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posted by LaminatorX on Saturday March 01 2014, @10:00PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the and-now-for-something-completely-different dept.

c0lo writes:

"More appropriate to an (no existing) idle section, no longer news, but it made a fascinating reading for me:
How to Make Perfect Thin and Crisp French Fries going the full range of:

  • economic espionage involving Scavenger Hunt and social engineering
  • reverse engineering
  • original research and method improvement
  • disclosure of the method the good side of it: no patent"
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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Appalbarry on Saturday March 01 2014, @10:14PM

    by Appalbarry (66) on Saturday March 01 2014, @10:14PM (#9258) Journal

    Any article that uses McDonald's fries as the measure of quality is already a lost cause.

    Those horrid, dried out, over-salted little sticks are an affront to anyone who has had the pleasure of eating real potatoes, hand-cut, and deep-fried.

    Despite some very successful marketing, the only thing that McDonald's fries has going for them is that they can sit under a heat lamp for long periods without ever changing.

    But then, so can balsa wood.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by quitte on Saturday March 01 2014, @10:33PM

      by quitte (306) on Saturday March 01 2014, @10:33PM (#9267) Journal

      McDonald's fries are of consistent quality. That fact alone makes them a good measure of quality. However I never considered them remarkable in any way.

      I had the pleasure of hand-cutting, deep-frying and eating real potatoes. After reading that article I'd sure like to be affronted. Also I don't agree with your description of the fries. There's just too little of them with every meal. Also they are too thin.

      This was a remarkably interesting article - I'm sure it will change the way I prepare lots of potato meals.

      • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Sunday March 02 2014, @12:10AM

        by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Sunday March 02 2014, @12:10AM (#9286) Homepage

        McDonald's fries are of consistent quality, but they are far from the best.

        Personally I prefer thicker wavy fries or fat steak fries, but when I reach for the skinny processed-shit fries, I reach for Wienerchnitzel's. Especially their chili-cheese fries. Soaked in oil, the fries themselves have a moist and gooey consistency, packed with rich potato flavor. The Chili is the nastiest, saltiest, probably reconstituted-powdered mix with water and bits of circus animal added; and the cheese is pre-shredded and with a powdery preservative that disappears as the cheese shreds melt -- and the cheese itself "sweats" as it melts, just like a good fresh hot dog does. They are the nastiest, unhealthiest, saltiest, and by far the most delicious fries I've always tasted. It is no wonder that Wienerschnitzels are always located nary a block away from public schools.

        • (Score: 1) by Non Sequor on Sunday March 02 2014, @12:16AM

          by Non Sequor (1005) on Sunday March 02 2014, @12:16AM (#9287) Journal

          Steak fries just have too much unseasoned potato content to be acceptable to me. Now I can get on board with waffle fries, that seems the better way to make a more substantial fry that still has enough surface area to volume.

          --
          Write your congressman. Tell him he sucks.
    • (Score: 1) by anubi on Sunday March 02 2014, @08:23AM

      by anubi (2828) on Sunday March 02 2014, @08:23AM (#9445) Journal

      I note the link posted at The Burger Lab:

      For the next phase, I started doing some research and caught a lucky break by finding this article online, which essentially runs through the whole process of what goes on in a McDonald's potato processing plant as told by LeAron Plackett, a thirteen-year-long employee. The parts that interested me most were on the second page:

      has been deleted.

      If you are interested in this content, I think I would quickly save off this page, as Kenji insightfully copied and pasted the relevant passages to his page.

      I am going to copy and paste it here again... just to try to keep info like this from being lost to fear of some litigator's pen...

      The fries are then flumed out of the A.D.R. room to the "blancher." The blancher is a large vessel filled with one hundred and seventy degree water. The trip through the blancher takes about fifteen minutes... After the fries leave the blancher, they are dried and then it's off to the "fryer," which is filled with one hundred percent vegetable oil. The oil is heated to three hundred and sixty five degrees and the fries take a fifty second dip before being conveyed to the "de-oiler shaker," where excess oil is "shook off."

      I get the idea the A.D.R room is where the potato peeling ( Abrasive Dermal Removal? ) and cutting into sticks take place, as fluming hints that the transport mechanism is a stream of water ( the blancher is full of 170 degree water ).

      I thought it was very interesting that the freezing the fries after doing the above to them is actually an integral part of the process.

      I would imagine McDonalds corp will be all over a few webmasters with takedown orders... not to keep YOU from doing this at home, but there are lots of other large-chain fast-food operations which will gladly use this research to their own benefit. This was one of those "trade secrets", and its out now.

      I betcha Kenji's article stirred up more than a few business meetings at McDonald's corporate headquarters.

      --
      "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
      • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Sunday March 02 2014, @02:49PM

        by maxwell demon (1608) on Sunday March 02 2014, @02:49PM (#9618) Journal

        The 170 degree water baffled me a while, given that water boils at 100 degrees ... until I recognized that obviously degree Fahrenheit were meant. For anyone as unfamiliar with Fahrenheit as me: 170 degree Fahrenheit are about 77 degree Celsius. And 365 degree Fahrenheit are 185 degree Celsius.

        --
        The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
  • (Score: 0) by kaalon on Saturday March 01 2014, @10:32PM

    by kaalon (499) on Saturday March 01 2014, @10:32PM (#9266)

    yes, this makes great fries. The blanching makes them ever so tasty.

