As recently reported in The Washington Post, al-Yamama, a Palestinian delivery company, has been sneaking Kentucky Fried Chicken into the Gaza Strip from Egypt: a three-hour journey and an extra $20-30 for cold chicken, which admittedly can be good. Of course, if Colonel Sanders knew that the red-and-white boxes which bear his likeness were being smuggled under blockades in a conflict-torn part of the world, he'd probably be horrified.
Pressure fryer innovator and marketing genius, the Colonel did not like how his recipes evolved as KFC grew. The story of his involvement in the development and branding of KFC's products could consume even this short piece. Suffice it to say that, in interviews, Sanders once characterized the gravy as "pure wallpaper paste" and extra-crispy as "a damn fried dough ball stuck on some chicken." He would most likely be distraught to see that people were risking their lives, taking arduous journeys and paying substantially inflated sums of money for products he disparaged.
Thankfully, in the opinion of this former Kentuckian, there are Kentucky products far superior to cold chicken irrigated with wallpaper paste. It is our recommendation (though we can't speak for the Colonel) that smugglers wishing to import something from the commonwealth look elsewhere. Turn the page for a few suggestions.
3. Mutton Barbecue:
The reddest of red meats, rich with aged-in-the-wool flavor, mutton is everything pale spring lamb is not -- fatty, tough and funky-tasting -- a meat that polarizes not for the cuteness of the beast from which it's gleaned, but for its strong flavor and unforgiving texture. Calvin Trillin famously enjoyed mutton in Kentucky, but his stalking ground was Owensboro. 109 miles southwest of Louisville and home of the Old Hickory Pit Bar-B-Q, where mutton shoulder roasts for half a day under the sheen of a molasses-heavy mop sauce spiked with Worcestershire.
This seafoam-hued dip is a Kentucky classic: a cool, creamy mash of cucumbers, grated onion, mayonnaise, cream cheese, and -- if one is aiming for authenticity -- a splash of green food coloring. Benedictine goes well with chips and dainty crustless tea sandwiches -- the sort one eats with white gloves at elite Derby shindigs -- but the best application we've found is spread across a salty slice of real country ham, bread optional.
Regional sodas are rare, but Kentucky boasts one of America's most storied. A limey, smooth, lightly carbonated ginger ale that comes in a green bottle festooned with spiky red font, Ale-8-One is bottled in a small town near Lexington, KY, home of the state's second-best college basketball team. The recipe is secret naturally, but the company admits to using real ginger.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
And in somewhat related news:
Want more Squid Ink? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.