I am not a perfect vegetarian but I try my best not to eat meat where I can avoid it. For the most part, this is a system that works pretty good for me. I find if I eat meat about once a month or so — making an attempt to get it from somewhere that makes a bit of an effort towards being somewhat ethical and sustainable — I manage to exorcise any of the lingering cravings in my body that would otherwise drive me insane. Except one. I cannot stop thinking about KFC.
I wasn’t much of a KFC eater before I (mostly) stopped eating meat but, somehow, there is now a sizeable chunk of my brain dedicated to daydreaming of diving headfirst into a bucket of wet, wet fried chicken. It’s not even the chicken that tantalises me so much. All I want is the breading. You could ask me at any point in the day if I wanted to hoe into a bowl of scraps of that oily, salty batter and I wouldn’t be able to reply, because I would already be eating it.
The good news is that it looks like KFC is making steps towards addressing my very specific needs, trialling a Beyond Meat-based vegan fried ‘chicken’ at a store in Atlanta, Georgia on Tuesday. For the time being, the not-chicken will be offered up as either boneless wings or nuggets, which is probably easier than trying to reconstruct a drumstick entirely out of fake meat.
CNBC is reporting that, at least with this particular trial, the not-chicken is going to be cooked in the same fryers with the same oil as the actual chicken, which will put off at least a subset of vegans and vegetarians. According to CNBC, a KFC spokesperson told them that the chain is targeting “flexitarians” — people who are just generally trying to cut down on their meat consumption.
Fingers crossed this comes across the Pacific at some point.