Get ready for a surprise…
We love our food. That’s no surprise to be sure. There’s just something about a good meal that goes beyond mere sustenance. It can be a highly pleasurable, comforting, even communal experience, especially when enjoyed with family and/or friends.
Food, Glorious Food
The range of food worldwide is virtually limitless, every country and region therein have their own mouth-watering delicacies to be savored, each with their own unique history, flavor, ingredients, and way of making that just invites exploration. But all that being said, sometimes we crave traditional, old-fashioned, good ol’ normal food we grew up with and which certainly have never lost their attraction or tastiness.
Whether it be a big and tasty burger, some delicious pasta, a yummy hotdog, an artery-clogging full English Breakfast (or ‘Ulster Fry’ if you live in Ireland!), or a pizza with all sorts of wonderful toppings – and of course, as everyone knows, having pineapple on pizza is the height of civilized cultural sophistication! – sometimes we just want that comfort of familiarity at chow-time.
Big Mac and Fries, Sir?
One of the most popular comfort food destinations is undoubtedly McDonalds… Mickey Dee’s, the Golden Arches, Big Mac, and Ronald McDonald… fast food doesn’t get more iconic than that, and with 69 million customers being served daily in 40,000 restaurants across 100 different countries, that’s a lot of comfort food being consumed!
One of the most popular and iconic items on McDonald’s menu is undoubtedly their world-famous french fries. Those tasty, crunchy little strips of potato are an indelible part of the overall Mickey Dee experience. Most people just presume they’re 100% potato, sliced, fried, and served, but there’s a more interesting story on what goes into making a perfect french fry.
Anatomy of a French Fry
There are actually multiple ingredients that go into a single french fry, you might be surprised to learn. Potatoes (obviously!), but also vegetable oil, dextrose, sodium acid pyrophosphate, and salt
McDonald’s pride themselves on using real, highest-quality 100% natural potatoes and it’s fair to say the popularity and tastiness of them attests to that mark of quality. As for the vegetable oil, well that’s a recent change as prior to the 1990s, beef fat was what fries were cooked in, giving them that unique taste. However, as people became more health-conscious, concern over the amount of saturated fat in fries, especially when consumed regularly by kids, led the fast food chain to switch to vegetable oil as standard.
For Dextrose, which is a variant of sugar, it is used a great deal to extend the shelf life of foodstuffs, but for McDonald’s, it’s used primarily to give the fries that consistent color, the same purpose as sodium acid pyrophosphate. Salt, of course, is included for purely taste purposes, which is why you need no salt additive to them as they already taste wonderfully salty upon serving… dee-lish!
You Want Coke With That?
So, as you can see, a typical McD’s french fry is more than just a humble potato fried to within an inch of its life, it consists of a rigorous quality-controlled composite of ingredients that all add up to one tasty treat. In fact, writing this article has made me hungry… I’m off for a Royale with Cheese, fries, and ice-cold Coke. Who’s with me… oh, and you’re paying!