KFC- Original Recipe Spices

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ZekeTheCat
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2004/12/24 21:27:02 (permalink)

KFC- Original Recipe Spices

Do you think KFC still puts all of their 11 herbs and spices in their original recipe chicken ?
I started eating KFC (original) back in the late 50's ,before it was franchised as it now is, when Colonel Sanders would get local family owned restaurants to feature his chicken. I distinctly remember that it had a more spicier taste then it now has. Even after he sold out and it became the Kentucky Fried Chicken chain in the early 1960's, I think, it still retained it's good unique flavor. It seems that in the 70's/80's the spicy flavor seemed to slowly disappear. Nowadays about all I can taste is salt and some pepper and ,very rarely, I can sometimes taste a hint of other spices. I personally think they've eliminated or cut down the spices to cut costs and save $$$
Course, it could be my 59 year old taste buds giving out too !
What think ye ?
#1

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    Route 11
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    RE: KFC- Original Recipe Spices 2004/12/24 23:14:32 (permalink)
    Zeke!
    KFC tastes like old grease to me. I can find nothing spicy about it. I'll bet it was pretty good when the Colonel was still around but now...yech.
    Dunno where you live...but I've found gas station chicken superior to KFC.
    I know there was cayenne in the original recipe...you wouldn't know that now.
    #2
    enginecapt
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    RE: KFC- Original Recipe Spices 2004/12/24 23:48:07 (permalink)
    On the fireline, they used to serve us box lunches from KFC. This was on those famous wildfires Calif has every year. By the time the utility truck would get them out to us, the hot stuff would be cold, and the cold stuff would be ptomaine inducing hot. The chicken would be generously marbled with thick gobbets and strata of hardened white grease. We called it Kentucky Fried Rat. That'll give you an idea of how much we loved that stuff. I can't even walk by a KFC store and smell the cooking odors without getting queasy.
    #3
    UncleVic
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    RE: KFC- Original Recipe Spices 2004/12/25 03:43:23 (permalink)
    Zeke, the flavor has gone away in the years. And as for the comments on grease, I thought it was just our local store trying to harden your arteries. My theory was they turned down the temp in the pressure cooker to save some cash, so instead of sealing in the juices like they should be, they're boiling in grease now. Totally nasty for what was once a good fast food. Just as a side note, I remember reading an article years ago that someone had the crust analyzied and found that all that was there was flour, salt, pepper and msg.
    #4
    harriet1954
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    RE: KFC- Original Recipe Spices 2004/12/25 13:22:16 (permalink)
    When they first came out with the sweet hickory boneless whatever (wings, I think, and boneless breast pieces maybe), I took a real liking to that flavor and would gobble it up, along with the wedges. Then I started getting hideously ill from it in the middle of the night. It didn't happen immediately; it took a few months of it. I thought, "Well, no more of that crap for me" (which is still true now and would be anyway even if I weren't on Weight Watchers). But then I tried once more just the wedges, no chicken, about two years ago, and the same thing happened. This had to be that monosodium toxicity rearing its ugly head again (see the http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=5880 thread for more about that).

    I thought maybe it was just the unsanitary conditions that made me so sick, but in retrospect it has to be the MSG. Could they load it on any more? I know I must eat some of it in the past few years, but KFC must be piling it on in handfuls to each piece of food! Whatever happened to plain food and spices?
    #5
    Adjudicator
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    RE: KFC- Original Recipe Spices 2004/12/25 13:29:34 (permalink)
    KFC sucks. The bean counters think quantity=quality. I fondly remember "Kentucky Fried Chicken". The present "KFC" is nothing short of a blasphemy. Same goes with Wendy's, presently.
    #6
    Sundancer7
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    RE: KFC- Original Recipe Spices 2004/12/25 13:40:04 (permalink)
    There is no doubt that KFC is not the same as it use to be. I do not think that saving bucks on spices is the issue but it is the evolution of whatever goes into to corperate meetings that cause change. Surely the pennies saved for the sake of the bottom line did not cause the digress of quality.

    We have watched McD's digress, Wendy's digress and you have to ask why. If you have ever sat in a meeting with a major company, you will realize the intense pressure for change even if it is not eventful or productive. If you do not advocate change, you are viewed as a loser. I personally have participated in this mess just to survive. I have seen many good folks termed cause they did not participate even when it was wrong. Do you recall the size of burgers at McD's and Wendys 20 years ago?

