Sunday, December 04, 2011

French Fry Diary 305: The Old Burger King French Fries

A couple days ago I talked about Burger King's new French fries, today I take a look at the previous version that was so bad it kept me from eating their fries for years.

In 1990, about the same time Burger King changed from Pepsi to Coca-Cola products, they also changed their French fries. First they changed the oil they used, changing the taste slightly, and then changed the fries completely. This reformulation of what I thought was a terrific product caused me to stop eating Burger King fries. Yeah, they were that bad. The fry guy wouldn't even eat them, that's saying something. Maybe that's why this month BK is changing their fries again.

Where they were once wonderful if slightly more greasy versions of McDonald's golden French fries, BK went to a crunchier, healthier shoestring variety. These were battered with Invisicoat which not only makes them crispier but also acts as a preservative and makes them last longer. Cost cutting and arguably healthier, these fries were not tastier in my opinion, and put me off of Burger King.

I eventually went back, fast food junkie that I am, but I went back for the burgers, the shakes, the chicken sandwiches, the onion rings, even the Cokes - but not for the fries. Over the years BK has tweaked the fries, or tried stunts to garner new interest. There was the brilliant invention of the FryPod that lets your fries rest comfortably in your car's cup holder, but that's just the tip of the iceberg.

BK also tried Shake Em Up fries, also a brilliant idea, one still used in Europe and Asia. The idea is similar to Shake and Bake, with fries instead of chicken, and the powder being anything from cheddar cheese to BBQ to just about any variety of spices. You shake it up and you get spice-covered fries, you could even do it with onion rings. I never fell for it, because it still wouldn't make BK's crappy fries taste better but filed the idea away for home use.

They also tried Chicken Fries, strips of breaded chicken in the shape of fries, packaged in a FryPod. Overseas, BK offers curly fries as well as potato wedges at some locations. The recipe was even tampered with again in 1998, with little noticeable change. None of these variations have made me turn back to the dark side to try BK's crappy fries, until this most current change. I'm still not impressed. I wish they'd bring back the originals.

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5 comments:

Skott said...

I know you're the french fry expert and all, but on the subject of Burger King fries you're flat-out wrong. Once BK moved away from the McDonald's-esque fries and into their own flavor and texture, their fries became miles ahead of what the clown was serving across the street. I fear for what these new fries taste like, hoping that they're not too different. (My sister-in-law went through the same issues recently over Wendy's and their new fries. She is not pleased.)

Glenn Walker said...

It all comes down to a matter of opinion, Skott, no offense meant. -I- really don't like the old BK fries, my opinion. However, that said, if you liked them, I think you'll like the new ones too. Only the size and degree of crispiness have changed. Please do let me know your thoughts when you've tried them.

Anonymous said...

These are both terrible comments. The Burger King Fries of the late 80s and early 90s...I cannot distinguish. These were good. Like McDonalds..but greasier...like Hardees...or like Wendy's used to be. This was fine. The 98' version and the new version are disgusting and taste like actual card board. Terrible. Lets get the old old ones back !

Anonymous said...

What if fast food starts actually serving *cooked* cardboard and disguise it with fancy names like *Booster Fries* that boosts thru you and out the other end?

I bet most Americans will be sheeples and do that above having NO FRIES at all!

Thanks Ultra Liberals for betraying our nation and handing us crappy stuff! Thanks for making it hard to do business here in America as a result of taxing the hell out of the rich and as a result quality goes down.

BTW: I hate it when people complain about a business but then say "I keep hoping they will change" as if they care about your opinion.

If you sheep keep giving them money they will think it's okay to continue to make bad product

It doesn't matter if you just order a hamburger giving ANY money to BK will continue to make them think it's okay to make bad fries as somebody will be a sucker.

VOTE WITH YOUR WALLET! Fanboyism has killed creativity! If I ever see a BK fanboy accidents will happen. :)

Anonymous said...

my friends and I all buy BK burgers and go to McD's for fries.
we've been doing this since the change in the 1980's. we would ALL go back to BK for everything if you got rid of the awful fries you've been using over the past 30 years! PLEASE PLEASE DON'T LISTEN TO THE 2 PEOPLE THAT ACTUALLY LIKE THESE FRIES! Best burgers, worst fries should be the motto if you don't go back!