The popular “finger lickin’ good” restaurant KFC is known in the States for its fried chicken and recently, even for its grilled chicken. I admit that I enjoy an occasional meal at KFC while residing in the States.
Now that I am living abroad, I really enjoy having lunch or dinner (or even coffee – if you can actually call it coffee in good conscience) at KFC for two reasons.
One – it is familiar, Western food that is a comfort on days when China overwhelms me. And it is one of the exceedingly few restaurants that debones the chicken before serving it (with the exception of drumsticks, wings, and the like that are supposed to have bones), a definite plus since bones in my food consistently overwhelm me.
Two, KFC is the most popular Western restaurant (and apparently also the cleanest restaurant possibly in China) and therefore the most accessible comfort food available. Also it is healthier than the second most accessible Western restaurant, McDonalds. When I eat at a Western restaurant, I know that I won’t be hovered around and that I can take as long as I want without being bothered or feeling uncomfortable. The atmosphere is certainly less daunting than any Chinese restaurant even though I still have to order my food in Chinese (or at least point to the picture menu that they pull out as soon as they see me… but I can order some food in Chinese now).
However, the presence of KFC leads to one of the most irking Chinese habits that I have encountered. Even though the front of the restaurant says KFC next to the Chinese translation of “Kentucky Fried Chicken”, the Chinese refer to it as “Kentucky”. Kentucky is a STATE, not a restaurant. It is KFC. Or “Kentucky Fried Chicken” is you really feel like you have to say Kentucky or use the full name. Not Kentucky. Not ever just Kentucky. Never, ever, ever! I do not go to the state of Kentucky every time I walk in the door of KFC. I do not eat at or in Kentucky. I eat in KFC. Just saying… Kentucky is a state. And KFC is a restaurant. Yes, calling it Kentucky is a new pet peeve of mine. Can you tell that I find it irritatingly annoying? Perhaps just a little… or even a lot?!?