You know, a while back McDonald’s announced that they would start cooking their fries in some new kind of oil, supposed to be less fatty or something. I’m in LA, and the week that this started, I went around to all the McD’s in my community and asked if they were using it. Mostly got blank stares, but one manager told me, “Next month…because they haven’t shipped to the the west coast yet.”
I have some errands to run tomorrow that will take me past a McD’s at an opportune time to stop. I will definitely get myself a Big ‘n’ Tasty, but I’ll also get fries if they have the new oil. (And if the employees know if they do or not and can answer accurately. Grrr…I should start a Pit thread on customer service in LA.) So if I do get them, what should I expect?
Allegedly the McD’s near me is using the new oil. It doesn’t have a good flavor, it has a kinda skunky after-taste (a minor one, but…) and it apparently doesn’t get as hot, 'cause the fries were greasy enough that it left my mouth feeling slimey.
Who’s idiot idea was this anyway? The same jerk who got rid of their fried apple pies and replaced 'em with baked hockey pucks.
They tasted rather limp…not unlike my high school cafeteria’s version of french fries, which is to say barely edible at 75 cents a package, and only more so at the usual McD’s price. Not quality at all…This is a bullet in the foot of ol’ Ronald as far as I’m concerned…
I stopped eating BK also when they changed the fries. Everyone I know seems oblivious to the change but I can tell. They used to be just about on par with the (old style) McD’s fries. Now I guess I will be forced to forego fries altogether (except maybe Arby’s Curly fries).
The latest change in the McDonalds french fry frying oil is due to the fact that trans fat is the food villain du jour.
Ten years ago, saturated fat and dietary cholesterol were “the enemy.” Eating saturated fat and/or cholesterol was supposed to be as bad for you as drinking battery acid or washing your hands with plutonium. Or at least, that was the public’s perception of saturated fat, and that was all that mattered. At the time, McDonalds french fries were fried in lard, which is practically pure saturated fat with a big dollop of cholesterol. So, McDolands changed their frying oil formula from using lard to using vegetable shortening (partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil).
Since that time, new studies have come to light showing that trans fat (which is prevalent in hydrogenated oils) wasn’t as good for you as we used to think. Of course, public hype blew these findings completely out of proportion to the point where trans fat is now considered worse for you than saturated fat (despite the lack of evidence that this is the case). So, now, trans fat is “the enemy” – and so, McDonalds is once again changing their frying oil formula to one that is 48% lower in trans fat.
Personally, I’m waiting for some study to come along alleging that vegetables are bad for you.
Burger King have actually changed their fries more than once. The initial changeover to the “battered” (it’s actually potato starch) kind was a huge failure, and not long ago they introduced an improved version of the “battered” fry. It was a marked improvement, but still not as good as their old styles. Their fries suffered much more than McDonald’s fries did during the switch from lard to vegetable oil, although I really liked the vegetable oil soggies BK used to have. Tasted fantastic when cold, which no battered french fry will ever be able to manage.
Like RickJay, I utterly and totally despise the trend towards “battered” fries and view it as an evil plague in our time. Sonic had been using them for ages, Burger King have switched over, and Dairy Queen too. In every instance the fry they replaced was unquestionably superior in taste, texture, mouthfeel, whatever metric you care to use. Battered spicy fries are good as a novelty, as an alternative to the straight up golden fry lightly salted, but should never be considered adequate as the main event in french fries.
The best fries in North America are from Frite Alors in Montreal, specifically their outlet at Rachel and St. Denis. What do they fry them in? Don’t ask… the answer is horse fat.