You may think some of the world’s best kept secrets are limited to missile launch codes or government intelligence but you’d be wrong. Some of the most famous food and beverage products are actually highly guarded secret recipes, only known to a chosen few. Without these recipes, these companies would not be able to enjoy the kind of success they do today.
KFC’s Fried Chicken
KFC may not have the best reputation among the health conscious but you can find its fried chicken in nearly all corners of the world. Using a pressure cooker, famously-mustachioed Colonel Sanders created his original recipe with 11 mystery spices and herbs over the course of a decade. Today, that recipe is locked away in a safe under constant surveillance at KFC’s headquarters. Only two top executives know the recipe and a third person knows the safe’s combination. These three employees are not allowed to travel together, for fear that the recipe could be lost forever. To add, the recipe is produced by different suppliers around the U.S. If you think you can re-create the world-famous fried goodness, there are tons of imitation recipes on the Internet.
We all know Coca-Cola originally contained cocaine but we’ll never know how the iconic drink is currently made. Coke has kept its formula top-secret since John Pemberton created it in 1886. In May, a Georgia couple claimed to have discovered the recipe in an antique box of old letters and tried to sell it for $15 million. The company insists the recipe is wrong. The formula was actually written down for the first and only time in 1919 and was locked away in a vault in an unknown Atlanta SunTrust bank. Since 2011, it’s been hidden at the World of Coke museum in Atlanta, locked away from all visitors.
Famous Amos Cookies
Believe it or not, the recipe for those crunchy chocolate chip cookies has been a secret since 1970. Wally Amos was a talent agent who used his aunt’s recipe to bake chocolate chip cookies for potential clients in the entertainment business. In fact, Diana Ross and the Supremes were fans. As word of his cookies traveled around, he decided to start the Famous Amos Cookies Company in 1975. If you research the recipe, you’ll find plenty of “Almost” Famous copycat recipes. But the company still uses the original, which remains a secret.
Thomas’ English Muffins
Think you can bake those “nooks and crannies” in a Thomas English muffin? Think again. Only seven people have seen the entire recipe for this breakfast staple and one of them tried to work for Hostess. In 2010, the company sued former employee Chris Botticella for downloading company information after accepting a job at rival company Hostess. Being one of the select seven, Botticella had access to the recipe, especially how the muffins get the air pockets they’re so famous for. Justice for breakfast disloyalty prevailed when the court blocked Botticella from moving to Hostess, in order to protect the “nooks and crannies” trade secret.
So before you bite into that chicken leg or butter up an English muffin, remember you’re about to eat a fiercely guarded secret worth millions.
Kyla Ross loves to bake and wishes she thought up the Famous Amos cookie recipe. She is a career training and education blogger for Ashworth College, an accredited online institution that offers affordable online cooking classes for aspiring culinary professionals. To learn more about Ashworth’s gourmet cooking and catering program, visit http://www.ashworthcollege.edu.