I thought that this article about the security surrounding Colonel Sanders' original handwritten KFC recipe was interesting. Pretty amazing that no one's figured out the 11 ingredients, isn't it?
The story reminded me of the Seinfeld episode in which Elaine finds the Soup Nazi's secret recipes in a used bureau, which was one of my favorites. But it also reminds me of the time I asked one of my sister's friends for a carrot cake recipe and she refused to give it to me, saying that it was a secret family recipe. I was annoyed- I mean, really, people actually do that? I like to cook, so if I'm at a party and someone brings a dish I like, I'll occasionally ask for the recipe. And no one has ever refused before. It's not like I was planning to go into the carrot cake baking industry and reap profits, and I find a scenario in which she and I are going head to head in a carrot cake baking contest highly unlikely, so what's the big deal? So, to summarze: corporate secret recipes good, sitcom secret recipes good, pot luck party secret recipes BAD.