Doth Yum protest too much about latest report of possibly leaked ultra-secret KFC recipe? More questions surface!

KFC’s corporate parent has insisted once more that a Chicago newspaper story last week purportedly revealing founder Colonel Harland Sanders‘ closely-guarded recipe of 11 herbs and spices got it wrong.

But Yum’s latest pushback raises new and vital questions about what it really knows!

KFC bucket of chickenThe story gained renewed traction when The New York Times picked it up yesterday, prompting Yum to issue a statement to the nation’s newspaper of record and its 77 million readers:

“Many people have made these claims over the years and no one has been accurate — this one isn’t either.” That was essentially the same thing Louisville-based Yum told the Chicago Tribune.

Last week, a Tribune freelance writer said Sanders’ nephew had revealed the recipe after discovering it in his aunt’s scrapbook; she was Sanders’ second wife. In a follow-up interview, the nephew, Joe Ledington, a 67-year-old retired school teacher outside Corbin, Ky., tried to walk back his claim, apparently worried he’d let the chicken out of the bag.

But Yum’s insistence raises so many questions, including:

  • How far off is the Tribune recipe — a grain or two of salt, or a whole lot more? A merely teeny-tiny variation in the published recipe and the one held in a Yum vault may be a distinction without a difference.
  • How does Yum’s public relations department verify these recurring claims, given how difficult it must be to access the original recipe, said to be on a yellowing piece of paper moved to a more secure location with great fanfare eight years ago? Must Yum CEO Greg Creed personally unearth the company’s version of a launch code to open the vault, then make the comparison himself? Does accessing the vault require two — or more! — executives to combine codes they carry separately? Is Creed followed around by an aide bearing Yum’s own gold codes football?
  • Is it true the promotional KFC-scented suntan lotion released this week can be reverse-engineered to uncover the real recipe’s ingredients?
  • What was really buried in Sanders’s grave in Cave Hill Cemetery after he died at Jewish Hospital in 1980 at age 90? Is that where the recipe is actually stored?!
harland-sanders-grave question mark
Question marks the spot of Sanders’ alleged Louisville grave.

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