Don’t Mess With A Classic
Good morning, y’all. Now that the heat has broke a little bit, I’ve been back outside trying to keep the Kudzu cut back. I figure I can catch up a little bit on doing the yard work as far as social distancing will let me wander. There’s some kids at the far end of the park that’ll run their bikes or scooters right at you so that you have to jump out of their way. I’m convinced they’re Corona super spreaders.
While wrestling with the Kudzu, a Japanese import that is now synonymous with the South, I got to thinking about other things that are emblematic of the Southern way of life. Sweet tea is at the top. Sweet tea that’s got so much sugar in it that the cavities in your teeth scream, “stop, no more, we can’t take it anymore”. That would be the number one item on my list. Fried everything is next.
I swear I nearly swallowed my tongue when we went to a BBQ joint one time and they were serving fried dill pickles. Now honestly, I always thought they were supposed to give you dill pickles as part of your order. This enterprising bunch thought, “why don’t we batter ’em and fry ’em and we can charge $4.00 a pickle instead of just giving them away?” The pickles were right good, and they were selling a bunch of them, which proves the old Southern adage, everything is better battered and fried.
There can be no better proof of the adage than okra. I can eat buckets of fried okra, and I can barely look at it stewed. Same thing squash. As a person whose personal BMI is slightly north of Hank Aaron’s lifetime batting average, I have been made aware that dietary choices play a factor. Fried should be at the bottom of my list of choices, but fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, and cat’s head biscuits would be my choice for my last meal.
My personal tastes were the springboard for a very successful business, Kentucky Fried Chicken, or KFC as they prefer to be known today. To date I’ve received no royalties for developing the perfect menu, and I guess the folks at Pepsico think their chicken recipe means more than the items. The KFC folks are so secure in their knowledge of what the public wants that they’ve decided that they can just mix the meal up into one bowl and save on packaging the items individually.
As unappetizing as that sounds to a person that loves the product, imagine how that plays with people who don’t like their food touching each other on the plate. There is no amount of explaining to these plate purists that the foods are all going to be touching each other soon. They know, they don’t care, just, right now, “get my coleslaw away from my mashed potatoes!”
As ill-conceived as the “bowl’ is, KFC has really topped themselves in trying to impersonate the Colonel. Colonel Harland Sanders is as much of an American icon as Coca Cola. Trying to parade someone out as creepy as Darrell Hammond in their commercial is as nauseating as the bowl he’s pushing. If you’re interested, Google the commercial, but I’m warning you, have the Pepto handy.
While you’ve got the Pepto out, think about the fact that Colgate, the toothpaste people, introduced a frozen food line once upon a time. No really, honest to God. You could eat a piece of Colgate Lasagna and then go brush your teeth with Colgate toothpaste. Rinse, switch and repeat.
In summation, to all of you marketing execs out there, sometimes all you have to do with a product is not screw it up. No “new coke”, no diet candies name Ayds, and definitely no creepy Colonel Sanders.