    KFC ain't the same and will probably never will be. Perhaps another group will come along and raise the ante.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #7
    Adjudicator
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    RE: KFC- Original Recipe Spices 2004/12/25 14:12:47 (permalink)
    "Surely the pennies saved for the sake of the bottom line did not cause the digress of quality."

    Unfortunatly, Paul, YES IT DID. Bean counters @ work, here Paul. Think about it... I was a GM of Wendy's when they pattied their own meat; when they actually had fresh chicken for their filet sandwiches (& actually used FRESH product...); I was there when they had a decent salad bar and actually cared about it. I was there when they introduced their baked potatoes; hell. I remember them actually being worthwhile. The problem lies now with the corporate mentality & thus getting more work out of ignorant employees that could care less whether a customer gets his/her money's worth or not. Of course; customers (then OR now) never knew/or do not know the standards of what should be as far as OP procedures should be. Dave T. is turning over in his grave; I am sure. So is the Col., I bet (and I am sure you know their connection, right?).
    #8
    markolenski
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    RE: KFC- Original Recipe Spices 2004/12/25 14:24:36 (permalink)
    I have a friend that worked for KFC for a while. He asked the same question and was told the difference in the taste is the new equipment. The older pressure cookers were smaller and did a better job of injecting the flavor into the chicken. They were using a preinjected chicken for a while but dropped it because the sales did not go up but it was much more costly. The problem today is many people a drawn by slick marketing not flavor.
    I worked for Stop and Shop in the 80's when we were the first to have our beef broken down in a meat plant and the put in kryovac. The meat cutter had a much easier job in the store. It was also when the standards for prime choice etc were reduced. The long term plan was to have the meat completely cut in one location and put in nitrogen flushed packages. This is what Wal-Mart uses now. We all talked about the lower quality and taste and were told by the consultants that people would get used the taste and those who cared would pay us more for the better quality beef we would also offer. Here in San Diego all the supermarkets sell select beef and pay twice as much if they want choice. In Ct. all store offer choice for what we pay for select. It comes down to what you are brought up on and expectations. We as a group must always demand the best and support those roadfood locations they do it right.
    #9
    Adjudicator
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    RE: KFC- Original Recipe Spices 2004/12/25 14:50:07 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by markolenski

    I have a friend that worked for KFC for a while. He asked the same question and was told the difference in the taste is the new equipment. The older pressure cookers were smaller and did a better job of injecting the flavor into the chicken. They were using a preinjected chicken for a while but dropped it because the sales did not go up but it was much more costly. The problem today is many people a drawn by slick marketing not flavor.
    I worked for Stop and Shop in the 80's when we were the first to have our beef broken down in a meat plant and the put in kryovac. The meat cutter had a much easier job in the store. It was also when the standards for prime choice etc were reduced. The long term plan was to have the meat completely cut in one location and put in nitrogen flushed packages. This is what Wal-Mart uses now. We all talked about the lower quality and taste and were told by the consultants that people would get used the taste and those who cared would pay us more for the better quality beef we would also offer. Here in San Diego all the supermarkets sell select beef and pay twice as much if they want choice. In Ct. all store offer choice for what we pay for select. It comes down to what you are brought up on and expectations. We as a group must always demand the best and support those roadfood locations they do it right.



    "We all talked about the lower quality and taste and were told by the consultants that people would get used the taste and those who cared would pay us more for the better quality beef we would also offer..."

    Exactly my point. Stupid consumers bowing down & accepting all that the bean counters try to shove into their ass_s...
    #10
    nvb
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    RE: KFC- Original Recipe Spices 2004/12/25 16:32:16 (permalink)
    quote:
    Stupid consumers bowing down & accepting all that the bean counters try to shove into their ass_s...


    Made me laugh. Everyone in the BBQ biz around here buys a select grade of brisket except me. I opted for a choice Angus brisket which is currently around .30 a pound more. Do you think my customers care? Nope, they just want something that tastes good for a cheap price.

