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Subject: McDonald's French Fries...
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

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From: Colin McGregor <colinmc[at]idirect.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2001 15:43:24 GMT
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I have posted in past threads that I am not impressed with McDonald's
French Fries (in fact I think they are wretched, and I personally much
prefer the likes of New York Fries). Still, this week's Top Secret
Recipe clone (which will on be up until July 23) explains how to do a
near exact clone of McDonald's Fries at:

   http://www.topsecretrecipes.com/recipes/mcdfries.htm

What surprised me somewhat in all this was how they seem to be using a
variation on the double fry method of cooking to get a very poor fry,
while I am used to using this method to get a very good french fry.
I'm not sure what the difference is....

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From: Archon <archon[at]gvdnet.dk>
Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2001 18:11:54 +0200
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> I'm not sure what the difference is....

Could it be the raw material?

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From: Colin McGregor <colinmc[at]idirect.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2001 18:20:23 GMT
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Archon wrote:
>> I'm not sure what the difference is....
>
>Could it be the raw material?

Both New York Fries and McDonald's I gather use Russet potatoes. New
York Fries uses peanut oil, the McDonald's clone recipe at least uses
shortening to fry in. How much difference does what is used fry the
food in make?

I suspect (and I may well be DEAD wrong here), that the big issue is
technique, period.

============================

From: Richard Kaszeta <kaszeta[at]me.umn.edu>
Date: 17 Jul 2001 13:55:25 -0500
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Colin McGregor <colinmc@idirect.com> writes:
> Both New York Fries and McDonald's I gather use Russet potatoes. New
> York Fries uses peanut oil, the McDonald's clone recipe at least uses
> shortening to fry in. How much difference does what is used fry the
> food in make?

A huge difference.  Different oils permeate the food differently,
transfer energy differently to the food, scorch differently, absorbed
cooking odors differently...

I can deep fry my french fries in peanut oil, cannola oil, sunflower
oil, or macadamia oil[1] at the same temperature and technique, and
get four very different fries as a result (different texture, color,
and taste). 
 
> I suspect (and I may well be DEAD wrong here), that the big issue is
> technique, period.

I'd say that you are both right and wrong.  The oil matters, a lot.
But technique is still very, very important.

Truly cooking via deep-frying (and not just reheating and browning
some breading, which is what a good deal of fast food deep-frying is)
is an art form.  With the right oil, the right temperature (of both
oil and food), the right water content of the food, and the right
cooking time you can get wonderfully tender, tasteful food that's not
even slightly greasy.  Or you can ignore one or more of these and get
greasy crap. 


[1] They are  *damn good* this way, but expensive, and very
unhealthy. And it's somewhat challenging, macadamia oil scorchs easily.

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From: Archon <archon[at]gvdnet.dk>
Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2001 21:54:49 +0200
--------
> Both New York Fries and McDonald's I gather use Russet potatoes. New
> York Fries uses peanut oil, the McDonald's clone recipe at least uses
> shortening to fry in. How much difference does what is used fry the
> food in make?

Frying a steak in margerine is way different that frying in sunflower
oil, and different oils give different results I've heard. A thing that
makes McD fries badder could also be how often they switch old oil to
new.

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From: MH <bastzine[at]worldnet.att.net>
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2001 04:01:35 GMT
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I just recently made some of the best fries I've ever made and I used to
double-fried method. Excellent, excellent way of cooking them.

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From: Ruddell <ruddell[at]unibase.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2001 16:19:13 GMT
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Colin McGregor wrote:
> I have posted in past threads that I am not impressed with McDonald's
> French Fries (in fact I think they are wretched, and I personally much
> prefer the likes of New York Fries).

Without trying to start a point/counterpoint, I have to admit that I
simply cannot stand NYF.  I don't know what it is about them, but yuck!

Dennis

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From: Michael Edelman <mje[at]spamcop.net>
Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2001 13:23:01 -0400
--------
Colin McGregor wrote:
> I have posted in past threads that I am not impressed with McDonald's
> French Fries (in fact I think they are wretched, and I personally much
> prefer the likes of New York Fries). Still, this week's Top Secret
> Recipe clone (which will on be up until July 23) explains how to do a
> near exact clone of McDonald's Fries at:
> 
>    http://www.topsecretrecipes.com/recipes/mcdfries.htm

The double cooking has always been the secret of good fries.

One thing missing: Fry them in beef fat. Mickey D's doesn't do that
anymore, but now they add beef flavor extract at the processing plant.

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From: don[at]wizard.com
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2001 02:54:13 GMT
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never heard of New York Fries...but does anyone else think IN-N-OUT
french fries are horrible?  I like McDonalds if they're hot....

