The Unlawful Way To Eat Fried Chicken In The 'Poultry Capital Of The World'

In our modern age, there are still plenty of antiquated laws lurking in the books. From throwing plastic confetti in Mobile, Alabama, to hunting with a ferret rather than a dog in West Virginia, some laws seem like weird nitpicks rather than proper statutes (via Business Insider). And then there are the ridiculous food laws. 

For instance, depending on where you are in Georgia, you can find yourself fined for eating fried chicken a certain way. That place would be Gainesville, Georgia, aka the "poultry capital of the world."

This illustrious title is certainly earned. According to the city's official website, Gainesville has led the state with its largest agricultural crop, poultry, since the '50s. Bringing over a billion dollars of chicken commerce to the state of Georgia, Gainesville is decidedly proud of its big bird business. You can even enjoy some recreational fun at their Poultry Park, a public park watched over by a 25-foot rooster-capped obelisk. 

With their dedication to chicken culture, you can understand why they might be a bit touchy about how one eats their fried chicken. But what does this city consider a crime against fried chicken? 

Skip the utensils and use your hands

According to Stewart, Melvin & Frost Law, a Gainesville ordinance issued in 1961 distinguished fried chicken as a "delicacy" and, thus, could only be eaten with your hands. Essentially that means no fork, no knife, and no mercy. While the royals would definitely struggle with this utensil-free fried chicken law, most of us would find this a relatively easy rule to abide by. This wasn't the case for one 91-year-old outlaw. 

In 2018, a Louisiana woman celebrating her birthday at a Gainesville restaurant was arrested for using her fork and knife on her fried chicken dish. If this sounds a little ridiculous, that's because it was meant to be. As 10 News San Diego reports, this "bust" was intended as a well-intentioned prank. Shortly after the police chief arrested the giggling grandmother, the mayor of Gainesville came in to pardon her. 

In fact, Stewart, Melvin & Frost Law writes that the whole law was meant as a publicity stunt, drawing attention to Gainesville's place in the poultry hall of fame. A quick Google search of goofy U.S. laws does continue to draw the reader to the fact that Gainesville, Georgia, is the poultry capital of the world. 

Considering we're still clucking about this fussy fried chicken ordinance, one can only tip their hat at the marketing minds behind it. Well played, Gainesville.