Why are the McDonald's fries so tasty

With potatoes to the mega-empire: McDonald’s owes its success to the french fries - this is how you make them yourself


Anyone who thinks that the Big Mac or cheeseburger made the fast food chain an empire is wrong. It was the french fries. We reveal the original recipe to take at home.

"In 1955 we fried 500 kilos of fries on Saturday alone, people came from far and wide to get a portion," says Ben Stacks of the magazine "GQ". Back then he was running a McDonald’s branch in San Bernardino, California, and knows exactly what the secret of his Mac fries was, which even chef of the century Paul Bocuse once thought was good.

“We used Idaho Russet potatoes, which were peeled, sliced, and rinsed to remove excess starch before going into the deep fryer. Then the excess oil was drained off and they were left to rest before they were fried again in 100% beef fat and seasoned with a touch of salt, ”the franchisee explains the recipe from the first hour.

A heart attack ended the French fries era

Exactly this beef fat was the secret for the unbelievable crispness and the fine taste of the french fries from McDonald’s. But it was precisely this ingredient that was responsible for the legendary potato sticks, or their recipe, being banned years later.

Phil Solokof was also a fan of these fries and ate them regularly until he suffered a heart attack in 1966, which he attributed to his diet - and his love for fast food. After recovering, he declared war on McDonald’s and other fast food outlets in the US and founded the National Heart Savers Association, which put pressure on until McDonald’s replaced beef fat with a healthier alternative in 1990. In Switzerland, the fast-food giant now deep-fried its french fries in purely vegetable rapeseed oil from local production.

This is how you make the legendary fries yourself

Those who know the original recipe from the 50s mourn the ultra crispy fries to this day. One of them is Luke Fater from Atlas Obscura magazine. The journalist really wanted his fries back and rummaged through dusty archives until he found what he was looking for. We don't want to withhold the original recipe from you. That's how it's done:

  • 2 large red potatoes

  • ¼ cup white sugar

  • 2 tablespoons of white corn syrup

  • 1-2 cups of hot water

  • 6 cups Crisco All-Vegetable Shortening (a vegetable fat)

  • ¼ cup beef fat (can be ordered from the butcher)

  • Salt to taste

Peel the potatoes and cut into strips of equal length. Then mix the sugar, corn syrup and hot water in a large bowl. Stir until the sugar dissolves, add potatoes to the bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, put the Crisco All-Vegetable Shortening in a deep fryer. Heat at the highest level until the fat has melted and has a temperature between 190 and 200 ° degrees.

Drain the washed potatoes, put them back in the deep fryer and stir a little so they don't stick together. After 1 to 1.5 minutes, place the potatoes on a plate lined with kitchen paper and let them cool in the refrigerator for eight to ten minutes.

While they are cooling, add the beef fat to the deep fryer and heat to 190 ° to 200 ° degrees.

Now the pre-fried potatoes come in again for five to seven minutes and are fried again until they are golden brown.

Take out and put in a large bowl, sprinkle with salt and mix everything well - nice!

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