  • (Score: 1) by epitaxial on Saturday March 01 2014, @11:39PM

    by epitaxial (3165) on Saturday March 01 2014, @11:39PM (#9276)

    If its one thing I can't stand its mushy or undercooked french fries. If you like them mushy then please have a bowl of mashed potatoes.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by SlimmPickens on Saturday March 01 2014, @11:55PM

    by SlimmPickens (1056) on Saturday March 01 2014, @11:55PM (#9280)

    Strange, he talks of enzymes and he owns a water bath but there's no mention of modernist cuisines triple cooked chips which use a jeweler's ultrasonic cleaning bath to create fissures. Starch oozes out and is fried to create a fluffy/crunchy texture at the surface.

    He also doesn't appear to know that although Maccas no longer use tallow, they do add "tallow flavour" to their fries.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 02 2014, @01:29AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 02 2014, @01:29AM (#9324)

      How doth thou get this "tallow flavour"? :D

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Schafer2 on Sunday March 02 2014, @07:01AM

        by Schafer2 (348) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 02 2014, @07:01AM (#9431)
        There's a pretty interesting answer to that question.

        Tallow flavor comes from the same source as other meat flavors added to frozen fast food: the industrial perfume complex situated along the New Jersey Turnpike . I kid you not [pbs.org].

        The article specifically addresses McDonald's switch from real beef tallow to perfume. It cites the book Fast Food Nation--a great read.

        One other cool fact from FFN, if I recall correctly, is that In-n-Out is one of the few chains that both does not perfume their food and also controls their own beef production. If you've ever watched fries being made at In-n-Out, they go from potato slicer to the table very quickly, and, like the submitter's article indicates, this makes them go stale in minutes (even though they taste great at first).
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 02 2014, @06:19PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 02 2014, @06:19PM (#9691)

          Ewwww, gross, New Jersey!!

          Thank you. I think I shall stay away from fast food from now on. :)

  • (Score: 2) by regift_of_the_gods on Sunday March 02 2014, @01:10AM

    by regift_of_the_gods (138) on Sunday March 02 2014, @01:10AM (#9312)

    You'd expect a good tasting batch of fries if it's deep fried.

    For people over thirty, this [bgood.com] is more impressive. Still fast food, price is maybe a buck more.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 02 2014, @01:32AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 02 2014, @01:32AM (#9326)

      How did a turkey sandwich become so unhealthy?!?

      • (Score: 2) by regift_of_the_gods on Sunday March 02 2014, @01:35AM

        by regift_of_the_gods (138) on Sunday March 02 2014, @01:35AM (#9328)

        Bacon and cheese, I think. I like Panera but I'm not convinced they make the healthiest sandwiches. Subway is probably healthier.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 02 2014, @05:20AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 02 2014, @05:20AM (#9411)

        > How did a turkey sandwich become so unhealthy?!?

        Easy, just add High-Fructose Corn Syrup! Everyone knows they put it in everything, and that's why we're all so fat. :)

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Khyber on Sunday March 02 2014, @01:51AM

    by Khyber (54) on Sunday March 02 2014, @01:51AM (#9333) Journal

    1. Cut your wedges.
    2. Place in a large-ish bag for shaking (I usually use the bags you get during grocery store trips, double them up because oil still seeps through.)
    3. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of olive oil.
    4. Add salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and a little garlic powder.
    5. Put them on a wire rack inside a baking pan.
    6. Bake at 425 for 25 minutes.
    7. Who the fuck needs ketchup with fries like these?

    --
    Destroying Semiconductors With Style Since 2008, and scaring you ill-educated fools since 2013.
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Khyber on Sunday March 02 2014, @01:53AM

      by Khyber (54) on Sunday March 02 2014, @01:53AM (#9338) Journal

      Step 4.5 : Close the bag and shake. Derp. That'll teach me to write a recipe while actually doing it.

      --
      Destroying Semiconductors With Style Since 2008, and scaring you ill-educated fools since 2013.
    • (Score: 1) by expenseofspirit on Sunday March 02 2014, @10:41AM

      by expenseofspirit (1205) on Sunday March 02 2014, @10:41AM (#9495)

      yup, coating the wedges with oil does wonders. One more trick: increase the surface area of your wedges by making a lot of cuts from the inside almost to the skin. Takes less effort than it may seem and adds so much of delightful crispiness to the result.

  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 02 2014, @01:55AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 02 2014, @01:55AM (#9339)

    Apparently planets come in messed up "Millennium Edition" as well.

  • (Score: 1) by gishzida on Sunday March 02 2014, @03:02AM

    by gishzida (2870) on Sunday March 02 2014, @03:02AM (#9366) Journal

    Obviously he didn't read the book. The answer is 42. Therefore the claim to "Geekiness" is disallowed but as a reward for his steadfast devotion to bad food he is awarded the moniker: Mr. Potato-Head.

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by anubi on Sunday March 02 2014, @08:33AM

    by anubi (2828) on Sunday March 02 2014, @08:33AM (#9449) Journal

    I found out later that "ADR" is a process for "Automatic Defect Removal". Gets rid of malformed, discolored, or nubs.

    Its done by a big industrial machine. [key.net]

    --
    "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]