Just what are those 11 herbs and spices?

KfcIt was 65 years ago this month that Col. Harland Sanders blended the 11 herbs and spices for his KFC chicken. As usual, the company is using the occasion to play up the super extra double top secret nature of the recipe. Apparently, the handwritten recipe is locked away at KFC headquarters, and the few people who know it are sworn to secrecy. KFC president Gregg Dedrick even claims he doesn’t know it. (“Presidents come and go, but the secret recipe remains,” he says.) Companies like KFC clearly benefit from perpetuating this kind of mystique. However, this interesting article on the subject raises some doubts about KFC’s claims. According to the article, a writer named William Poundstone “claims to have obtained a sample of the coating from a KFC employee, and then ... had it analyzed by a laboratory. What he found was shocking—only four ingredients: salt, ground black pepper, flour and MSG.”

—Posted by Tim Nudd

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