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From: Vijay Kumar <vjkumar2REMOVE[at]home.com>
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2001 04:10:37 GMT
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Don wrote
> never heard of New York Fries...but does anyone else think IN-N-OUT
> french fries are horrible?  I like McDonalds if they're hot....

I too think that In-N-Out fries are horrible.  Fresh, and soggy.  Fresh
doesnt alwasy taste good.  I'll take Mcd over In-N-Out any day--for fries
that is.

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From: don[at]wizard.com
Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2001 01:12:05 GMT
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Vijay Kumar wrote:
>I too think that In-N-Out fries are horrible.  Fresh, and soggy. 

at least yours were soggy....might be good? Mine were hard as a
rock....and no taste...I heard sugar is the key to the big chains
french fries....

============================

From: Colin McGregor <colinmc[at]idirect.com>
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2001 15:22:01 GMT
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New York Fries is a (largely) Canadian thing, just as I gather
IN-N-OUT is a (largely) Southern California thing. (yes, I know
IN-N-OUT does extend somewhat outside southern California, just as New
York Fries does go outside Canada, but...).

For me a New York Fries outlet is a 10 minute walk away, while an
IN-N-OUT would be 6+ hours away (mostly by plane). So, I can not
comment on how good/bad IN-N-OUT fries are. But even hot I think
McDonald's fries are pretty bad, and the best that can be done with
them is bury them in mayo or BBQ sauce then hope their actually flavor
doesn't come through.

As noted I do love New York Fries. In other chains I would give
passing (but not great) marks to Arby's and Harvey's as both chains
have added a spice coating to their fries that keeps them from total
disaster...

============================

From: sf
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2001 06:38:54 GMT
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Colin McGregor wrote:
> In other chains I would give
>passing (but not great) marks to Arby's and Harvey's as both chains
>have added a spice coating to their fries that keeps them from total
>disaster...

Haven't eaten at Arby's for years and have never heard of Harvey's,
but their fries sound like BK.  YUCK.

============================

From: Colin McGregor <colinmc[at]idirect.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2001 11:06:32 GMT
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sf wrote:
>Haven't eaten at Arby's for years and have never heard of Harvey's,
>but their fries sound like BK.  YUCK.

Harvey's (like New York Fries) is basically Canada only chain (an arm
of Cara Operations a company that also owns (among other things) the
Swiss Chalet chain of BBQ Chicken restaurants (off hand I'm not sure
how Swiss Chalet's fries stand up, as when I go there I order the
baked potato...)). 

I do agree that Burger King fries are pretty bad. I'm not sure if it
is the coating, or the cooking method or something else that causes
them to fall down in the taste area. Last evening I was at a Burger
King, and I ordered the onion rings, which while not great rings are a
big step above the fries.

Now, I don't want to offer a lot of praise to Arby's or Harvey's
chains, but their fries show that coating fries with the right coating
mix can result in a passable (but not great) french fry.

In other words with Arby's and Harvey's as examples to go by, there is
NO excuse for the sort of fries Burger King is offering the public. 

============================

From: Richard Kaszeta <kaszeta[at]me.umn.edu>
Date: 24 Jul 2001 06:54:24 -0500
--------
Colin McGregor writes:
>  Last evening I was at a Burger
> King, and I ordered the onion rings, which while not great rings are a
> big step above the fries.
 
I'm thoroughly shocked that someone actually finds those things
edible.  At the local BK I went to in Minnesota, the rings resemble
minced surgical gloves that have been formed into rings and dipped in
a horrible breading, with an end product that resembles squid rings,
only with less flavor and a more rubbery texture.

Once they came up with the new fries, I stopped going, since I will
not dine solely on Whoppers and Chicken Sandwiches (which I am
convinced that BK only hires people that are pathologically unable to
make a chicken sandwhich without mayo).

Now what do you have to get that awful taste out of my mouth?

============================

From: Colin McGregor <colinmc[at]idirect.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2001 15:59:49 GMT
--------
Richard Kaszeta wrote:
>I'm thoroughly shocked that someone actually finds those things
>edible.  At the local BK I went to in Minnesota, the rings resemble
>minced surgical gloves that have been formed into rings and dipped in
>a horrible breading, with an end product that resembles squid rings,
>only with less flavor and a more rubbery texture.

Yup, you have about captured the taste of BK onion rings, and as I
noted they are a big improvement over the taste of BK fries...

[snip]

>Now what do you have to get that awful taste out of my mouth?

Eat a large servering of New York Fries? :-) .

============================

From: sf
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2001 06:34:47 GMT
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>does anyone else think IN-N-OUT
>french fries are horrible?  

It's a split decision at my house. 

My husband loves In-N-Out so much that he jokes about visiting every
one in the state at least once.  Obviously, he thinks the fries are
great.... what he really likes the fact that they "blot" off extra oil
from the fries before serving.  

