I was around for the beginning of Kentucky Fried Chicken and oh how I loved it. The Colonels 11 herbs and spices (which I am pretty sure included MSG) really made that chicken tasty and popular. Back then they were the first chain to cut and serve the chicken in 9 pieces. To make the 9 cut, you cut the breast into 3pcs instead of 2pcs. We all fought over the “center” breast and were disappointed if we got one of the two “side” breasts. Later they switched to a conventional 8 pc cut because more chicken plants did the 8 cut so there were more chicken suppliers to choose from. Hence, more competition. Hence, lower chicken costs.
The reason I bring up Kentucky Fried Chicken is the Urban Myth that has dogged them for decades——-the myth that they grow chickens with extra limbs!! They do this to have a bumper crop of drumsticks and hot wings. LOL… OMG! One report showed a doctored up picture of a chicken with six legs. Someone asked—”how do they taste””—-the answer—-“Dunno, no one’s ever been able to catch one!!” Bada bam! This legend grew even stronger in 1991 when they changed their name to KFC. Legend had it that the company stopped using real chickens and started using tube fed “genetically modified organisms” —which led the Government to make them drop the word chicken. Again—totally false.
They changed it for three reasons:
1) To de-emphasize chicken as they were changing to a more varied menu (didn’t work)
2) To eliminate the “fried” which started having a negative connotation
3) There was a trend towards abbreviations of long names (I-Hop for instance)
And for the record—-KFC does not grow their own chickens.
Now that fact leads me to my last point of this blog. Just recently Costco said they were going to help start their own chicken farms which could then provide chicken just for them and their supply chain. Well guess who tried to do that a zillion years ago. Yep—KFC! It failed miserably—and so will Costco. Why—-they are in the food business —not the agriculture business. The key point is you can’t just grow one size chicken (which is what KFC and Costco need). When you grow birds—you have many different sizes to deal with—it’s a live animal!!
So in a few years Costco will announce they have stopped growing their own birds—you heard it here first!!!!