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KFC's Colonel Sanders didn't like Canadian food

In 1957, Colonel Harland Sanders got talking about the food in Canada -- and he didn't have much good to say about it.

Fried chicken icon said a lot of food in western Canada was 'plumb tasteless'

Col. Harland Sanders, seen here in a 1969 file photo, did not see much to admire in the restaurant food he had tasted in Canada. (The Associated Press)

Canadian food? It didn't impress Colonel Harland Sanders much.

While in Edmonton in 1957, the Kentucky Fried Chicken founder gave a radio interview to CBC News, in which he was asked about his opinions on Canadian food.

Kentucky Fried Chicken's Colonel Sanders on Canadian cuisine. 6:09

"Have you discovered anything distinctive or characteristic about Canadian food in general?" CBC interviewer Joe Taylor asked him.

For Sanders, the answer was a strong no.

"I found here a lot of good and a lot of bad — perhaps a little more bad than you do good," he said. "Some items, it seemed like that they don't give the consideration to it that they could in preparing the same item ... another restaurant would take it and make it good."

'Plumb tasteless'?!?

Sanders said he saw some differences in food across the country — though he thought a lot of the food in western Canada was "plumb tasteless."

But the man whose namesake chicken was said to be finger-lickin' good didn't stop there with his finger-wagging.

He went on to school us on precisely what he thought was going wrong in restaurant dining rooms.

"They let you season it on your plate and then that way, the seasoning doesn't permeate the whole meat or the articles you're seasoning and it's not as good, don't you see?" he said.

Sanders saw wisdom in going local

Asked if there were any particular dishes he enjoyed in Canada, Sanders again said no.

"No, there's no specialty that I've run into," he said. "None whatever."

Col. Harland Sanders died in 1980 at the age of 90. He is buried at Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville, Ky. (Bruce Schreiner/Associated Press)

But he did have a fresh insight for restaurateurs of that time.

"You'd think people would specialize in some of this fine fish, fine trout and things that you have in your lakes here," Sanders. "But you just don't find that. The general restaurant is not serving it."

Food here no worse than much of U.S.

Sanders didn't want to come across as being too hard on Canadian cooks.

Asked if Canadians can cook chicken as well as their American neighbours, he said it was definitely possible for them to do so.

"I'll put that this way: They could cook it just as good as they do in the south, but they do do it, like a whole lot of places in the States do do it," said Sanders.

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