Today on the tray: Something finger lickin’ good

vintage kfc menuJuly 6 is National Fried Chicken Day.

According to the holiday site Punchbowl, “American fried chicken has its roots in the Southern United States, but Europeans have been eating fried chicken since the Middle Ages! During that time period, cooks discovered that covering meat in flour and spices before cooking it helped seal in the flavor and made it more portable.”

KFC, once known as Kentucky Fried Chicken, is the world’s most popular chicken restaurant chain, or so claims the company’s website. Urban legend has it that the change in branding occurred because KFC uses genetically engineered animals that couldn’t legally be called chickens. One website alleges, “These so called ‘chickens’ are kept alive by tubes inserted into their bodies to pump blood and nutrients throughout their structure. They have no beaks, no feathers, and no feet. Their bone structure is dramatically shrunk to get more meat out of them. This is great for KFC because they do not have to pay so much for their production costs. There is no more plucking of the feathers or the removal of the beaks and feet.'”

fried drumstickSnopes.com busts this myth. The chain changed its branding to reflect the fact it now includes other items on its menu besides chicken; also, health-conscious consumers are increasingly put off by the word “fried.”

Below, a vintage Kentucky Fried Chicken commercial tells us what women spend their time thinking about. Whether they are at the beauty parlor, at the ironing board, or behind typewriters in the secretarial pool, they are all preoccupied with the same thought: “What should I serve for dinner tonight?” (Then they wonder, “Where can I get my hands on that new book by Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique?”)

Vintage Kentucky Fried Chicken commercial (probably 1960s)

Every day, all over town, women have a question on their minds:
‘What should I serve for dinner tonight?’
And every day, all over town, Colonel Sanders and his boys are cooking up the answer: Kentucky Fried Chicken.

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