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The World Yearns for Kentucky Fried Chicken

A cultural dissection of the Colonel’s reach

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(Guardian)

Kentucky Fried Chicken has long been an American culinary institution spreading goodwill throughout the world [reference needed]. Colonel Harland Sanders, who is not really a colonel, but is a visionary, has brought American-style fried chicken to countless countries around the world–creating a veritable UN of yum no less vital than Ray Kroc’s Golden Arches. Where the Colonel’s secret recipe hasn’t worked, KFC has adapted. In Israel, for example, KFC recently went kosher, after swapping its milk-based chicken coating for a soy-based replacement.

Yesterday, Fares Akram blew the roof off the global yearning for Kentucky Fried Chicken when he wrote about a Gaza smuggling operation in which Khalil Efrangi, a pseudonymed savvy businessman, and others sneak chicken over (or rather under) the border from Egypt to Gaza. Next they deliver four-hour-old chicken to happy patrons at nearly $30 a bucket.

Formerly called Kentucky Fried Chicken, a KFC franchise opened in El Arish, just over Gaza’s southern border, in 2011, and in the West Bank city of Ramallah last year. That, along with ubiquitous television advertisements for KFC and other fast-food favorites, has given Gazans a hankering for Colonel Sanders’s secret recipe.

So after Mr. Efrangi brought some KFC back from El Arish for friends last month, he was flooded with requests. A new business was born.

“I accepted this challenge to prove that Gazans can be resilient despite the restrictions,” Mr. Efrangi said.

In the past few weeks, Mr. Efrangi has coordinated four deliveries totaling about 100 meals, making about $6 per meal in profit. He promotes the service on Yamama’s Facebook page, and whenever there is a critical mass of orders — usually 30 — he starts a complicated process of telephone calls, wire transfers and coordination with the Hamas government to get the chicken from there to here.

I’ve included some relevant media that I thought might be useful in deconstructing the phenomenon.

First, I have to start with KFC’s brilliant new ad campaign, highlighted by the tagline “I Think I Ate the Bones:”

An entire episode of South Park revolved around the apocalyptic closing of Kentucky Fried Chicken after it was deemed illegal because of its addictiveness and debilitating health consequences [reference needed]. In its stead, a medical marijuana dispensary opens up.

In the episode, Cartman starts an illicit Kentucky Fried Chicken import operation. I can’t link to most of the episode, but here’s one salient clip.

Last is a clip from “Curb Your Enthusiasm” in which Larry David struggles with his new obsession with a Palestinian chicken joint. It has nothing specifically to do with KFC, but underscores the tangled web of loyalty when it comes to chicken. (Consider that a KFC in Tripoli, Lebanon, was torched in the aftermath of the Danish cartoon scandal.)

What’s for lunch?

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Wait…That’s it? That’s all you’re going to write about KFC?! Nothing about childhood memories of KFC when it was Kentucky Fried Etc. What about all the creatively named red and white striped store front rip-offs they had in places like Harlem “Kansas Fried Chicken” “Carolina Fried Chicken” that served sometimes better fried chicken? How about the big switch from Chicken Delight to KFC? The Colonel himself is worth at least a page, as is the myriad attempts to figure out the secret spices. And those mashed potatoes. What the hell were they made out of, anyway?

There is NO WAY I would eat at any fast food joint. Yes, the food is mouth-watering, but if you give two cents for your life STOP eating at ‘em. I read “Wheat Belly” by Dr. Wm. Davis. The chemicals and hormones and anti-biotics we gobble down at those places poison us.

I’ve survived, thank God, five heart attacks, open-heart surgery, and a massive hemorrhagic stroke…all from eating the blasted garbage we all buy and shove down our collective gobs without a thought.

Since going 100% REAL FOOD I’ve gotten out of my wheelchair and am walking again. I was in the chair for 15 years. Organic food has given me the energy to walk again. Now the stink of fried food turns my stomach. Oh…I’ve also lost 85 pounds without trying. ALL of the “regular” beef and chicken we eat is LOADED with hormones that make them want to eat, eat, and eat in order to grow faster. We eat the SAME HORMONES the meat we eat did and then we eat and eat and eat.

Good luck.

There is NO WAY I would eat at any fast food joint. Yes, the food is mouth-watering, but if you give two cents for your life STOP eating at ‘em. I read “Wheat Belly” by Dr. Wm. Davis. The chemicals and hormones and anti-biotics we gobble down at those places poison us.

I’ve survived, thank God, five heart attacks, open-heart surgery, and a massive hemorrhagic stroke…all from eating the blasted garbage we all buy and shove down our collective gobs without a thought.

Since going 100% REAL FOOD I’ve gotten out of my wheelchair and am walking again. I was in the chair for 15 years. Organic food has given me the energy to walk again. Now the stink of fried food turns my stomach. Oh…I’ve also lost 85 pounds without trying. ALL of the “regular” beef and chicken we eat is LOADED with hormones that make them want to eat, eat, and eat in order to grow faster. We eat the SAME HORMONES the meat we eat did and then we eat and eat and eat.

Good luck.

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The World Yearns for Kentucky Fried Chicken

A cultural dissection of the Colonel’s reach

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