Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) @ The Northern
I love traditions. To me, they are like the signposts of life. They remind you of things from your past, and give you something to look forward to. Out of all the “traditions” that my friends and family have established, one of my favorites is the KFC meal.
I grew up eating KFC as a treat. There was no extra crispy, or other wacky options. It was original or original. I remember the days my father would come home from work with a bucket of KFC. If i could get to the first drumstick, those were good days indeed. KFC was a part of my childhood, and even as i grew older, still held a lot of nostalgia for me. Besides, KFC tasted really good as a kid.
Fast forward to University. It’s my best friend’s birthday, and slightly short on money, and definitely short on ideas, we decide it’s a good idea to split a 20 piece bucket of chicken. The folly of youth. We each eat 10 pieces, partly because it tasted good, and partly because of bravado, and we proceeded to throw up. The human body just wasnt designed to handle that much grease – without copious amounts of beer anyway.
We couldn’t eat KFC again. Until the following year, when, on his birthday, we decided “why not”, and ordered a 20 piece bucket again. I believe i was the only one purging that year. My best friend had somehow developed a better resistance to the grease.
We do it every year now, for his birthday. It’s the only time each year that we eat KFC. I look forward to these times, as it’s part nostalgic, part good story, and really, i do look forward to eating my KFC once a year. Until i got ripped off this year.
My best friend’s birthday found us in Inuvik. Thankfully, there is a KFC in town, so we were able to continue our tradition. Inside a department store, i waited at the KFC/Taco Bell combo. 15 piece bucket (we’re a bit older now), gravy to go. They throw chicken into the oven and start baking it. This isnt right. What’s going on here? Maybe they’re trying to defrost it, then toss it in the fryer. Who knows.
30 minutes later, our bucket is given to us, with our large side of gravy. The gravy is definitely KFC gravy – thick, clumpy, congealed and fatty, it’s heaven in a bowl! The chicken, however, does not come in the requisite Colonel Sanders bucket. It’s some strange “chicken” bucket.
I get the receipt. Apparently i ordered a KFC Large Gravy, and miscellaneous, proprietary, 15 piece baked chicken! This wasnt KFC – this was Faux KFC! They were selling their own chicken, not calling it KFC to avoid getting sued, and adding it to the bill, fooling unsuspecting people. This story was later confirmed – it was not real KFC – it was my very first fake KFC.
Not really wanting to relive another fried chicken experience, we decided this one would count. We ate the bucket. Surprisingly enough, the chicken was decent. Ok really. Didnt taste like KFC, but it wasnt terrible either. Especially in Inuvik, where the choices are extremely limited. A solid 5 out of 10.
While the pieces we order each year are decreasing, and the likelihood of vomitting these days is generally very slim, i’ve found the onset of age brings practicality and wisdom. I look forward and enjoy this tradition each year, fake KFC or not. It is a unique and interesting tradition that only my best friend and I share.
How about you – do you have any food traditions you can share with the rest of us? We’d love to hear about them!