I have no relationship with KFC to speak of. I never eat there. I wasn’t wronged by them or anything. I didn’t find a pinky toe in my Famous Bowl or anything. KFC, for whatever reason, is just never on my radar.
A couple of years ago, I actually did remember it, and even convinced my wife we should get some for dinner. So I drove up the street to the closest outlet, and to my surprise, not only did KFC not operate out of that location anymore, but the building had been demolished and grass was growing on the now empty lot. So, not on my radar.
I could’ve made it a New Year’s resolution to try to rotate them into the regular monthly schedule, but that probably wouldn’t have worked. If using fried chicken as sandwich bread didn’t bring me back, I’m probably too far gone. Some day, KFC. Some day.
(I didn’t forget about you either, Hardee’s. Any time you want to bring back that peach cobbler, I’ll be there.)
Today, I’m going to bridge the gap a little with these KFC potato chips from Japan. You can’t dive back in too quickly, right? Don’t want to end up like
me my friend, last time I he smoked a cigar and ended up lying on the floor nauseous and dizzy for an hour. Gotta ease back in.
I’m surprised that this sort of fast food/snack food hybridization isn’t happening more in the United States. Why is Japan at the leading edge of this food frontier? I know Burger King had some weird snacks that I still see at the dollar store, but I’m talking like McDonald’s Big Mac potato chips or Wendy’s Chocolate Frosty Cheetos. Interesting stuff. There is a market. There’s always a market.
These chips are the result of a partnership between Calbee and KFC that came about when a Calbee executive slipped on a chicken bone someone had carelessly discarded outside his Tokyo apartment. He hit his head on a parking meter, and when he awoke, he found himself looking up at a doctor wearing a white coat and black stethoscope, who he mistook to be an angelic vision of Colonel Sanders (because of the morphine administered by the hospital). That’s according to the package anyway.
Just kidding. None of that is true. I can’t read anything on this package.
The nosegrope of these chips isn’t fried chicken. It’s a bit oniony and a little bready. They sort of smell like a variation on Funyuns.
The flavor experience is interesting. There is that oniony breadedness from the nosegrope initially and then a second wave of chicken-ness. There are notes of garlic, as well. The chips aren’t overly seasoned nor are they overly powerful. I have to say the chicken flavoring is pretty accurate. It does indeed taste like fried chicken. I don’t know if all eleven herbs and spices made it through customs and with enough punch to say it tastes like KFC chicken specifically, but these do taste like some kind of chicken. And that’s good.
These are easily the best tasting of the Japanese hybrids I’ve reviewed. Why we don’t have KFC chips in the U.S. is a mystery. Kentucky Fried Chicken AND potato chips! My god, man! Do you want me to just Sharpie dollar signs all over the bag?! Seriously, these would fly off the shelves.
You could even say that these would sell…(sunglasses)…bucketloads.
(Nutrition Facts – 458 kcal, 28.7 grams of fat, 490 milligrams of sodium, 45.5 grams of carbohydrates, and 4.5 grams of protein.)
Item: Calbee Kentucky Fried Chicken KFC Colonel Crispy Potato Chips
Purchased Price: $4.99 (+$4.50 shipping)
Size: 83 gram bag
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Accurate chickenosity. Seasoning restraint. Hardee’s peach cobbler.
Cons: Inexplicable unavailability in the U.S.