KFC announced this week it will make a never-before-seen autobiography and cookbook written by Colonel Sanders available for download on its Facebook page starting June 4th. Interestingly, as Smithsonian Magazine’s Food & Think blog noted last month, there was pretty much nothing Colonel Sanders hated more than Kentucky Fried Chicken.
KFC announced they had stumbled across the autobiography and cookbook in their archives last November. Harland Sanders (who was made an honorary colonel by the governor of Kentucky in 1935, but did not achieve the rank while serving in the military) wrote the book in 1966.
That was about a decade before the franchise was bought by a liquor and food conglomerate called Heublein. While on the company payroll as a goodwill brand ambassador, Sanders blasted the Heublein executives to The Washington Post as “a bunch of booze hounds” and accused them of treating him like “the saloon bums they’re used to dealing with rather than a sophisticated Southern businessman.”
As for the quality of the restaurants themselves, Sanders echoed many modern critics:
“I am not too proud of having my name associated with some of my restaurants.”
He even attempted to start up another chain called the Colonel’s Lady Dinner House, modeled after his own family dining room.
It’s unlikely any of those sentiments will appear in the book posted on the KFC Facebook page. For one thing, Heublein wasn’t even on the Colonel’s radar in 1966 – though, by that point, he had already sold the franchise to its first non-Colonel owners, or, in his words, “the biggest bunch of sharpies you ever saw.”
They will have to authorize the Colonel Sanders Cookbook app to access their profiles, which is annoying and something most people probably won’t bother doing.
Incidentally, in the cookbook’s introduction, the Colonel promises he “won’t just use a cold mathematical formula to help you put [the food] on your table,” but, rather, will tell you “how to prepare it like a man who’s talking to you right over your kitchen stove.”
This, as I can tell you from attempting to cook from my great-grandmother’s recipes (“add flour until it’s right”), is a very frustrating way to give instructions.
He also says this:
“A lot of learned men think people really are the food they’ve eaten.”
No one has ever thought that. What a crazy book of lies this will be.