doubt even McDonald's would sell it. Concensus ruled that this was not an official KFC product, this was made using chopped and shaped Chicken maybe even MRM. I've heard of fake designer clothing but I never though I'd see the day when I would be duped into eating fake KFC.

I determined to research this and discovered that the real Kentucky Nugget was discontinued in 1996 a whole 13 years before I encountered it in Montana. (However as I go to press new evidence has emerged of a relaunch.)



West Yellowstone had one more surprise in store for us however. Here we were away from the populated coastal areas that pander to faddists. Here in Montana there were no vegan supermarkets. People in this part of the world want meat and a resistance movement has sprung up to counter the threat of those who believe that animals are "not ours to use for food". We here at KFB disagree as did our friends in Montana who've formed a rival organisation of their own and are even selling merchendise.


Knowing we were in friendly territory, we set off on our way to Salt Lake. . . . where it all began.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

An American Odyssey, Part 3: Kentucky

Kentucky, we had arrived. Our trip to Louisville was one more stop on our Chicken Hajj. The trip that the colonel expects us all to make once in our lives.

Kentucky as a state holds a number of important religious sites, notably Corbin, where Harland ran his gas station and restaurant 'Sanders' Court' and of course where he developed the recipe. And Louisville, home of some some more sombre relics, the Colonel's grave at Cave Hill Cemetery, world HQ for Yum brands, Don Decker and the Louisville Visitors Centre KFC Experience. Contrary to popular belief however, Kentucky was not home to the World's first branch of KFC, that much coveted honour goes to Utah.

Our trip to Kentucky was sadly not taking us to Corbin which as you can see from the map is quite some distance from Louisville. Today Corbin hosts a small museum at the place where it all started.

We arrived in Louisville at roughly 4.30pm on what was a hot and sunny afternoon on Saturday 13th September 2008.

We entered the city along the thoroughfare of Baxter avenue, bringing us right to the Baxter Ave/ Bardstown Rd branch which was a fine example of a new restaurant that would be seeing our patronage the following day. More importantly however Baxter avenue took us right past Cave Hill Cemetery, the final resting place of our lord Sanders. (before the Resurrection)

As we arrived at the gates they were being locked for the day and there was little we could say and resolved to visit the grave the following day.

We wondered around in down town Louisville and I saw Colonel Don Decker, Harland Sanders impersonator extraordinaire available for weddings, christenings and Bar Mitzvahs who also happens to ply his trade on weekend evenings at 4th Street live, the epicentre of Louisville's chicken fuelled night life.

The following day we awoke, checked out of our fine motel and went to the Louisville Visitor Centre KFC Experience featuring wall displays, glass cabinets containing relics such as an original pressure fryer, an authentic white suit and other paraphernalia. There was a life size model of the Colonel with which to be photographed. There was an electronic touch screen quiz (100% needless to say), and my favourite, a telephone which when you lifted the receiver relayed to your ears the sweetest sound you ever did hear, a voice from beyond the grave, a selection of the inimitable wit and wisdom from the mouth of Harland.

When we left the experience (having purchased one of every KFC themed item from the gift shop) the wind outside had picked up noticeably and it continued to get worse. As we drove towards the cemetery our car was struck by a flying branch. Getting closer still there was near gridlock, power lines was down, lights were out and branches and even whole trees littered the roads and sidewalks crushing houses in their wake.

It was these treacherous conditions that the city authorities deemed so dangerous as to warrant the closure of Cave Hill Cemetery on safety grounds and so our visit to the grave of the Colonel was denied by the tail end of Hurricane Ike.

We retreated to lick our wounds to the nearby branch. For some reason the staff in there thought flying 3000 miles then driving a further 2000 to visit the grave of a man who you've never met but happens to cook tasty chicken was a crazy thing to do. Go figure.

Nevertheless the experience was a great one. We were the last people allowed into the darkened branch. With no power, no chicken was being cooked. We ate the last chicken in the place and had maybe the worlds first KFC lock in as the staff busied themselves with cleaning. They did however deign to dine with us. In these magical moments it seemed that the Colonel had seen our plight and intervened to make sure that Kentucky offered us a true taste of its soul food.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

The Curse Of The Colonel


OSAKA JAPAN 10/03/09

For the vast majority of the world's inhabitants the Colonel is a figure of benevolence, of love and of hope. He's a memory to cherish and a talisman for all that is good in this world. However, for one group of people in Japan he has, over the last 24 years become something much more sinister.

Cast your mind back to the balmy summer of 85 where Japanese baseball team the Hanshin Tigers suprised the nation by winning that years Championship Japan Series, something akin to the giant killing often seen by minor league teams un the UK's Footballing FA cup. Whereas in the UK the minor league team is usually vanquised in the final stages of the competition, in this Japanese instance the Hanshin Tigers won the series. A feat thought impossible but greatly aided by this man:

RANDY BASS, attributed with having the most spectacular run of any American playing in Japan, ever!

