As the globally recognisable face of fried chicken, it seems only natural that the white-haired and bespectacled Harland Sanders should have his autobiography published posthumously by KFC.
The Kentucky Colonel’s real thoughts on the food that made him famous, however, are about as likely to make it into the book’s pages as a revelation of his secret herbs and spices.
Sanders’ book, describing how he built up his fast-food empire before selling it for $2m in 1964, will be published online by the fried chicken brand on Monday after it was found in an archive last November.
Written in 1966, it probably won’t include the sentiments he revealed in a newspaper interview a few years later when he declared that the people who bought his restaurant franchise were “the biggest bunch of sharpies you ever saw” and “a bunch of booze hounds”.
“Drive out of any town now and everyone is selling his piece of chicken or hamburger up and down the highway,” he said. “You can’t get a decent meal anymore.”
The firm has long been used to Sanders’ concerns. Even when his complaints were originally published, John Cox, the firm’s vice president was reflective rather than angry. “He has been doing this forever,” he said. “It comes and goes. The colonel is just a very independent minded individual.”
Sanders, who died in 1980, began the book by writing it “is about a man's life and the food he's cooked, eaten and served. That man is me. The food I've liked, the work I've done and the way I think are all the same things. It's not such a far fetched idea. A lot of learned men think people really are the food they’ve eaten.”
Recipes in the book include cornbread stuffing, hot biscuits with honey butter, chicken pot pie, potato pancakes, hushpuppies, pecan pie and baked apple dumplings.
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