Kentucky Fried Chicken and public transport are not natural bedfellows. However joyous a bargain bucket may be to the consumer, it has an undeniably penetrative and invasive affect on the nose. This is fine for fans of The Colonel's work, but for everyone else, the pervasive oiliness of deep fried poultry in a confined space can be extremely unpleasant. It permeates everything, usually to the displeasure of a train/bus/other means of getting around.
The problem of public consideration has long been vexing chicken lovers the world over. Anyone who finds themselves regularly travelling with bags loaded with fried goodies will be aware of the nose wrinkling and general expressions of scorn levied at them by disgruntled passengers. With warnings about considering fellow travellers plastered all over public transport, the delicious taste of chicken can often be tempered by guilt.
Fortunately, science has stepped in to save the day.
In Japan, a short term pop-up KFC location has unveiled "Fried Chicken - Home Type" to the masses, promising chickeny goodness, without the offensive smell. Clearly, the consequences for commuters everywhere could be seismic.
A temporary location in the Shinjuku subway station is offering customers two pieces of the new odourless chicken for about $4.50. Sold at room temperature and apparently almost undetectable, the masterminds at KFC may have at last found the solution to public fast food consumption.
For some, however, half the joy of a KFC is the warm, heavily spiced, greasy smell. The new chicken also has this base covered. By popping it in the microwave for a few minutes, customers can "reactivate" the unique aroma so beloved by connoisseurs across the world. This chicken seems to be the gift that keeps on giving.
According to the eggheads at KFC, the secret behind the new menu item is the "cooking method". They have, unsurprisingly, been unwilling to reveal too many specifics about their techniques. With countless other chicken purveyors doubtless desperate to crack the code of transport friendly feasting, it seems likely that the means for production are likely to remain as closely guarded a secret as KFC's unique blend of herbs and spices. Time will tell if anyone else is able to master the art.
It should come as little surprise that this latest fast food innovation has come out of Japan. The nation's obsession with KFC has long been documented - in fact, the fried chicken is now considered an integral Christmas tradition. The advent of odourless chicken means that, for the first time, Japanese families can look forward to transporting buckets of their favourite seasonal fare without fear of causing too much olfactory offense.
Though the chicken is currently only available at a select location in Tokyo, there will be customers and commuters alike hoping that the innovation spreads. It would certainly make for less smelly journeys if the knowledge is shared across The Colonel's empire. For now, unfortunately, conscientious chicken lovers will have to travel to Tokyo to enjoy guilt free fried chicken. Such a lengthy trip may not yet be worth it for the odourless experience.