French Fries Reflections

Saturday I had the pleasure of eating hot, Burger King French fries. They were serviceable fries, and like many fries from fast food restaurants, had a distinctive hint of the signature flavor or the establishment. Burger King’s fries, while generic, do have a slight sweet hint to them. It is a taste I can’t identify, but has a hint of onion and mayonnaise-like flavor without quite tasting like either of those ingredients.  It is a specific taste that nearly all of Burger King’s fried and heated items have, and actually is very palatable for the onion rings, French Toast sticks, and, yes even permeated the Whoppers.

Today, by contrast, I ordered French fries from the Hott Dawgz‘ food truck.  Unlike most chains which give fries of a standard which varies very little, the fries from the truck were more unique in length, and each French fry, with the bit of skin on the end, told its own story. The fries were not overly crisp but not soggy, and there is a care to French fries distributed from local establishments that even delicious.

This is not to say one is better or worse than the other. Depending on my mood, I can prefer the predictability of an industrialized and measured product to a more random selection, or I can crave the individuality of fries made to order. As they say, let the chips fall where they may…into a salivating, tooth-filled mouth with a  working tongue to free the flavor within them.

French Fries Review #2 – Taco Bell

Several weeks ago, Taco Bell began an impressive campaign to promote its latest offering, Nacho Fries. I was curious, but skeptical, as how could the flavor of nachos be contained in the completely different food known as French fries. As someone who once loved their cheesy potatoes, I was worried that their Nacho Fries would be a variation of that concept.

Recently I had the experience of eating an order of these fries, and they are as impressive, if not more so, than the hype.

On the surface, Taco Bell’s Nacho Fries seem rather ordinary aside from the coloring of the seasoning. The fries are standard cut fries, so in shape, they do not appear to break from the mold set by fast-food restaurants. However,  as soon a single fry is picked up, the well-crafted nature of the fries becomes apparent.

Each fry is light, not heavy, fluffy and almost feathery in terms of weight and texture. The exterior was thick and strong enough to hold it together, but this was not a fry to crunch, but one that barely hid its goodness. under its warm skin.

Tasting the fry made my taste buds sing with joy. The flavoring is seemingly taco-inspired, but at the same time, it does not taste quite like anything else at Taco Bell.  It has spices which are strong, but not overwhelming, and not overly hot. Unlike the cheesy potatoes, which do have a slight aftertaste, there are no hints of any artificial or manufactured flavors as far as the taste is concerned.

I also appreciate the cheese sauce as a side, as it complements the flavor of the fries well. Like all good fries, though, the Nacho Fries can easily be eaten without any condiments, with ketchup, or most dipping sauces of one’s choosing.

I will add one caveat. Nacho Fries by themselves — or with the standard dipping sauce — are delicious. However, any upgraded versions of the fries taste like good fries with standard Taco Bell ingredients on them. Even though I like Taco Bell’s food, I admit, their regular offerings do not blend well with these fries. My recommendation is to eat the Nacho Fries as a separate, standalone order.

French Fries Review #1 – McDonald’s

Ever since I was a young child, I loved McDonald’s. It was my favorite fast food restaurant and I loved its cheeseburgers, its chicken nuggets, and most of all, its French fries. Even as a I grew older and my palate broadened, I still craved those fries. Since they are among my most favorite style of fries today, I believe it’s time for me to express why I love those fries so much.

McDonald’s serves “shoestring fries” with an emphasis on the length. While many chains do serve similarly fries with a thin cut, few of the major chains server fries as long as McDonald’s does. Since the fries are both long and thin, each gives some freedom of the eater as to whether to savor every delicious bite as it enters the mouth, or to bend and fold or break the fry into smaller components.

Shoestring fries, though, do have their disadvantages as their thin nature leads them to be either easily burnt.  McDonald’s, though, has made their construction and preparation of fries to a precise art. Fresh McDonald’s fries are crisp and merely warm on the outside, but wonderfully soft and hot on the inside. You can pick one up and not know of the heat that is encased within.  Salty but not briny, these fries are an incredible blend of sturdiness and fluff that is hard to find, making it perfectly able to be dipped or enjoyable on their own.

In fact, the fries are so good that it is difficult for me praise it.  Instead, I will mention I notice a slight waxy aftertaste once I have finished eating the fries. It is a similar aftertaste I have noticed in my consumption of other items of McDonald’s menu over the years. It is faint enough for me to put aside when I chew my food and unlock the delicious potato softness within. It is noticeable enough, though, for me to curtail my trips to McDonald’s to occasional treats.

The other caveat is like many good French fries, McDonald’s fries cannot be easily re-heated. The delicate balance of moisture and dryness means that using a microwave to heat up either hardens them into potato matchsticks or renders them soggy and limp. Even using an oven can’t recreate the  moment of eating a fresh fry.

McDonald’s fries are to be eaten fresh and hot, but as good as they are, doing this should be no problem.


Greetings! This post is the beginning of a beautiful adventure for fans of French fries to come together and share our love of those delicious, fried potatoes that are bad for our waistlines but make our taste buds dance.  Call them “frites,” “chips,” or anything you wish, but French fries are a delight to eat and it’s time for those of us who really, really like French fries to share our feelings with the world.

Who is with me?