Following their historic victory the crowd went wild and congregated at a nearby footbridge that spans the Dotonbori river. From here a strange ritual celebration began. The large crowd began to chant the names of the team's players wherupon any fan resembling the player whose name had just been called would jump into the river below. This celebration continued apace until Randy Bass' name was called. The wild fans realised that none of their number were bearded nor white and had to make do with an effigy. The only suitable one close at hand was a statue of the Colonel that can be found outside virtually all of Japan's 1160 branches of KFC.

The Statues are very popular amongs pilgrims who journey to the country to have their pictures taken and to offer the colonel a kiss in order that he may grant them a better understanding of the recipe. (See Picture Below)


















The tigers fans cast him into the canal, and there began a 24 year losing streak. This losing streak is said to be due to 'The Curse of the Colonel' so placed due to Harland's anger over the treatment of one of his store front statues.

24 years has been a long time in the doldrums for the Hanshin Tigers, although they returned to the super league the curse said that they would never win again until the statue was retrieved.

Reports of last weeks events are sketchy with two competing stories. For the Hanshin Tigers however they were welcomed. A diver was either sent down specifically to recover the statue or stumbled upon it whilst surveying the river bed. Regardless of which version you believe, one thing is certain. . . The statue has been recovered from its watery hiding place.
“He was apparently found standing upright, which is fitting, because although he was a nice man he could also be very strict and demanding,”
said Sumeo Yokakawa, a spokeswoman at the chain’s Tokyo headquarters.


The upper half of the statue was found Tuesday in Osaka’s Dotonburi River during construction work to build a new walkway, according to city official Hideo Yuko. His legs and right hand were found Wednesday morning.

The colonel will be kept in police custody for the time being, but Yokakawa said KFC is considering donating him to the home stadium of the Tigers in Osaka. The store where he originally stood has since closed.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Forgive me Harland for I Have Sinned


As the large congregation finished the final hymn, California Soul by Marlena Shaw we began moving forward ready to take the Eucharist. As I reached the head of the queue I struggled to look Father Doyle in the eye. I knew that in about 20 minutes time he'd be hearing my confession.

As I opened my mouth he placed a succulent piece of Popcorn Chicken on my tongue which I washed down with a sip of Gravy from the Prayer Bucket. For a few glorious seconds my soul was clean as the recipe coursed through my veins. Then I was back in the middle of a Sunday service at the 5th Chickentarian Church of Stone. It was a traditional church with the spire representing the Chicken's neck and head and the two wings representing, well, the wings. It often amazed my how much of our religious lexicon had pervaded everyday language but it was uplifting to be reminded of the Colonel during everyday conversations. For example, a bucket now was a common word for a rigid bag. A colonel is a very high military rank, and the list could go on.

My sense of dread came back to me as we genuflected for the lords prayer:

Our Harland Who Art In Heaven
Shallow Fried Be Thy Name
Thy Chicken Come
It Will Be Eaten
On Earth As It Is In Heaven
Give Us This Day Our Daily Zing
And Forgive Us Our Subways
As We Forgive Those Who Visit burger king
And Lead Us Not Into mc donald's
But Deliver Us Some Chicken
For Thine Is The Recipe With 11 Secret Herbs & Spices For Ever & Ever

Chick-en

Following the service there were about 10 of us loitering near the confessional. I thought again about the sermon which had had an Easter theme. Father Doyle explained why symbolically we ate chocolate eggs at easter as they represented the Chicken we all love so dearly. It should be broken into a symbolic nine pieces to represent the nine different cuts that Harland had decreed should come from the bird.

I moved forward as a lady left the confessional in floods of tears but I was still a few places from the front. By now my mind was swimming and I began to think about all the stories I had learnt in Sunday School 20 years ago. I learnt about how Harland had perfected the recipe in 7 days and the feeding of the 5000 from only one Bucket of Chicken. In another story Harland had thrown all the imitation Fried Chicken vendors from the malls in disgust.

By now I had moved up a couple of places and had begun remembering the more sinister stories we had been told as we got older.

Harland had lost his only son in an automobile wreck so that we could enjoy the recipe and that later on he was betrayed by his disciple Tim. I always thought that the most exciting times were the Chicken wars that had taken place in Eastern Europe. In Sunday School they'd told us that when they got the recipe over there it translated as "Kentucky Fried Poultry" two groups sprang up, those who thought it should be made using Chicken and those who thought Turkey. Many countries in the region had related names Turkey and Turkmenistan fervently believed the recipe should be made using Turkey. Greece and Cro(w)atia believed Chicken whilst Hungary and Eg(g)ypt often changed allegience.