I'm not as impressed by their fries.... I don't order them anymore.  I
think I'll order them fried "golden" next time we go to see if I like
them any better.

============================

From: sd <sd55117[at]yahoo.com>
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2001 04:41:14 -0500
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Michael Edelman wrote:
> The double cooking has always been the secret of good fries.

So why were Burger King's "new" fries (now "old" fries) so terrible?

============================

From: Stan Horwitz <stan[at]typhoon.ocis.temple.edu>
Date: 18 Jul 2001 18:39:33 GMT
--------
sd wrote:
> So why were Burger King's "new" fries (now "old" fries) so terrible?

Because BK's fries have the texture of fried paper and little
potato flavor.

============================

From: sf
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2001 06:36:34 GMT
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sd wrote:
> So why were Burger King's "new" fries (now "old" fries) so terrible?

WERE???? They ARE horrible!  It's that awful coating.  Absolutely
disgusting.

============================

From: sd <sd55117[at]yahoo.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2001 05:59:32 -0500
--------
sd wrote:
> So why were Burger King's "new" fries (now "old" fries) so terrible?

That "awful coating" is leaving the building. They're reformulating 
their fries because hardly anyone liked them. 
http://news.1chinastar.com/ll/english/1040069.shtml if you're 
interested. I know it's not a trade mag, but the by-line is real.

============================

From: Stan Horwitz <stan[at]typhoon.ocis.temple.edu>
Date: 26 Jul 2001 19:19:20 GMT
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sd wrote:
> That "awful coating" is leaving the building. They're reformulating 
> their fries because hardly anyone liked them. 
> http://news.1chinastar.com/ll/english/1040069.shtml if you're 
> interested. I know it's not a trade mag, but the by-line is real.

The article says the BK will introduce a new type of french fry
early this year. Well, this year is half over. I wonder if BK is
testing its new french fries somewhere.

============================

From: Richard Kaszeta <rich[at]kaszeta.org>
Date: 26 Jul 2001 14:58:08 -0500
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Stan Horwitz <stan@typhoon.ocis.temple.edu> writes:
> The article says the BK will introduce a new type of french fry
> early this year. Well, this year is half over. I wonder if BK is
> testing its new french fries somewhere.

Back in April, hotel-online.com had an article claiming that "new" new
fries were being rolled out in selected Florida markets.

Alas, the article isn't available on hotel-online.com anymore.

I found another mention of it at:

http://www.sun-herald.com/letsgo/newsarchive/070601/lg07.htm

Apparently the fries are now slightly thicker, and have less of a
starch coating (and BK claims it's beef free...)

I dunno, I don't think my stomach could handle BK anymore anyways...

============================

From: Cyndi <rnchackett[at]home.com>
Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2001 22:21:50 GMT
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I sure hope their "new" fries are better than their last, new fries.  Not
that it really matters because I'd rather have a Mickey D's Happy meal,
anyway!

============================

From: Jean B. <jbxyz[at]rcn.com>
Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2001 11:59:40 -0400
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Stan Horwitz wrote:
> The article says the BK will introduce a new type of french fry
> early this year. Well, this year is half over. I wonder if BK is
> testing its new french fries somewhere.

(Latching onto this thread late, alas.  I'll have to go look in
google....)  Here's a unique thought:  why can't they make french
fries (gasp!) the traditional way--with real unadulterated pieces of
potato (not chopped up and glued back together again with god knows
what) and oil (I am not saying lard for the sake of people who do not
wish to consume it)?  The thought of yet another new kind of french
fry is scary, but then we have been to BK only ca two times since they
changed, and that was only because my daughter wanted their promos.

============================

From: Steve Fenwick <SCF <at> w0x0f <dot> com>
Date: 29 Jul 2001 21:52:34 GMT
--------
Jean B. wrote:
> (Latching onto this thread late, alas.  I'll have to go look in
> google....)  Here's a unique thought:  why can't they make french
> fries (gasp!) the traditional way--with real unadulterated pieces of
> potato (not chopped up and glued back together again with god knows
> what) and oil (I am not saying lard for the sake of people who do not
> wish to consume it)?  

There's a chain in California called "In'N'Out" that makes them that 
way. There seems to be a correlation between folks who prefer McDonald's 
fries and don't like In'N'Out fries, because In'N'Out fries tend to come 
out less crispy than McD's. To get the McD's effect (sort of) at 
In'N'Out, order them well-done.

============================

From: fenster <7777[at]softhome.net>
Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2001 20:51:33 -0400
--------
Try some high quality organic potatoes for some real potato flavor. Not all
organic potatoes have superior flavor.

But if you find some that do you will be quite surprised. I was.  They were
from a friend's organic garden. And I was only making home fries with them.
Used regular ketchup.


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