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KFCOriginal or extra crispy? It's the question heard in KFC locations from Baton Rouge to Beijing.

The entire planet, it seems, has come to recognize KFC as an authentic American flavor and, over the decades, an international fast food "original".

The Colonel's secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices that creates the famous "finger lickin' good" chicken is only one measure of the company's success. As it adapted to the times and regional tastes, KFC has grown from its early beginnings as a roadside diner in a small Kentucky town to a multinational chain serving 12 million customers a day in 109 countries around the world.

KFC history

"Finger lickin' good" 1969 Kentucky Fried Chicken
commercial featuring Colonel Harland Sanders.

Born and raised in Henryville, Indiana, KFC founder "Colonel" Harland Sanders (whose smiling visage still adorns the company logo) got his start in serving up his moist and delicious fried chicken in the midst of the Great Depression in 1930.

Serving travelers stopping by his gas station in Corbin, Kentucky "Sanders Court & Cafe" soon became famous throughout the state.

Sander's was later promoted to his honorary title of "Colonel" in 1936, when the Kentucky governor recognized Sanders for his contribution to Kentucky culture and cuisine.

With even more new-found fame, the restaurant was expanded to seat over 100 with a motel added opposite the restaurant. As the business grew, the old fashioned skillet method of deep frying chicken was replaced with a pressure cooker to reduce cooking time without effecting the flavor that Sander's fans had come to love.

The recipe? Sanders' wouldn't tell, and in 1940 proclaimed it a company secret that remains closely-guarded to this day.

By the 1950's, Sanders sold off his cafe and motel to seek out national outlets and, a decade later, 600 franchises had opened in both the US and Canada. In 1964, Sanders cashed in on his famous name and recipe, and sold off the entire franchise operation for $2 million.

Today, KFC operates more than 5,200 restaurants in the United States and boasts more than 15,000 franchises worldwide.

The KFC bucket,
introduced in 1957.

KFC fun facts

  • The famous Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket was introduced in 1957.

  • When KFC first entered the Chinese market, its advertising slogan "finger lickin' good" somehow clumsily translated to "eat your fingers off." The company survived the gaff and today Kentucky Fried Chicken remains the most popular western fast food in all of China, and the largest KFC market outside the US with over 1200 franchises.

  • The world's largest KFC restaurant is located in (where else?) Beijing, China.

  • Kentucky Fried Chicken's official name change to KFC gave rise to the infamous "mutant chicken" legend in 1991. The widespread belief was that the company was required by the government to rename itself because they served a genetically-altered bird that could no longer be deemed "chicken". The urban myth was later proven to be just that. Today, the company has returned to its roots, doing business as both KFC and Kentucky Fried Chicken.

  • In 2007, KFC made a major change to their recipe when they started frying their chicken in a different oil resulting in a 0 grams of trans fat. In further response to the health-conscience, the company added Kentucky Grilled Chicken to the menu in 2009 billing it as the "unfried side of Kentucky Fried."

KFC menu

Original recipe, extra crispy, grilled, popcorn chicken, chicken strips, pot pie, chicken wings, variety bucket, boneless variety bucket, 1 pc. breast meal, 2 pc. breast meal, 8 wings meal, Colonel's strip meal, Big Box Meal, 2 pc. meal, half chicken meal

Bowls - Mashed potato bowl, rice bowl

Sandwiches - KFC Snacker, Buffalo KFC Snacker, Ultimate Cheese KFC Snacker, KFC Fish Snacker and HBBQ Snacker, Honey BBQ, Double Crunch, Tender Roast, Crispy Twister, Oven Roasted Twister

Desserts - Chocolate chip cake, Quaker Chewy S'mores Granola Bars, Apple Pie Minis, Little Bucket Parfaits, Sara Lee desserts

Sides - Home-Style Biscuits, mashed potatoes & gravy, mac & cheese, cole slaw, corn on the cob, bbq baked beans, green beans, potato wedges, seasoned rice

Sauces - Honey BBQ sauce, Fiery Buffalo sauce or sweet 'n spicy

Salads - Roasted Caesar Salad, Crispy Caesar Salad, Caesar Side Salad, House Side Salad, Roasted BLT Salad, Crispy BLT Salad

More about KFC around the Web: - The official site featuring the complete menu, nutrition and calorie information, special promotions and printable coupons, company history and fun facts, job listings.

KFC - Wikipedia - An extensive history including company stats, milestones and advertising campaigns, menu and nutrition information, photos, related references and resources.

KFC - Colonel Sanders Cafe and Museum - Historical facts, visitor information and directions to the tourist attraction in Corbin, Kentucky where KFC got its start.


also see in Fast Food ->

  Arby's Hardee's Pizza Hut
  Burger King KFC Subway
  Chick-Fil-A McDonald's Taco Bell


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