The Real Reason Why McDonald’s Fries Taste So Delicious


That red and yellow sleeve. That certain flavor in the oil that you can’t
quite put your finger on. That one-two combo punch of sugar and salt. What exactly is it that makes McDonald’s fries
so perfectly craveable, so addictively munchable, time after time, visit after visit? We found out. “The french fries are pretty good. “French fried potatoes?” “Yup, french fries.” If you’ve heard the rumor that McDonald’s
fries contain beef, well, those rumors are sort of, almost true. It began back in the 1950’s. The company that supplied fryer oil to the
McDonald’s corporation couldn’t keep up with demand for hydrogenated oil, so they invented
an alternative: beef tallow mixed with vegetable oil. The flavor proved insanely popular. In the 1980’s, though, health concerns prompted
McDonald’s to switch to remove the beef tallow. These days, the fries are made with “high
oleic canola oil,” which has zero trans fats and the lowest level of saturated fats in
the vegetable oil family. But since McDonald’s wants their fries to
taste the same, they supplement this oil with artificial beef flavoring – which unfortunately
makes the fries non-vegan. For everyone else, though, mmm, tasty! “Looks like meat’s back on the menu, boys!” Sugar and salt are two of the most addictive
foods in the world. Sugar has even been likened to a drug. Dietician Cassie Bjork told Healthline, “Research shows that sugar can be even more
addicting than cocaine. Sugar activates the opiate receptors in our
brain and affects the reward center, which leads to compulsive behavior, despite the
negative consequences like weight gain, headaches, hormone imbalances, and more.” That helps explain why the fries are so addicting. McDonald’s coats their fries in dextrose,
a form of sugar, to make them more consistent in their golden brown appearance, and then
pounds them with salt when they are pulled from the fryer. When salt and sugar are combined in this sort
of balanced equilibrium, the brain floods with dopamine, the neurotransmitter that produces
feelings of pleasure, and our willpower can’t hope to compete. They say you eat with your eyes first, which
is part of the reason McDonald’s uses that dextrose spray to make them all look golden
brown. That’s not the only trick up their sleeve,
though. After the potatoes are precisely cut, blanched,
and then sprayed with dextrose, the fries are then coated in sodium acid pyrophosphate,
which keeps the fries from turning gray after freezing and help ensure a consistent pale
yellow color, batch after batch. The result is a perfect looking french fry
every time. Eat it up, eyeballs! Speaking of that precise cut, another reason
McDonald’s fries are so good is their shape. Measuring no more than a quarter-inch across,
they represent the perfect balance between golden, crispy outside, and fluffy, baked
potato inside; any thinner, and french fries turn into nests of too-crunchy mouth-destroying
coating, totally devoid of any starchy potato goodness. Any thicker, and the crispy element is lost,
resulting in a french fry that has more in common with a baked potato, requiring you
to bury them with condiments in order to get any flavor. “Do you have a life preserver?” “Why?” “Your fries are drowning there.” According to The New York Times, the thin-cut
McDonald’s-style French fry represents the perfect balance – a fry that can “emerge with enough crispness to stand up
to a cheeseburger, enough taste to go with a lobster roll, and the right stuff to stand
proud on its own.” “There are several sacred things in this world
that you don’t ever mess with. One of them happens to be another man’s fries.” Remember that natural beef flavoring? Well, there’s another weird side effect of
it: when the ingredients break down during the cooking process, they create naturally-occurring
monosodium glutamate, or MSG. There have been a lot of rumors about MSG
that have been debunked over the years, but researchers have discovered one actual property
of MSG: it interferes with the satiation mechanism in our brains, and has been proven in some
studies to increase overall food intake in laboratory animals. That means when you start eating fries, you
may not be able to stop stuffing your face. It’s not your fault – it’s science! McDonald’s fries are amazing when they are
hot and fresh, right out of the fryer. But they quickly go downhill after that. According to an exhaustive study by The Takeout,
McDonald’s fries transformed themselves from crispy, golden spears of deep-fried perfection
to grease-sodden sleeves of inedible trash in as few as five minutes. Luckily, that doesn’t happen very often. That’s because french fries are the most popular
item on the McDonald’s menu. How popular? McDonald’s reportedly sells roughly 6,250
pounds of fires every single minute around the clock, for a whopping total of 9 million
pounds of fries served each day! That’s a lot of potatoes! With that kind of turnover, chances are you’re
going to be getting those fries hot and fresh. It’s weird but true: the fries are popular
because they’re good, but they wouldn’t be nearly so good if they weren’t so popular. “Bwaaaaaah!” From the earliest days of McDonald’s, way
back when it was a barbecue restaurant run by the actual McDonald brothers, fries were
on the menu. And that helps explain how McDonald’s has
managed to make such delicious fries. When you’ve been doing something for the better
part of a century, you get really good at it, whether it’s riding a unicycle, playing
Punch-Out, or crafting the best fries possible. Thanks for all the hard work, Ronald McDonald. Our taste buds appreciate it. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Mashed videos about your favorite
fast foods are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the
bell so you don’t miss a single one.

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