KFC's Hot and Spicy Is Neither Hot or Spicy

As an Asian, KFC's hot and spicy's spicyness is virtually tasteless. Why is Westerners definition of spicy so low?

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  • Poll!

    As a white person, traditionally black pepper is seen as SpIcY

    • I once got on a Lufthansa flight from Germany and the girl next to me complained to the attendant that her inflight meal was too spicy. Took me a while to realise that the bland chicken had some pepper on it.

    • +31 votes

      As a white person, I love my food truly hot and spicy - i.e. verified by Thai and Indonesian people as being hot. I think there's lot of white people who enjoy hot food these days. But yes, many white people who haven't grown up with spices are adverse to any spice. It is disappointing when ordering something like KFC when you want it to be hot and it's not hot at all.

      • Most western foods dont need chilli to be tasty, so it just isnt there

        • Hmmm… not buying your theory. Lots of cultures with tasty non-chilli food dishes also have some with chilli in them. Italian, Thai, Malay, Indian.

        • Spicy is not the same as tasty, and a lack of spice is not the same as tasteless. It's all about what we are used to.

          I like a bit of spicy food, but some is just too spicy for me. If I'm having wings, standard buffalo chicken is about the most I can handle, but I know there are many levels hotter than that. I've tried hotter which haven't tasted great, and I've tried weaker that had more flavour.

          My brother has spent years putting different chili sauces into his food, and I've joked that the hot sauce he uses has killed his tastebuds - because he can no longer taste the food without it.

          My mom on the other hand seems to find it too hot if a chili has even been in the same room (not even joking).

        • … most western nations didn't have access to spices… ever heard of something called the Spice Road…

          Also read an interesting tidbit recently.

          What spices there was…. ie pepper use to be for the rich… but as it became popular and more available… the rich stopped having spices, and bland food became the norm.

          There's also the access to more food meaning there's less focus on taste, places where food is abundant tend to be pretty bland

      • +10 votes

        Britons over centuries developed the love for spicy food via Indian and Asian food range. Same is not true for other parts where Britons migrated and for them black pepper is deemed too spicy.

        • True, I moved over in 2001 and couldn't understand why Australian food was so bland. It wasn't just spice though but also applied to cheese and so on.

          I quickly formed the opinion that the food Australia exports is often better than what's left for local consumption. E.g. we used to get a really nice "Australian Cheddar" in Sainsburys but nothing over here in the normal supermarkets compared.

          In fairness it's certainly improved a lot in recent years so perhaps programs like Masterchef etc have really helped?

        • Not sure that's really the case. Yes Indian and Chinese have become part of the regular takeaway scene in Briton to the point where some curries were actually invented in England. But you'd also find that what people eat there is nothing like what you get in India.

          However most Brits I knew going out for a curry with friends order the hottest thing on them menu as a way to prove they're men. They then spend the next hour force feeding themselves something that they are clearly not enjoying.

          As a side note, check out this sketch from Goodness Gracious Me https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=401780193909640 (if the link doesn't work, search "going for an english"

    • On your bike, mike.

      Silly statement.

    • Definately a TROLL POST by someone pretending to an Asian person. Been happening a lot on Australian forums. They call this "race baiting".

    • While visiting Melbourne for work, I chose chicken wings with a very hot (death?) sauce, and the waiter came twice to confirm and warn me that it was extremely hot!
      But I love my chillies, and Extra hot means "tangy" in my lingo.

      But, please note that the spicy has to cater to a majority of people, not just a few.

      I would not, for example, say in some parts of China or India to make it extra hot.

    • I ordered hot and spicy at kfc in thailand one time. It was about 4/5ths hot red chillies. It was the exact opposite problem to OP

  • OP - How many times have you tried it?

    The chicken is seasoned on-site so it has been my experience that even 'original' chicken may vary from store to store, or even at the same store.

    Everyone's tolerance to hot/spicy is going to change, and if you eat hot/chili often, then even the mild chili likely won't affect you.

    Plus it's been proven that your mood can impact your taste buds. As example, when stressed, your body is unlikely to taste what would normally be flavourful for you, such that some seek for more flavourful items when stressed. It happens unconsciously.

