Yes, it was originally called “Kentucky Fried Chicken”. Made with a secret recipe of 11 herbs & spices by the legendary Colonel Sanders, an elderly, white haired gentleman in white suit & black bow tie. He graced our TV sets in the late 60’s & 70’s promoting his southern fried, finger lickin good chicken!!!
This was the beginning of the fast food era in Australia. Families would line up for takeaway chicken in distinctive red & white boxes & buckets. There were also a variety of side dishes including whipped potato with gravy & coleslaw. I remember Kentucky Fried Chicken being a favourite in our house on a Saturday night, in front of the telly. Here’s a brief history of how it all began:
Colonel Harland Sanders, founder of the original Kentucky Fried Chicken, was born on September 9, 1890. When he was six, his father died and his mother was forced to go to work while young Sanders took care of his three year old brother and baby sister. This meant he had to do much of the family cooking. By the time he was seven, Harland Sanders was a master of a range of regional dishes.
After a series of jobs, in the mid 1930s at the age of forty, Colonel Sanders bought a service station, motel and cafe at Corbin, a town in Kentucky about 25 miles from the Tennessee border.
He began serving meals to travellers on the dining table in the living quarters of his service station because he did not have a restaurant. It is here that Sanders began experimenting with different seasonings to flavour his chicken which travellers loved and for which he soon became famous.
By 1964, from that humble beginning, Colonel Harland Sanders had 600 franchise outlets for his chicken across the United States and Canada.
Later that year Colonel Sanders sold his interest in the United States operations for $2 million.The 65-year-old gentleman had started a worldwide empire using his $105 social security cheque. Sadly, Colonel Harland Sanders passed away on December 16th, 1980 aged 90.
KFC now stretches world wide with more than 9,000 stores in 86 countries serving the Colonel’s Original Recipe.The first Australian Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet opened in 1968 at Guildford in Sydney’s western suburbs. KFC now has more than 600 stores in Australia and New Zealand.
Watch Australia’s first Kentucky Fried Chicken Commercial (1968)