Learn English – What does “it takes a tough man to make a tender chicken” mean


I read it here.

The New Jersey guy said that the Unix solution was right because the design philosophy of Unix was simplicity and that the right thing was too complex. Besides, programmers could easily insert this extra test and loop. The MIT guy pointed out that the implementation was simple but the interface to the functionality was complex. The New Jersey guy said that the right tradeoff has been selected in Unix-namely, implementation simplicity was more important than interface simplicity.

The MIT guy then muttered that sometimes it takes a tough man to make a tender chicken, but the New Jersey guy didn't understand (I'm not sure I do either).

I don't understand it either. Is there an American cultural reference in there? Can anybody here explain?

Best Answer

It comes from an early slogan from Perdue, a major chicken producer in the US.

Here is a video from youtube. I don't think it is the original ad.

The message is that his tough standards for chicken production make some of the best (most tender) chicken. In the programming context it means that complex code may be required to implement a simple user interface.