Secret recipe of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC)

I was wondering what the eleven secret herbs and spices on Kentucky Fried Chicken’s (KFC)chicken are?

Is this in response to one of Cecil’s columns?

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast!” - the White Queen

With a little bit of imagination, this could relate to several of Cecil’s columnns!

How did salt and pepper become the standard table spices?

Can salt substitute kill you? (17-Dec-1999)

OK, this one’s a stretch of the imagination; also it’s a mailbag item, not a column.

Who is the General Tso of “General Tso’s chicken” fame? (27-Dec-1999)

To answer the OP, this article claims that the Recipe Detective was able to emulate the Colonel’s recipe.

This has been addressed before in General Questions, I believe. I’m moving it there.

In one of William Poundstone’s books, *Big|ger|gest Secrets[\i], (plug: excellent books, occasionally cited by Cecil, and just plain worth reading) he claims to have gotten a sample of the batter and sent it to a lab for analysis. His findings were that the “11 herbs and spices” were, in fact, salt, pepper, and monosodium glutamate.

As I understand it (take it for what it’s worth), there may once have been 11 herbs and spices in the recipe, but that a few decades ago, the recipe was modified significantly. I don’t recall any modern contention that there were “11” herbs and spices in it any more, just a vague “secret blend of herbs and spices.”

Yeah, Poundstone’s books are pretty good, but he also claims in one of them that Cecil Adams is really Ed Zotti, so how much faith can we put in the rest of his answers. :slight_smile:

“Sometimes I think the web is just a big plot to keep people like me away from normal society.” — Dilbert

KFC was sued once by the govt. over the 11 herbs thing and got out of having to reveal the recipe by claiming it was a “service mark”, and no more suseptible to examination than claims of “Best Darn Pancakes in Town”.
There’s a legal term for that, puffery, which is protected by centuries of common law precedents.

It’s sunny today in the RSA.

I used to work at KFC in high school and never bothered to “analyze” the packets. We used to mix flour, a packet of milk and egg mix (w/ the colonel’s logo) and our packet of seasoning.

The funny thing while there is that I never signed a confidentiality agreement. There was nothing preventing me from sending it off to a lab for testing.

There was an ingredient label on there but I never thought to look. It did contain MSG, that I know, and lots of pepper. We would sneeze everytime we mixed the flower. We tried to get away from the flour mix but weren’t always successful.