Why Do McDonald's Fries Taste So Good?


| January 12, 2001

Why Do McDonald's Fries Taste So Good?, Eric Schlosser, Atlantic Monthly
Well, it's a two-part answer. They used to taste so good because they were fried in a mixture of seven percent cottonseed oil and 93 percent beef tallow--a mixture that gave the fries more saturated beef fat per ounce than a McDonald's hamburger, writes Eric Schlosser in Atlantic Monthly. In 1990, however, things changed. Due to health concerns, McDonald's switched to pure vegetable oil, a change that allayed cholesterol worries but robbed the fries of their subtle beef flavor. What did they do? They did what millions of manufacturers of frozen and processed foods do--inject chemicals into the food. In his engrossing article, Schlosser takes the reader on a tour of northern New Jersey, the home of many of the world's largest flavor companies, and introduces us to flavorists--mortician-like scientists who attempt to revive processed food through the use of color and flavor additives.
--Anjula Razdan
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