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posted by LaminatorX on Saturday March 01 2014, @10:00PM   Printer-friendly
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.

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  • (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) Subscriber Badge 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.