Colonel Sander’s secret recipe revealed? Not so fast, tells KFC

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Has Colonel Sanders’ nephew unknowingly revealed to the world the secret mix of 11 herbs and spices behind KFC’s fried chicken empire?

The company says the recipe published in the Chicago Tribune is not authentic. But that hasn’t stopped rampant online speculation that one of the most legendary and closely guarded secrets in the history of fast food has been exposed.

It all started when a reporter visited with Joe Ledington, a nephew of Kentucky Fried Chicken founder Colonel Harland David Sanders.

The reporter was working on a narrative for the Tribune’s travel section about Corbin, Kentucky, where the colonel served his first fried chicken. At one point, Ledington pulled out a family scrapbook containing the last will and testament of Sanders’ second spouse, Claudia Ledington.

On the back of the document is a handwritten list for a mix of 11 herbs and spices to be mixed with two beakers of white flour. While Joe Ledington initially told the reporter that it was the original recipe, he afterward said that he didn’t know for sure.

KFC which is a subsidiary of Yum Brands Inc. calls its recipe “one of the biggest trade secret in the world.” It says that the recipe the reporter saw is not the real thing.

“Many people have induced these claims over the years and no one has been accurate this one isn’t either, ” KFC said in a statement.

The Louisville, Kentucky-based company says that the original recipe from 1940 handwritten by Sanders is locked up in a digital safe that’s encased in two feet of concrete and monitored 24 hours a day by a video and motion detection surveillance system.

Joe Ledington could not immediately be reached for comment on Friday.

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