    Makes me wonder if I'm not the big dummy.
    #11
    Lucky Bishop
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    RE: KFC- Original Recipe Spices 2004/12/26 01:18:26 (permalink)
    Actually, 23 years ago for his book BIG SECRETS, William Poundstone got a sample of KFC's flour-and-spice mixture from an employee and had it analyzed by a food lab to see what was actually in it.

    The main four ingredients are flour, salt, pepper, and MSG. No other spices and no herbs at all. This was in 1981.
    #12
    linus
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    RE: KFC- Original Recipe Spices 2004/12/26 07:20:08 (permalink)
    Lucky I remember that Book, that caused quite a stir!Zeke, I also remember when KFC was good. visiting Memphis,Tenn, in the seventies as a child, we often ate Kentucky Fried Chicken and it was outstanding. A completely different product compared to the current version of KFC. It was always better down south anyway,- here in Ohio the chicken also used to be good,but down south it was awesome. Now the chicken is so different I don't eat it. Also our Kentucky Fried Chicken was called Kenny Kings, then switched back to KFC in the early eighties.
    #13
    paul and louise
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    RE: KFC- Original Recipe Spices 2004/12/27 20:56:15 (permalink)
    well
    i suppose y'all could come over to ky and try claudia sanders chicken
    i believe it was reviewed here on roadfood
    it is in shelbyville, a bit east of louisville and claudia was the colonel's widow
    ky has been working on its marketing program and has found that outside the u.s. ky is not known for horses or bourbon, but rather for kfc
    that needs fixin'....pronto
    #14
    tiki
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    RE: KFC- Original Recipe Spices 2004/12/28 08:00:19 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Adjudicator

    "Surely the pennies saved for the sake of the bottom line did not cause the digress of quality."

    Unfortunatly, Paul, YES IT DID. Bean counters @ work, here Paul. Think about it... I was a GM of Wendy's when they pattied their own meat; when they actually had fresh chicken for their filet sandwiches (& actually used FRESH product...); I was there when they had a decent salad bar and actually cared about it. I was there when they introduced their baked potatoes; hell. I remember them actually being worthwhile. The problem lies now with the corporate mentality & thus getting more work out of ignorant employees that could care less whether a customer gets his/her money's worth or not. Of course; customers (then OR now) never knew/or do not know the standards of what should be as far as OP procedures should be. Dave T. is turning over in his grave; I am sure. So is the Col., I bet (and I am sure you know their connection, right?).



    Amen! Amen!! Amen!!! Preach on Brother Adjudicator!!!

    #15
    wanderingjew
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    RE: KFC- Original Recipe Spices 2004/12/28 08:00:58 (permalink)
    Everyone here in Rhode Island thinks that KFC is "da bomb" the best fried chicken on the planet. I personally call it "sludge in a bucket"
    #16
    Wistah
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    RE: KFC- Original Recipe Spices 2004/12/28 09:49:06 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by wanderingjew

    Everyone here in Rhode Island thinks that KFC is "da bomb" the best fried chicken on the planet. I personally call it "sludge in a bucket"


    Well, here in New England, our choices for true southern cooking in general are pretty limited (read: nonexistent)....

    actually calling KFC "sludge" would almost be a compliment....
    #17
    Tru_blaze
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    RE: KFC- Original Recipe Spices 2005/02/12 19:43:57 (permalink)
    well i work at a kfc and i think the reason kfc is not producing chicken like it was is beacause their 90 % of there normal staff are aged 16-20 and really couldnt give rats bottom about the products.
    #18
    Tedbear
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    RE: KFC- Original Recipe Spices 2005/02/12 21:50:27 (permalink)
    I have subscribed to Consumer Reports for approximately 35 years. I definitely recall an article (perhaps 20 years ago?) in which they reported on their analysis of the "11 herbs & spices". Their laboratory analysis revealed that those "11 herbs and spices" consisted of just salt and pepper. Hmmm...it seems to me that KFC is a little deficient in their ability to count.
    #19
    UncleVic
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    RE: KFC- Original Recipe Spices 2005/02/13 06:36:57 (permalink)
    I see arsenic may be one of those secret spices... http://nydailynews.com/02-13-2005/front/v-echo/story/280451p-240231c.html
    #20
    wesleyman
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    RE: KFC- Original Recipe Spices 2005/04/11 13:38:11 (permalink)
    Remember when that dude had a recipe for fried chicken with 11 herbs and spices he found in like Col Sanders old house or something? And KFC freaked out and denied it was the secret recipe?

    http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2001/02/18/loc_pulfer_chicken.html
    #21
    aaaaaa
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    RE: KFC- Original Recipe Spices 2005/05/08 20:27:47 (permalink)
    I don't think that they do anymore. I distictly remember the taste of the original recipe back in the seventies, and it seemed like it hade more garlic going on.

