Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 16th 2014 Contents B10
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, October 16, 2014
I can pinpoint the exact point I knew I
had a KFC problem---it was when I found
myself freely cussing the manager of the
Maraval branch at quarter to midnight,
one rainy night, because she would not
prepare me some more chicken.
They tried to make me go to rehab, but
instead I came to London, where the KFC
is of a less potent quality. The withdrawal
process on this side of the Atlantic has
proved painless and I m glad of the alter-
native therapies, like roast dinners and full
The day I owned up to my problem (I
won t say addiction, it never reached that
level because an intervention caused me to
cap my consumption at once a month
whereas I d been pushing for once a week)
I had been on a late assignment and was
cruising back to town along the East-West
Corridor with my mind on one thing alone---
I stopped at two KFCs along the way but
was dismayed by the unsanitary conditions
and lengthy queues and instead headed
West to Maraval roundabout.
Pulling up to the drive-thru window, I
asked for a two-piece snack box with leg
and thigh. I had to repeat the word "thigh"
in the local vernacular---"tie"---since every
attempt at pronouncing it in correct English
throughout my time in Trinidad resulted
in the puzzled response, "What it is you
The Maraval KFC employee told me there
was no chicken except wings. Not even a
meagre piece ah breast!
Deflated, crushed and somewhat baffled,
I asked, "Is this Kentucky Fried Chicken?"
She confirmed that it was, so I said,
"Good. I d like some chicken then, please."
She steupsed and gave a world-weary
sigh, then went off to consult the manager.
Some minutes later she returned to say that
I could have wings or nothing.
When I asked to speak to the manager
she laughed at me. That was when I
snapped. My KFC cravings had reached new
and rampageous levels, it was no time for
fun and games.
I accelerated away from the booth with
tyres screeching, aggressively swerved the
car into the nearest vacant parking spot
and leapt out, practically breaking the door
down to enter the restaurant.
I enquired as to why I had been laughed
at and why the manager had thus far failed
to acknowledge my existence. More laughter
issued forth and I could no longer restrain
myself: the cussing ensued.
It was to no avail. The manager ignored
me and continued about her business.
Thankfully she did not grab a pot of hot
oil and dash it at me as happened in a recent
incident in the vicinity of a KFC outlet, or
I could conceivably have been Kentucky
The report made me reflect on the
nation s obsession with KFC. My conclusion
is that---having personally patronised the
Barataria branch, Santa Cruz branch, Mor-
vant junction branch, Charlotte Street
branch, Frederick Street branch, Independ-
ence Square branch, Maraval and St James
branches of KFC---what s consistent about
all of them is that the clientele would keep
frequenting them regardless of having hot
oil thrown in their face. Such is the ubiquity
of the colonel s secret recipe within Trinida-
dian society, both physically and metaphys-
There is local pride in Royal Castle too,
of course. Founded in 1968 on Frederick
Street and expanding into a nationwide
franchise, Royal Castle s pepper sauce is
unbelievably good and it can proudly boast
at being slightly less likely to cause obesity
But, asked to choose between the two, I
would wager that KFC would win a national
referendum and there are statistics to back
I ve been told that outside of the US,
T&T is the franchise s highest grossing over-
seas market per capita. And 55 outlets on
two small islands testify to the obsession.
British KFC just doesn t taste the same,
as any Caribbean person will tell you. They
don t even have spicy for a start, just orig-
inal. It s bland and soulless and there s
shame attached to it. It s something indulged
in when drunk or badly hungover.
My local branch in London recently closed
down to make way for a coffee shop (as if
we need any more of those.) But I m guess-
ing its departure won t be mourned like if
you took away the one in Scarborough,
Tobago---passing by that place you would
swear it was the hub of the local community.
I ve heard it described as the national
dish of T&T and although that is a little
disrespectful to the sensational local cuisine,
I feel like the Trini diaspora misses KFC
more than roti or pelau, which they can
make themselves at home.
A friend recently left Trinidad for the last
time, moving to New York for good. At
Piarco he was last seen clutching a two-
piece and fries to take to his mother waiting
for him at JFK International.
He daren t reach the States without it.
There s just one rule his mother insists upon
when any family member visits: don t walk
with your hand swinging, walk with a box
KFC: A very Trini obsession
Models display costumes from the band De Core Creative Organiser's Resource Enterprise T&T during the
launch of its 2015 Carnival presentation of Iconology Symbols of East Africa, at CWU Hall, Henry Street,
Port-of-Spain, last Saturday night. PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
I've heard KFC described
as the national dish of
T&T and although that is a
little disrespectful to the
sensational local cuisine, I
feel like the Trini diaspora
misses KFC more than roti
or pelau, which they can
make themselves at
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