Colonel Sanders is almost as famous as Mao Zedong in China.
Three years. Three years I waited, stranded in the KFC-less nation known as the United States of America.
“Isn’t Kentucky Fried Chicken from Kentucky?” you might ask.
And you’d be right. Harland “Colonel” Sanders created what would become KFC in 1930 in North Corbin, Kentucky. Today, there are 4,491 KFC franchises in America.
The thing is, those aren’t real KFCs. You’ve been lied to. The best KFC experience can’t be found in North America. Across the Pacific Ocean, 4,563 KFCs stand on the blocks of Chinese towns. 4,563 Chinese KFCs, or as I refer to them, the greatest fast food restaurants in the world.
Looks pretty familiar, right? Wrong.
Most KFCs in America are pretty similar. They’re small, run-down, and usually connected to A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT RESTAURANT. Seriously, standalone KFCs are getting rarer and rarer these days. Combination KFC-Taco Bells, KFC-Pizza Huts, and KFC-Forever 21s are becoming the norm.
Food at American KFCs is stale, served slowly, and, worst of all, not that great tasting.
Chinese KFC is none of those things. Chinese KFC is amazing.
Man, KFC is the place to be!
Food in China is cheap. It isn’t hard to find a good meal for about 10 RMB (6 RMB = 1 USD), so KFC and other fast food places aren’t anywhere near the cheapest options.
In fact, it’s kind of a classy place.
If you forgot that KFC was a friendly and relaxed place, don’t worry; the fries are here to remind you.
Chinese KFCs are bigger, brighter, and cleaner. The menu has a lot more items than its American counterpart. It’s also localized to Chinese diets; the classic bucket is still there, but it’s joined by traditional street food like youtiao, a (delicious) breakfast food.
Simply put, KFC in China is the best because everything they make is delicious and of (relatively) high quality.
My first meal.
Three years. Three years since the last time I had been in China. Three years since I had eaten at a Chinese KFC.
Going through high school, there was always a voice in the back of my head begging me to return. For one thing and one thing only: the KFC Spicy Chicken Wing Sandwich.
I’ve had eight of these since I’ve been here.
Savory, spicy, crunchy, tangy, and awesome. This is my favorite chicken sandwich of all time. And it’s not available in America. I waited three years to eat this sandwich, and it was everything I imagined and more.
Farewell for now KFC, I’ll miss you.
In China, you don’t put away your own trash; it’s cleaned up for you.