Congratulations to McDonald's for getting rid of trans fat in its French fries in the U.S. and Canada. But it sure took the company a long, long, long time.
The trans fat will remain for McDonald's in its remaining baked items, pies, and cookies until the end of the year.
Now I had the fries in my trip to Windsor, Ontario, Canada on May 17, and I didn't observe a difference. But since the announcement, I tried the "new" McDonald's French fries on two different occasions, on May 30 and May 31. And I wasn't impressed.
You could argue that it's all psychological. You hear the new formula is in, and you subconsciously notice a difference. But I've been eating McDonald's French fries for as long as I can remember. And I assure you that there is a difference.
The "new" French fries are drier and do not have as much flavor as it used to. Normally, I would have stopped at one demonstration, but I insisted on two different tries at two different McDonald's locations. And I wouldn't take the Canadian example at face value, since Canadian restaurants may be using a different oil.
To be fair, if you drown your fries in ketchup, you probably can't tell the difference. When naked, there is a distinct difference.
I have argued that McDonald's was dragging its feet with the excuse that they couldn't find an acceptable oil. I do wonder if this is reverse psychology by McD's: make us hate the new fries, so it can change it to something else.
According to bantransfats.com, McDonald's passed a Chicago Tribune taste test, though that may not be the final oil and the test appears to be from early 2007.
As I was eating the "new" French fries, I did get a smile on my face. When I first started the change, McD's fries was an occasional necessary treat. I really missed those hot steaming fries. Now that they aren't as good anymore, I will be less tempted to eat McDonald's fries.
I have been more likely lately to eat French fries from diners or non-chain restaurants. They are likely cooked in fresher oil that is still tasty, they would use the oil less than the chains, and they cook them longer, and especially in the case of McD's, the non-chains usually come out hotter. So if you are going to indulge in French fries, make sure they are quality spuds.
So let us know: do you think McDonald's messed up their fries with the new oil? Can you tell the difference (without ketchup)?