KFC calamity? Chicago newspaper claims to have seen culinary world’s Loch Ness Monster

It’s the original recipe Colonel Harland Sanders developed in 1939 for his roadside restaurant in Corbin, Ky., the one with 11 herbs and spices that launched today’s 20,000-location KFC. The Chicago Tribune has published what it says is the top-secret recipe, which a freelance writer got during a visit with Sanders’ nephew, Joe Ledington, a 67-year-old retired school teacher outside Corbin.

Harland Sanders

Ledington told writer Jay Jones he’d found the recipe, handwritten in blue ink, tucked inside a photo album he inherited from his aunt, Sanders’ second wife. The newspaper included a photo of it with a story today about the Harland Sanders Cafe and Museum in Corbin.

But as even the daily points out, many others have claimed to have seen what KFC calls one of America’s most valuable trade secrets. “But no one’s ever been right,” the company told the Tribune.

KFC keeps the original recipe, on a yellowing piece of paper, in a vault it upgraded after a highly public-relationized 2008 transfer of the document involving an armored car and a lockbox marked top secret chained to a security expert’s wrist.

But for pure PR value, the Coca-Cola Co. is miles ahead. The vault holding Coke’s secret formula is at the heart of a tourist attraction in the company’s corporate hometown of Atlanta. Here’s the exterior:

Coca Cola vault

About that other myth

There have been 1,081 sightings of the Loch Ness Monster in a Scottish lake, including the most recent, in a Daily Mail story only yesterday about Calley Tulleth, 28, a housekeeper who claimed to have seen the creature from the balcony of her vacation rental above the lake. “It’s not often you see a monster while on holiday,” she told the newspaper, in the understatement of the year.

In the photo, top: those are the two legends — Nessie and Sanders.

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