The saddest tales had been of prohibition, imagine four whole years without KFC? People during this time would mix up illegal batches of spices in their bathtubs, some of which proved to be lethal. Ruthless gangsters such as Al Caponthebone ran eateasies ,but thankfully, finally the world came to its senses and the industry rapidly sprang back to life using the one good thing to come from this period. To hide the rancid taste of many recipe attempts Chicken cocktails were invented and Zing was born, it has been a favourite ever since.

By now it was my turn to enter the confessional. I silently repeated the Hail Harland:

Hail Harland
Full Of Taste
The Lord Eats With Thee
Blessed Are Thou Amongst Poultry
And Blessed Is The Food
Of Thy Dining Room
Father Of The Recipe
Pray For Us Eaters Now
And At The Hour Of Our Coronary

Chick-en

"Forgive me father for I have sinned. I have forsaken the Zinger Tower on a number of occasions now and had the Blazin' Boxmaster instead"

"And why have you done this my child?"

"Well Father, it's the Blazin'. I had to try it once like you told us so that we can understand all of Harlands good work, but the Blazin' Father, it's just so good."

"Tell me about this Blaze" he said emphasising the word blaze with obvious contempt for it.

"Well father, the Zing is still there but the Jalapeno Mayo that makes the Blazin' is just so spicy and good."

"Jalapeno Mayo?" he said desperately before he seemed to have an epiphany "Oh my Harland, I was wrong, forgive me. Only now has the prophecy been fulfilled. Don't you see? Harland said 'I will give you the spice of life', it is in the scriptures. I always thought he meant Zing."

"Father are you OK?"

"Don't you see. . . . . The Spice Of Life! Jalapeno is the spice and the mayo made with eggs is the life, eggs, dont you see? The prophecy has been fulfilled." Suddenly he fled the confessional and his words trailed off. All I heard as he ran from the building was "Do not worry child you have not sinned, I must go to Kentucky to see the Popultry. . . . . "

And with that he was gone.

Crime of the Century

Janet Street Porter the once respected broadcaster, journalist and commentator has caused worldwide controversy after recent remarks linked to KFC were seen by many as blasphemous against the Colonel and KFC. Protests have been widespread and a number of British embassies around the world have been stormed by angry mobs demanding harsh penalties.

Her comments came in an undisclosed Sunday Newspaper column (which never went to press) in which she was asked to run through her loves and hates. This respected journal refuses to transcribe her disgusting comments but has chosen instead to offer pictures of the original article which were smuggled from the Sunday Newspaper's offices before they were supposed to be shredded.

Her coarse description of ambrosia has shocked believers around the world and a number of groups are bringing a lawsuit under the UK blasphemy laws not used in this country since 1922 when John William Gott was foolish enough to compare the Colonel to a Clown.

There has been increasing Chickenisation of society since then and there have been calls for far harsher punishment this time around. Debate in the UK's national newspaper's has seriously asked if the death penalty should be brought back for such a heinous crime and there have been street riots around the world. It is understood that Miss Street Porter is on suicide watch and has shown some remorse. Angry crowds with placards greeted her at the Old Bailey and, unprecedentedly not one barrister would agree to represent her in court.



A figure from the legal profession and KFC scholar who asked not to be named said:
"We here on Earth cannot punish her as Harland will be able to in hell. People in medieval times believed in all sorts of horrific punishments, meted out to blasphemers in hell. They believed giant chickens would peck out your tongue so you could never speak, and your eyes so that you may never see the Colonel's benevolent face again. By far the worst was to be fed chicken made with only 10 secret herbs and spices, taking you so close but never letting you reach nirvana"

Meanwhile the furore continues and we shall update you when necessary.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

The Wrangham Conundrum


Whilst McDonald's and Burger King lurch from crisis to crisis, KFC marches relentlessly on unscathed whilst increasing its market share into the bargain. Having recently overtaken Burger King in the sales leagues, Martin Shuker, KFC's Chief Executive in the UK now has McDonald's in his sights, saying recently:



"I am confident and excited about our ability to grow to match McDonald's"


With only one negative trading year in the past 15 KFC has gone from strength to strength. We were unaffected by the BSE crisis of the 90s which caused our main rivals to haemorrhage customers that we happily welcomed into the fold. We were of course also unaffected by studies lambasting those who eat too much red meat as it's linked to cancer. After these two red meat centred scares there was much apostasy. We happily took the disenfranchised under our Hot Wing, inviting them along to one of our daily services and many converted. Such is the fervour of our believers that when our time came in the form of Avian Flu, this blight made little impact and the faithful still clamoured for their prayer buckets.


