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Ireland Might Be The Only Place On Earth With The Original KFC Recipe

Ireland Might Be The Only Place On Earth With The Original KFC Recipe

A Canadian YouTuber has claims to have cracked the Original Recipe KFC mix - and that Irish people have been eating it for years.

Mike Wood

Mike Wood

There's a corner of the internet, some might say the best corner of the internet, that is pure cooking videos. If, like myself, you spend a lot of time in this part of the world, then you've probably come across Glen & Friends.

Glen is a jovial Canadian man who cooks from a kitchen studio in his back garden, and for those of us who watch his videos, these last few months have been a big deal.

He's been researching KFC and their chicken, including travelling to Kentucky and speaking to people all over the world, resulting in nearly two years worth of videos and hours of content.

You might be wondering what this has to do with Ireland, as mentioned in the headline. Well: according Glen's research, including people who literally knew Colonel Sanders himself, we here in Ireland have a unique place in the history of KFC.

In fact, we might be the only people in the world who can readily access the Original Recipe KFC. And we're doing it from Murroe, Co. Limerick. Scroll through the video here to 6 minutes or so for the bombshell that Glen drops.

First up, respect to a Canadian food YouTuber for referencing the Kentucky Fried Chicken League of Ireland, as it was briefly known in the 1980s. Pat Grace, who spearheaded one of football's most unusual sponsorships, was also a personal friend of the Colonel, and introduced KFC to Ireland.

The twist comes here: when the Colonel sold up the rights to KFC in the United States, he kept onto the Original Recipe in Canada and held the rights to franchise it around the world until his death. As the new American owners changed the recipes and cut corners, the territories that were still under the jurisdiction of the Colonel kept the old ways.

After the Colonel died, Pat Grace eventually lost a court battle about what the recipie was and who could call themselves KFC in Ireland, resulting in a name change to Grace's Famous Fried Chicken.

If you think he changed his recipe, however, you'd be wrong: it literally said on adverts at the time that "the name has changed, the chicken's the same". The reason the Colonel gave his recipe to franchisees was designed so that they could make the same chicken without the corporate cost cutting that had taken place in the US.

So was Grace's Famous Fried Chicken the most authentic, as-the-Colonel-intended, last holdout of Original Recipe KFC on Earth? They shuttered their physical locations years ago, but you can still buy their Grace's Perfect Blend fried chicken mix online. They'll tell you that it's not exactly the same, but given that they lost a court case saying that they couldn't make any claims that what they sold was KFC, of course they would say that.

In fact, you could make the argument (and Glen does) that every bog standard chicken shop in Ireland that orders wholesale from Grace's Perfect Blend has been making a version of OG KFC for years. Grace's claims to have 12 spices rather than the usual eleven, but that is quite easily explained by the obvious spice that KFC never mentions: MSG.

What you can do now (and certainly what I will be doing) is order a bag of GFC chicken mix - in fact, they've been so inundated with interest from Glen's Friends that they're starting to make smaller bags to ship around the world. Imagine that Original Recipe, but with all the mad stuff you can do that a commercial KFC won't: overnight brines, small batch, any sides you like and can be bothered to make at home. This is too good to be true. And to think, drunk Irish people have been eating it, or at least a version of it, for years without even knowing.

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Topics: Ireland, KFC