Saturday, 18 April 2009

Gravy, A Special Investigation. Part 1 of 2

Bank Hey KFC in Blackpool is one of the country's most highly decorated branches replete with plaques, excellence awards and something I've seen nowhere else, the Colonel statuette awarded presumably for some outstanding achievement, possibly the gravy. For it was here one stormy Wednesday night the 10th of December 2003 that I was introduced to KFC gravy. Needless to say. . . . I haven't looked back.

Gravy for me has become an integral part of every meal for dipping chips in, pouring greedily over my burger and even slurping it down straight from the tub. Here in the UK we are very lucky to get a pot of pure unadulterated gravy, for there are countries the world over that are denied this simple human pleasure.

In countries such as the USA, Australia & Spain the only way to get gravy is as part of a side order of mashed potato and gravy with the mashed potato being by far and away the lions share of the dish.

Canada has its own regional twist, Poutine. This French Canadian dish is one of the simpler pleasures in life, French fries topped with cheese all smothered in delicious KFC gravy. Notice the Quebec brand PFK (Poulet Frit Kentucky) which was adopted in the 70s with much packaging Canada wide being dual language.

Worse than this some middle eastern nations are denied gravy in any way shape or form.

The Colonel was very particular about the standard of the gravy sold in his restaurants and even found himself in a war of words in 1971 shortly after he had sold the chain for $2m. Heublein inc. the then parent company had their gravy described by Sanders as 'Sludge' with a 'Wallpaper taste'.

Today, things are different and KFC gravy attracts much admiration with one Facebook discussion topic asking respondents:
"Which is best, KFC gravy or sex with a loved one?".
Discussion is lively, one comment likens chips dipped in KFC gravy to Mannah from Heaven. There are any number of forums trying to recreate KFC gravy but little discussion about the huge variation in quality seen in UK KFC's gravy.

For too long this taboo has stood unchallenged, nobody is willing to talk about the bad gravy. In part two there will be a full and frank discussion and dissection of gravy types , a photojournalistic investigation featuring staff, fan and head office comment and even some sage words from beyond the grave. . . . The Colonel himself, the ultimate arbitrator of good taste will have his say!


Meady100 said...

I can't wait for this, being a recent convert to the stuff. And yes I too have noticed a wide disparity in taste and thickness of the chicken flavoured brown stuff. Surely signifying that in some way the variance is caused by it being made in-shop maybe?!

Anonymous said...

There must be more to this story. Last Friday I thought it would be fun to catch a technician off guard, so I asked him outright whether the gravy was 1step or 3step. Was there a look of astonishment on his face at a civilian using official code? None of it. His blank visage remained intact; 'Twostep', he uttered. WTF?!