More recently, a new spectre has emerged to haunt us all, crossing all boundaries, obesity is the cholera of the fast food industry, no one is safe. Or are they? Step in Harvard's Dr Richard Wrangham and his research into the role of cooking in the evolution of man. His research inadvertently shed some light onto the looming obesity crisis that seems set to leave KFC above the waterline and all those who would stand in our way battered by a tide of criticism.

Originally his research was examining the role of cooking as a cause of evolutionary advancement from Homo Erectus to our present form Homo Sapien. Put simply, he theorises that cooking softens and breaks down food. Once cooked it is more easily digestible and that by expending less energy to get more out of our food, Homo Erectus' still meagre diet; could now (with the aid of the cooking process) provide more energy needed to power a more complex brain.


According to Wrangham the modern obesity crisis is caused not by overeating but by our increasing propensity for processed foods. In one of his experiments two groups of rats were fed different diets, one with hard food pellets and another on ground up and reconstituted softer pellets. Results were telling, those rats fed the same weight of food but in the softer pellet format were 30% heavier after 26 weeks.


Now, transpose those same theories onto our modern fast food industry. McDonald's and Burger King take beef and mince it, akin to mechanical mastication before reconstituting it into a very soft beef patty. KFC on the other hand uses whole unprocessed cuts of chicken which if Wrangham's research is correct will not be as fattening as our rivals beef burgers.




Tuesday, 3 March 2009

The Colonel (starring Mel Gibson)



Looks like Gibson's comeback strategy is to appeal to the internet generation via their favourite food. We wanted to like this we really did. Sadly, try as we might it's just not that funny and in many ways, sullies the Colonel's tasty name. Harland is no doubt rolling in his bucket-shaped grave.

Pale imitations: SFC



KFC's well-deserved and hard-earned popularity has spawned a number of imitators over the years, ranging from the sinister chickeny doppelgänger stores that crowd our streets (as seen in the rogues gallery article of this very blog) to suspiciously similar products lurking in the shadowy recesses of our stores and supermarkets. Latest to step up to the plate of shame is Sainsburys, "Southern fried chicken family feast box".

The concept is ostensibly exciting: what sane man or woman could resist the concept of KFC styled chicken in the comfort and convenience of your own home? Fearing perhaps that it was all too good to be true, I took the time to examine the packaging more thoroughly, and noticed a few disturbing discrepancies. In bold writing at the top of the packaging, large text shouts, "with barbecued DIP". Does this imply that the sauce contained therein had been precariously balanced on top of flaming coals during preparation? My confidence shaken, I examined the rest of the packaging, only to discover an itinerary that appeared to have been written by Brian Butterfield including, "cooked portions" and, "poppets" along with an unusual disclaimer for a product sold in only certain stores and only in the UK, "loved worldwide." Choking back the rising tide of bile at the desecration of a beloved idol, I opened the packaging to see what further horrors awaited.

As you can see, the frozen lumps of plastic-wrapped chicken therein do not exactly inspire the delirious joy of receiving a true KFC product, and it is important to note that during the complicated 3 stage hour long preparation of what I hesitate to call a chicken dish, it would be more than possible for most people to simply walk or drive to the nearest KFC branch, order their choice of food and return home with the hot, freshly prepared chicken dish. Nonetheless, to give this dish a fair chance, it was prepared exactly according to the instruction on the packaging and arranged as best we could as shown on the front of the box. This... this was the result.
The patchy, mottled coating of brown bread-dust doesn't compare very well at all to the rich golden glow depicted on the packaging, or the superior blend of herbs and spices that adorn the Colonels finest chicken products. The smell is stale, like an old man who ate chicken earlier that day, but can't remember doing so. The chicken is much smaller than depicted on the packaging and squats evilly on a corner of the plate, bringing to mind unattained dreams and failed objectives, and as for the taste...

Imagine sneaking into a cemetery at nightime, and finding the oldest tomb there. Exhuming some ancient bones, you proceed to a low-grade processed chicken factory, where you kick them around the floor until they are coated with a mixture of of discarded chicken scraps and dirt. Finally you drape it with discaded skin, liberally baste a coating of near flavourless bready goo over the top of your mockery of all that is good and right in this world, and freeze it for an unsuspecting chicken-fan to consume, rubbing your filthy hands together with barely-constrained malice. As you may have gathered, the flavour was disappointing, especially combined with the guilt of betraying everything the colonel stood for in chicken products.

Overall, the SFC experience was a disappointment, made bearable by the fact that KFC continues to produce food of excellent quality and taste, that can easily be acquired instead of relying on terrible imitation products. In light of this, I am awarding Sainsburys the Kentucky Fried Bloggin' "worst product of the month" award, and will take the chance to remind readers that there is a reason that official KFC food items will always be better than their poor-quality, "rivals."