Colonel Sanders’ Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe has been kept secret for decades, that is, until now.
Joe Ledington, a nephew of the late Sanders, revealed KFC’s secret ingredient during an interview with the Chicago Tribune, claiming that he mixed the recipe as a boy when he worked for very first KFC restaurant, the Harland Sanders Café.
According to him, it’s thanks to 11 special herbs and spices that give the breaded chicken its incredible flavor, but of course not without being packed with flavoring chemicals and the brain-frying neurotoxin known as monosodium glutamate (MSG)!
Has he just busted one of the world’s biggest trade secrets?
According to KFC, the original handwritten chicken recipe from 1940 is kept locked in a 770-pound safe that is surrounded by 2-feet of concrete and protected by motion sensors and cameras.
But Ledington found another source for the recipe in his aunt and Sander’s second wife’s scrapbook, with all 11 ingredients scribbled into the back page. Jay Jones from the Chicago Tribune was shown the following list out of Claudia Ledington’s book:
2 cups of white flour mixed with the following: 2/3 tablespoon salt, ½ tablespoon of thyme, ½ tablespoon of basil, 1/3 tablespoon of oregano, 1 tablespoon of celery salt, 1 tablespoon of black pepper, 1 tablespoon of dried mustard, 4 tablespoons of paprika, 2 tablespoons of garlic salt, 1 tablespoon of ground ginger, and 3 tablespoons of white pepper.
Ledington said that he was assigned to mixing these spices together in a tub in the garage for the family business when he was a boy, but later retracted his claims after pressure from KFC, who insists that the recipe is fake.
What’s the real secret ingredient?
According to KFC’s official website, the “Original Recipe” chicken is made by first marinating the chicken meat in a mixture of salt, sodium phosphate and MSG.
It is then breaded in a flour, salt, tricalcium phosphate, whey, non-fat milk, egg white, corn starch, potato starch, maltodextrin, triglyceride, gelatin, “natural flavoring”, and Colonel Sander’s “secret seasoning” mixture.
This means that the majority of the flavor from the signature chicken actually comes from chemicals such as MSG and “natural” flavoring!
What is MSG?
MSG, or monosodium glutamate, is a synthetic chemical which is designed to trigger certain taste receptors on the tongue, tricking it into experiencing a more savory and rich flavor.
Naturally occurring glutamate can be found in soy sauce, tomato paste, parmesan cheese, Worcestershire sauce, and anchovies, which offers the intense flavor without any negative health effects.
MSG, on the other hand, has been linked to a wide variety of health risks, such as digestive and respiratory problems. Not only can it cause heart palpitations, dizziness, joint pain, stomach cramps, nausea, and shortness of breath in those who are sensitive to ingesting it, but it has also been shown to act as a neurotoxin in all mammals, literally killing the neurons in the brain.
While many unsuspecting victims think that they are avoiding MSG by reading food labels, the truth is that it is often concealed under various different names, such as autolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed protein, soy extract, and protein isolate. As it turns out, it’s also found hidden deep in finger-licking good “original” chicken recipes!