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And now for the Back Story on …
Two major fast-food chains, Chick Fil-A and Popeyes, are waging a Twitter war over their fried chicken sandwiches.
We went looking into the history books to see what everyone is all aflutter about.
While many cuisines feature fried chicken, the American version drew from the palm-oil frying traditions of West Africa carried across the Atlantic by enslaved women, and the fritters made by Scottish immigrants who staffed or owned plantations.
Cookbooks written by white Southerners circulated the recipes, and after the Civil War, freed black entrepreneurs, especially women, plied train stations to sell fried chicken to travelers.
The dish spread nationally during the Great Migration of black Americans from the Jim Crow South, and the Kentucky Fried Chicken chain eventually took that version around the world.
Who first sandwiched fried chicken in bread may never be known — one writer found an ad for a fried chicken sandwich in a 1936 Kansas newspaper.
That’s it for this briefing. In case you’re inspired, here’s The Times’s own guide to frying chicken.
To Mark Josephson and Eleanor Stanford for the break from the news. Andrea Kannapell, the briefings editor, wrote today’s Back Story. You can reach the team at email@example.com.
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