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!
The 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?
Taco Bell was due to start a consumer trial of the $1 burrito in Cincinnati right about now, and it looks like it’s begun. As one super-fan wrote today on the Live Más Taco Bell community on social media site Reddit: “Living in Cinci sure has its perks.” The fan, wastedyouth89, reviewed the just-testing burrito, plus two other new items; here’s what they wrote:
Cheetos Burrito. God, I hope this gets a full release. Much like those with Fritos before, these add a great crunch and a great cheesy flavor. Yes, it has a lot of artificial milk products (Cheetos, nacho cheese, and sour cream) but if you like cheesy, this is hard to beat. One thing to note: Eat this first; the Cheetos do get kinda chewy if you let it sit awhile. 9/10.
Crunchy Cheesy Core Burrito. Very good. Reminded me a lot of the grilled stuffed nacho. Lots of gooey goodness. Taste was great, though I’d be concerned if made wrong, because it could spill out everywhere with all the gooeyness. 8/10.
Spicy Cheesy Core Burrito. OK, I guess. Everything about it was good except for the jalapeños. Not fresh and just kinda mushy. I’m not much for jalapeños on stuff, anyway, but these just don’t cut it for me. 6/10.
And there was this, from user streezus: “Make it with the Jalapeno Cheddar Cheetos, and I will drive the 100 miles or whatever to the nearest Taco Bell to get it, no question.”
“It starts off as soft butterscotch with candied orange peel. It transitions into a creamy vanilla in the middle and finishes with subtle anise and moderate spice. It’s like eating black jelly beans in the middle of an orange grove.”
— Jackie Zykan, Old Forester master bourbon specialist, describing the 2016 Birthday Bourbon commemorating Brown-Forman founder George Garvin Brown‘s birth going on sale next month.
Here are his additional notes: color, deep reddish umber; nose, complex and cinnamon, wood-spiced with nutty chocolate, dark caramel and rich oak notes all brightened with a dash of crisp citrus fruit; taste, mulled spice sweetness and fruity with bright citrus peel highlights; finish, long and warm with mulled fruit character lingering on.
Boulevard swung by Monnik Beer Co. in Schnizelberg after today’s CycLOUvia in Three Points. We had excellent food: Monnik beer cheese, $6; two Dutch burgers (coriander rub, pickled cabbage, blue cheese on Heitzman rye bun), $10; and espresso, $3.
Where: 1036 East Burnett Ave. When: Tuesday to Thursday, noon to midnight; Friday and Saturday, noon to 1 a.m.; Sunday, noon to 10 p.m.; closed Monday. How: 502-742-6564. They’re on Twitter and Yelp, too.
More than two weeks before Taco Bell even starts testing a new Cheetos-stuffed burrito in Cincinnati, social media is having a field day — and handing the Yum division a public relations bonanza. Attorney Marcy Wagman Rauer told Huffington Post the $1 sandwich looks like “Donald Trump exploded.” And everyone was retweeting San Diego musician Danny Ellis’ marijuana-inspired conclusion that it looks “like a stoner’s dream date with death.” The chain had tested the “Cheetos Crunchwrap Slider” earlier this year in Canada, but this is the first time the snack’s being used on its menu in the U.S. (Huffington Post).
In the Ohio test market, the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Ben Goldschmidt says to forget the November elections. “Sure,” he wrote yesterday, “we’re in a swing county in a swing state in a bonkers election year, but . . . we will decide for the nation if the cheesy powder of Cheetos successfully meshed with molten queso, or if it’s just an uninspiring, soggy lump in a burrito.” Much more news coverage.
To be sure, it wasn’t all good news yesterday for the Yum division. In California, Taco Bell is investigating reports employees taunted a Bakersfield police officer Thursday night by making “oink, oink” sounds and laughing at the cop in the drive-thru. “Taco Bell does not tolerate discrimination in any way,” the company told 23 ABC. “We are deeply appreciative of the men and women who have taken the oath to serve and protect our communities” (23 ABC).
The chain is still smarting from an incident two weeks ago in Alabama, where a cashier refused to serve two sheriff’s deputies; the chain apologized and fired the employee, but not before it was slammed across the Internet.