    Does Anyone have a leftover piece from the seventies laying around in the refrigerator? If so , send it to me , and I can take it to my buddy at the UW lab. I am sure he could get past the mold!


    Troy,
    http://coogsfinest.com
    #22
    aaaaaa
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    RE: KFC- Original Recipe Spices 2005/05/08 21:58:01 (permalink)
    It is us, not them!!!

    We have degraded in quality, so much since we were kids, and fast-food tasted good....

    Our sences have become clouded, and a little less effective as we drowned them in nicotine sticks, alcohol, (and the rest) and just breathing this poluted air that we so much created.

    Our taste buds do not work right anymore. Like our vision for America, our taste buds have been decensitized and require over stimulation to regain the same pleasure. And our spelling gets worse.

    So, you see, The food is the same. The recipe has not changed. That Big Crack that you got at McDonald's yesterday has the same filth in in today, that it had 20 years ago. The recipe in that dead birdleg was still alot of salt, msg and things that are not good for you.

    But, it tasted soooooooooooo Goood!

    It took it's toll on our sences. That is what really happened. The food has not changed, we have. One the plus side, I know of a burger joint in Naches that has these 1/2 pound burgers that I would kill for. My friend feels the same way for Popeye's.

    Never Trust a Skinny Cook,
    Troy
    http://coogsfinest.com




    #23
    Poverty Pete
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    RE: KFC- Original Recipe Spices 2005/05/08 22:13:06 (permalink)
    No offense intended, but I'm not sure how much worse our spelling can get.
    #24
    aaaaaa
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    RE: KFC- Original Recipe Spices 2005/05/08 22:32:43 (permalink)
    No offenze takin'
    #25
    SouthHillbilly
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    RE: KFC- Original Recipe Spices 2005/05/08 23:49:45 (permalink)
    Is there some connection between Dave Thomas and Col. Sanders? I once heard there was one between the Colonel and Bob Evans.
    #26
    Tedbear
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    RE: KFC- Original Recipe Spices 2005/05/09 08:07:33 (permalink)

    Southhillbilly--I don't know about any connection between Bob Evans and Harlan Sanders, but there was a definite connection between "The Colonel" and Dave Thomas. When Dave was in his early working years, he was employed by Harlan Sanders, and he claimed that he learned most of what he knew about restaurant management from Sanders. To his credit, Dave Thomas was not hesitant to give credit to Harlan Sanders for the success that Thomas later achieved.

    And, to return to the original theme--Consumer Reports magazine analyzed the coating of KFC's original recipe many years ago, and revealed that the "11 herbs & spices" were actually salt & pepper. I stated this earlier, but I have noticed that many people don't bother to look at the older postings in a thread--so I thought that it bore repeating.
    #27
    christinemm
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    RE: KFC- Original Recipe Spices 2005/05/11 11:18:05 (permalink)
    Hi, this is my first post here. I went to KFC last week, I go about 2-3 times per year. I am enjoying this thread. I have a lot of memories of KFC in the 70s and early 80s. It seems very different now than it was back then. For one the taste of the chicken itself (not the coating) seems very bland and tastes like nothing. Sometimes water oozes out of it! I think the type of chicken (breed) they are using is partly to blame. From what I've heard on radio food talk shows and food TV shows, (radio show "FoodTalk" on WOR 710am--which can be heard on the internet), for one, talked about this in general for all chicken. Our family changed to using a great brand called Murray's (for home cooking/eating) which is some breed which "tastes like chicken used to taste". This chicken really does have a flavor to it, not like the big supermarket brands available now (which are breeds that can grow larger in shorter length of time, for one thing, and that is why big producers use them).

    Back to KFC, every time I eat it I am supersaturated with salt and so thirsty, for up to a day. I never realized there was MSG in it.

