What exactly is in McDonald’s french fries?
July 17th, 2014
09:15 AM ET
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Mickey D's uses varieties like the Russet Burbank, which have a nice oval shape and just the right balance of starch and sugar. Excess sugar can cause a fry to have brown spots where it's over-caramelized, leaving a burnt taste and deviating from the uniform yellow-arches color. Just in case, the spuds are blanched after slicing, removing surplus sugar.

Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate
Taters can turn a nasty hue even after they're fried—iron in the spud reacts with the potato's phenolic compounds, discoloring the tissue. The phosphate ions in SAPP trap the iron ions, stalling the reaction and keeping the potatoes nice and white throughout the process.

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Filed under: French Fries • McDonald's • What's In That Dish • Wired

Eyes on the fries! Best French fries in America
November 26th, 2012
11:45 AM ET
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If you crave fries in San Francisco, Jasper's Corner Tap is a natural choice. But your decisions aren't over yet. Will it be thin, thick, or sweet potato? Do you try the smoked-paprika seasoning or a cheese curd-based poutine, or play it safe with sea salt? There's an entire menu devoted to customizable fries at your fingertips.

French fries are one of the true crowd-pleasers - a food that friends agree upon, that turns up at both five-star steakhouses and roadside dives, and that is familiar but can also surprise you. They can be cut thick or curly, cooked with or without skins, served Belgian-style in paper cones or in a parchment-lined basket with malt vinegar on the side. No matter how you slice it, the deep-fried spud is king.

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Filed under: 100 Places to Eat • America • Dishes • French Fries • Travel

National French fry day
July 13th, 2012
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

It may be Friday the 13th, but there's nothing scary about today - it's National French Fry Day!

While its name would suggest we have France to thank for fries, that honor might actually belong to the country’s northern neighbor, Belgium. Because both nations speak French, the name mix up might have occurred when American World War I soldiers were moving through the smaller country and encountered pommes frites, or fried potatoes. Thomas Jefferson also had "potatoes served in the French manner" on a trip to Paris and brought the recipe home with him.

No matter the origin, it’s safe to say that fries are one of America’s most popular sides.

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Filed under: Breakfast Buffet • Dishes • Food Holidays • French Fries • News

5@5 - More than one way to fry a potato
February 7th, 2012
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Editor's Note: Raised in Versailles, France, Dominique Crenn is now the executive chef of Michelin-starred Atelier Crenn in San Francisco.

French fries (or frites, as the French will say) are loved by many, including the queen herself, Julia Child, who once said, “Potatoes are strange animals.”

The French fry has a long history in the human diet. When I think of them, I recall my mother's crisp, perfectly salted, skin-on frites - never greasy, and made each Sunday with the Brittany-grown potato in my childhood home.

Because I grew up with what were surely the best and truest frites in the world, I tend to have very strong opinions on this matter, as admittedly, I have on many food matters. There will be no ordering of French fries anywhere unless I have done my homework. And just because an ingredient, like the potato, is “common” or humble does not mean that it should not be respected and cooked well.

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Filed under: 5@5 • Bite • Dishes • French Fries • Think

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