Coke, KFC, and Other So-Called Secret Recipes

Did the popular radio show This American Life blow the lid off of Coca-Cola's secret formula? Well, kind of—the show has published a February 28, 1979, article from the Atlanta Journal and Constitution newspaper that purports to have the right stuff, as well as a recipe published in the 1992 history For God, Country & Coca-Cola.

Experimentation on behalf of the show revealed that neither quite nailed it, and as DailyFinance writes, a breakthrough might have had real consequences—the Coca-Cola formula is assessed as one of the 10 most valuable trade secrets out there.

Some other secret recipes that have been revealed (or not!) include:

Dr Pepper: The claim is that there are 23 flavors blended together to make this relatively palatable mass-marketed soft drink, which is often—falsely—described as prune-flavored. Halves of the formula are reputedly locked in two different Dallas banks, so if you want to make your own, get robbin'.

Kentucky Fried Chicken: The Web is chockablock with purportedly accurate KFC-style recipes; Cooks.com, for starters, abounds with them. A critical question: If it's possible to make better fried chicken than KFC (it surely is), and you can alternately buy actual KFC chicken for nearly nothing without the hassle of doing your own frying (you can), who seriously gives a crap about what the supposed 11 secret herbs and spices are?

Bush's Baked Beans: More of a marketing gimmick than a highly sought secret, per se; to the best of our knowledge, Jay Bush's greedy, treacherous golden retriever has yet to find a buyer for the formula. Keep hustling, Duke.

One secret recipe you don't hear that much about is that of Pepsi. Googling for "Pepsi Secret Recipe" and screening out "Coke" and "Coca-Cola" generates about 73,000 results; "Coke Secret Recipe" minus "Pepsi" generates 335,000.

Image source: Flickr member Kyle May under Creative Commons

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