Secret herbs and spices?

Why isn’t a simple case of getting some crafty scientists to buy some Fried Chicken, analyse it, and determine what the eleven secret herbs and spices are? Surely that’s easy to do.

Same with some beverages - apparently only three people know the ingredients and recipe, and none of them may ride in the same plane together. But what of all the orders for “secret ingredient #4 - 15 tons”??

I can’t see how they can be kept secret.

“Waheeey! ‘Duck!’ Get it?”
“Errr… No…”
“Duck! Sounds almost exactly like fu-”

There’s nothing particularly secret or particularly interesting about the ingredients in the coating for Kentucky Fried Chicken. A number of people have already done exactly what you requested. Look at the chapter in Big Secrets by William Poundstone or at the web site

I’ve read several slightly different accounts of what’s in the bags of coating mix that KFC supplies to its franchisees. It’s mostly flour, of course, but that’s no secret. It clearly has lots of salt and pepper in it. Some accounts say it has MSG. Some say it has garlic powder. Some people in trying to imitate the KFC recipe use oregano, cilantro, and onion powder in addition, but it’s not clear that KFC uses them. Most accounts say that there’s not eleven ingredients.

A friend of mine told me the “eleven herbs and spices” line was just a bit of trickery–the unique texture & flavor of KFC brand chicken comes more from the pressurized deep-fat frying than anything else. Kind of like an autoclave except with oil instead of steam.

I’m afraid I’ve never seen this device, nor do I think it’s real…sounds plausible enough though. I haven’t heard of any KFC’s blowing up, leading me to be skeptical.

GuanoLad, I don’t know if you get The Simpsons in syndication Down Unda but one episode had a good spoof on this subject. Homer invents a new drink, the “Flaming Homer” (later the “Flaming Moe”), and he and Moe are zillionaires until the secret ingredient is discovered. All the while truckloads of secret ingredient are being delivered in plain sight.

IIRC, Cecil did a column on the “secret” formula for Coca-Cola and, as you surmised, people have analyzed it and discovered what is there. He concluded that there was so little of anything else in comparison to the tons and tons of sugar that the addition of one ingredient was probably not the secret to success. (p.s. It’s advertising!)

Strangers have the best candy.

Oh, I always thought the secret was the addition of elven herbs and spices!

I must admit, I’d never thought of it in those terms before. I just took this particular advertising bit on the surface.

Interesting. So if I set up a corner lemonade stand, I could legitimately advertise it as having some secret ingredient, but in fact if that ingredient was ice that’s acceptable???


Oh, and by the way, the Flaming Moe episode’s point was that Homer wasn’t a millionaire. :slight_smile: And the secret ingredient was Krusty’s Koff Syrup.

“Waheeey! ‘Duck!’ Get it?”
“Errr… No…”
“Duck! Sounds almost exactly like fu-”

I worked at a KFC in highschool. 10 herbs and spices and 2 lbs of salt to every 5 lbs of flour! The high pressure oil deep-fryer autoclave thingie is real - it’s used for original recipe breading. I can’t for the life of me remember what it’s called though.

“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.”
–Mark Twain

According to Poundstone’s book, the entire ingredient list is: chicken, cooking oil, skim milk, eggs, flour, salt, black pepper, and MSG.

“It is impossible to experience one’s own death objectively and still carry a tune.” – Woody Allen from Getting Even

Ahh, but Wm.P. pointed out that at one time it might have had those herbs and spices. Since the Col. sold his restaurants there’ve been a few changes, starting with the gravy (too labor intensive).

For some reason, for years, I’ve believed that one of the KFC secret ingredients was a touch of anchovy.

I, too, worked as a cook at Kentucky Fried Chicken as a teen. I think the pressure-cookers were called “henny pennies,” or something like that. This was nearly two decades ago, though, so I can’t say if the same machines are still used.

I have all of Poundstone’s books at home.Big Secrets,Bigger Secrets,and Biggest Secrets. I guess he can’t write any more! Also,there is a book called Secret Recipes where this woman replicates,through trial and error the taaste of famous foods.

BURP! “excuse me.”;D