    Further, chili/spicy is a lot more used with asian cuisine over non-asian. It would make sense that anyone that is not used to spicy may find the chicken so, also noting that the level will likely vary as mentioned.

    • Chicken is breaded on site.
      The brining/ marinade for h&s is done at processing plant outside.

      • If I recall correctly, the first (official) step of breading is dunking the chicken into water so the breading sticks to the chicken better. As a result of course, a certain amount of the marinade is lost. So really it can depend on how (or even if) this first step is carried out by whatever random cook you have working.

    • Unless things have changed, the chicken is only breaded in store before cooking, like someone above said.

      All marinading and brining was done by the supplier, it's unlikely you'd get a huge variance in the way people dunk it before breading the chicken.

      The breading was just a bag of flour and then a sachet/bag of each seasoning mix, so minimal chance for variance here. The main difference is likely in how well they look after the breading mix by regularly sifting it and how old or dirty the oil is.

      Oh and as a side note, back in those days I used to think a Zinger, New Orleans (the smell of this stuff was sensational though), Hot and Spicey, Wicked wings, etc were all too hot. After getting a bit of a taste for chili after my travels to SE Asia, I had a Zinger recently and to me it just tastes plain now without any heat at all. I think chili and tolerance to heat is really one of those things you just have to gradually condition yourself for but I'd agree western cuisine is in general quite low levels of chili…

    • Yeh this, quality and experience varies from store to store

      I had the Hot & Spicy from Oakleigh KFC last week, was actually really good, really crispy and a good amount of flavour and spice

  • When they start using KFC's Hot and Spicy to see if people have a loss of taste instead
    of other Covid-19 tests, let us know…

  • Oh yeah? Try giving it to a 1 year old.

    • Lol, try giving just about anything to my 1 year old and it will end up on the floor.

    • We don't care about your kid. It's not spicy!


    • So, my one year old tasted it by mistake when she was eating something else on my plate. And boy, what a reaction! I guess it is spicy! Just not spicy to me.

  • Agreed - Doesn't taste spicy to me at all. I get it for the crispiness!

  • +10 votes


  • Hispanics hot is also hot.

  • The chicken is served hot.
    The chicken has spices.
    It's hot and spicy.

  • The problem with KFC's hot and spicy is that it is highly inconsistent, and only about 1 in 10 times is really spicy. Wicked wings I presume use the same thing because they're also very hit and miss, moreso the latter.

  • I dont find it hot or spicy very often these days.
    In the old days it was but not now.

  • It hasn’t been hot or spicy for decades! The answer is mountains of Tobasco. Makes the flavour next level and you actually get it spicy like it should be. Seriously try it!

    • But tobasco isn't spicy. How is adding a vinegar tasting sauce going to make it spicy?

      • and adding enough tobasco to get it to register as being spicy would make it soggy >_<

      • I use the Habanero tabasco, I love the vinegar taste plus the spice/heat. Would love to find somewhere that sells the scorpion one though.

      • I picked up some Franks xtra hot whilst it was on sale at Aldi. It has some decent but not excessive heat to it.

      • Yawn…

    • No way! Sriracha all the way :) Doesn't make the chicken soggy.

      • true, it'd retain the crispiness more as it's more viscous.
        but you'd still run in to the same issue i.e. sriracha, unless in large amounts, really isn't that spicy.

        • Its a heck of a lot more spicy the KFC Hot n Spicy. I'm not looking to burn a hole in my palette. Sriracha spice level is good enough for me. I am known for using a fair bit though - who doesn't love a lot of sauce.

          • @djsweet: don't get me wrong, i agree with you that it's more spicy than HnS.
            and i too use a lot of sriracha in place of ketchup/tomato sauce

            but at some point, it'd be more a sriracha dish rather than KFC. or a plateful of sauce with a side of KFC :-)

            • @shakoo:

              but at some point, it'd be more a sriracha dish rather than KFC. or a plateful of sauce with a side of KFC :-)

              Nothing wrong with that!

          • @djsweet: i find srirachi more salty than spicy