    The new packaging of the chicken meals in plastic dishes with plastic dome top is horrible for take out because by the time we get it home it has steamed up and "gotten wet" and soggy. This takes the crispness out of it and the chicken also is sitting in water. I think this is a horrible design. The older paper cartons served a purpose, to let out some heat and to not cause condensation to be created and trapped in there. Can't believe the corporate bigwigs haven't figured this out yet.

    I also am frustrated by the menu offerings. Each time I go there is a new menu. I had no option to buy a meal with more than 1 piece of chicken in it with white meat last week. The 2 piece meals were only dark meat. The prices keep going up, it seems crazy to pay over $5 for a 2 piece meal with a leg and a thigh. They seem to be pushing buckets of chicken and large side orders. I settled for a "value meal" that had one piece of meat--a breast. I remember the "old days" when the meals didn't specify which pieces you got. I remember buying meals with all white meat and that was 2 breasts and "a keel" which was the center rib area next to the breast which was 98% meat and very tender (yum). We used to be able to ask the staff to put in the box what we wanted.

    My kids love the mac and cheese. Now they scoop it when it is ordered. I get mad when they don't fill it to the top and leave 1-1.5 inches of empty space at the top (probably out of laziness). I think this scooping to order takes up too much staff time. They should prepack like they used to!

    In the stores I have visited (I go to all different ones), the staff all seem to be filled with apathy and move at a snails pace. A few months ago my parents were buying chicken for 12 of us, take out, I went to get it, I was there 40 minutes total (to get a take out order). My visit last week took me 25 minutes and there were 5 people in line in front of me. There were 2 cashiers and there was 1 person in the kitchen. I think the corp office must be squeezing them and really reducing staff. If this is "fast food" then they need to add more staff and get the staff moving. As a comparision the McD's staff moves like lightning compared to KFC staff. A local store had a murder, the staff murdered the manager. This is not a good sign of positive employee relations. The store then closed up and the building now houses a Krisy Kreme. Every time I drive by I think of the murder...what a thing to link in my memory with KFC.

    I also remember the chicken having more flavor and being more pepper-y. To their credit the gravy on the potatoes still is pepper-y.
    I wish I had a recipe to duplicate this so I could make it at home. I don't own the "Top Secret Recipes" book that recreated this recipe. I still sometimes crave KFC chicken but it continues to be a let down when I do eat it.

    And yes, sometimes it seems the oil is rancid!

    In my area of the country KFC was the only fried chicken place for a long time. If I drive 40 minutes I can get to a Popeye's, other than that the choice is grocery store fried chicken or homemade. I have no clue what true Southern fried chicken is like...
    Christine
    #28
    Rick F.
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    RE: KFC- Original Recipe Spices 2005/05/11 11:57:12 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by ZekeTheCat

    Do you think KFC still puts all of their 11 herbs and spices in their original recipe chicken ?
    No. I'm 8 years behind you, and I have the same memory of a much more complex flavor in the '60s. In fact, for many years we didn't fry chicken at home because "the Colonel did it better." Sadly, that's no longer the case.

    Uncle Vic: Just remember the source for the info. Peta, for heaven's sake!

    Linus: From '66 > '70 we ate at the Colonel's at Holmes and Poplar in Memphis.

    Christinemm: The Q-Mart (West Tennessee, 1990s) also had keelbones and the single- and multi-piece meals and snack-packs, as well as individually priced pieces. And they were better than the Colonel's
    #29
    UncleVic
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    RE: KFC- Original Recipe Spices 2005/05/11 20:08:09 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Rick F.

    quote:
    Originally posted by ZekeTheCat

    Do you think KFC still puts all of their 11 herbs and spices in their original recipe chicken ?
    No. I'm 8 years behind you, and I have the same memory of a much more complex flavor in the '60s. In fact, for many years we didn't fry chicken at home because "the Colonel did it better." Sadly, that's no longer the case.

    Uncle Vic: Just remember the source for the info. Peta, for heaven's sake!

    Linus: From '66 > '70 we ate at the Colonel's at Holmes and Poplar in Memphis.

    Christinemm: The Q-Mart (West Tennessee, 1990s) also had keelbones and the single- and multi-piece meals and snack-packs, as well as individually priced pieces. And they were better than the Colonel's


    My bad...
    #30
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