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May 13, 2008 11:10 PM

"Apple Fries" rant

Not even sure if this should be in Chains...except that its meant for a little broader discussion. Does anyone besides me just get really bothered by the new Burger King product called "apple fries"? Basically they are apple slices peeled and cut to the shape of french fries, and served in a fry cup. Are our children that spoiled that they will only eat things if they think they are something else? Do we really have to shape apples like fries? What's wrong with apples??? Shouldn't kids grow up knowing what a simple apple looks like??

OK, my rant is over. Thank you for listening. I just figured someone here would understand my angst....

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  1. I getcha! It's like my deep deep antipathy for that stupid book written by Jerry Seinfeld's wife..not really the same thing but it ties in to the whole deception thing.
    It's a marketing ploy plain and simple. Some bad culinary trompe l'oeil if you may.

    1. I agree, nothing is wrong with just apples but sometimes a little trickery works to get kids to eat things they might not like. I used to use a cookie cutter to shape my niece's sandwiches so she would be more interested in it. I think kids should want to eat an apple on its would but if they don't. Personally I don't think kids should EVER eat B.K. anyway, then again I don't have kids so maybe I shouldn't judge.

      1. I dont understand.

        Kids are kids and they like eating things that look fun, not to mention are easy to eat.
        See the colored ketchups, wavy cut carrot slices, frozen food cut into funny shapes, etc.

        Dont take this personally, but I think people get too hung up on blaming fast food restaurants for everything. Just cause they are serving an apple, probably peeled, and cut into matchsticks, suddenly a kid doesn't know what an apple looks like? Do you have a problem with supermarkets selling baby carrots or carrot sticks cause a kid wont know what a real carrot looks like? Its a convenience. No peeling the apple, no slicing the apple, no dealing with the pits/core. Like it or not, lots of people take their family to fast food restaurants for lunch/dinner on the go (not to mention how inexpensive, relatively, they are) and this sounds like a decent way to get them to eat more fruit.

        This kind of reminds me of an article i read in the last year about a farmer, I believe in New York State, who grew carrots (sweet carrots) and was trying to get certified/permitted to sell the carrots in elementary school, going so far as to getting/building a machine that would wash, peel and slice the carrots into "chips" and then individually wrap servings but was running into bureaucratic hurdles to do so. Everyone was trying to help him sell the carrots as part of the kids lunchs and were glad the kids would finally get some vegetables. In the same vein as BK apple fries, would you have a problem with this because of the carrot "chips" rather than whole carrots?

        5 Replies
        1. re: ESNY

          Well said.

          If the apple fries were actually fried, I'd have a problem with it. But if "apple fries" at BK makes a kid more likely to eat an apple, I don't have a problem with it. I don't see it as any different than making a smiley face out of strawberry slices on a pancake.

          1. re: manraysky

            I wish I could remember where I read this, but back in the 1970's, some wag wrote that Americans would eat anything so long as it was deep fried and looked and felt exactly like a french fry.

            1. re: manraysky

              I'm fine with the idea of "renaming" foods, particularly if they lose no nutritional value. "Apple fries" are far better than Jessica Seinfeld's "toss vegetables in brownies" - where the amount of veggie isn't that significant.

              However, I wonder how much of the apple gets wasted in this process to make them. I'm assuming that the "appeal" of apple fries is that they lack the skin - but for me to imagine an apple creating something that even kinda looks like a mini french much of each apple can they use? And what kinda jumbo genetically modified apple must be used. I'm not a BK fan in any way, and kids don't need to go there - but I could see that being something used at home for kids. So long as one order of apple fries didn't require three apples or something.

              1. re: cresyd

                To process an apple with a peel off product would require you to peel and core each apple to remove the seeds , stem, blossum and skin. The normal loss is 35% of the original apple weight and the number of apples you would have to use to create say one pound of a finished fry cut would be determined on the size of the original apple and its quality. They would not need a genetically modified apple nor do they use a genetically modified potato that is peeled and cut up to create a potato "french fry" Both use a machine that cut many other products that must be diced or cut to length or even into say a cube like a diced carrot. I am impressed with the ease of eating the peeled apple "Fry Cut" Apple of Burger King. There is no more waste in doing this than say making your home made apple sauce or a slice or dice of apple for your apple pie. I am impressed with what Burger King has developed to allow us all to have our "Apple a Day" with little effort involved in consuming a product that is good for all to eat.

            2. re: ESNY

              Well said, indeed. Considering the current trend among adults to pay large prices to have their food liquified, encased in a gelatin ball, and served in a puddle of foam, it seems absurd to criticize someone for trying to make food more interesting for kids.

              1. re: rworange

                I've got to say I LOVE that BK is doing this! I've been raising an 11 year old for the last 6 months and he loves apples but...... if he can get them already cut up he'll go for them every time. What a great idea!

                1. re: Linda VH

                  I probably shouldn't admit it, but I'm the same way - I much prefer to eat an apple that's sliced/quartered/whatever. Guess I'm still a little kid at heart.

              2. I get your angst but I also get the marketing behind doing it, the push for more nutritious options but making them kid-friendly, etc. I have a 7 year old and a 4 year old, and we do go to BK on very rare occasions, but my kids know it's not the healthiest choice. And having an option like apple fries gives me more bargaining leverage, i.e., you can have chocolate milk instead of white or you can have fries instead of apples but not both, so then they pick. It works pretty well, and teaches them balance. I have friends who NEVER allow their kids anything even slightly unhealthy (I'm not kidding, they serve carrots for dessert. I'm seriously not kidding), and when those kids go to parties they just devour the garbage until they're literally pulled away from it. It's all about balance, and choices, and it's important to start teaching that a young age, rather than eliminate all unhealthy options altogether.

                That's my $.02. Sorry if I went a little off topic.....

                4 Replies
                1. re: dagwood

                  My mom was just like your friends. Whenever I went to my gran's house, I would literally eat myself sick because the treats were suddenly available to me.

                  1. re: dagwood

                    That's a very good point. I guess I just wish that we didn't have to resort to such marketing tactics, but it's better than them not offering any healthy alternatives at all.

                    1. re: dagwood

                      I have family like your friends! The kids are only allowed to eat healthy, then at a party ALL they eat is junk food while their parents aren't watching.

                      1. re: Rick

                        But you want to know something strange? Those same kids will probably grow up and later revert to the healthier ways of their parents - I know it sounds bizarre, but I was raised with all whole-wheat, vegetables, no sugar cereals, no soda. I went through a period of rebellion, for sure, but then, guess what? I realized that the foods I had been eating all along actually tasted better to me than all that processed junk. To this day, I prefer whole grains to processed, hardly ever add sugar to anything, and I would rather drink water than soda. I can't say the same for my friends that were raised on the stuff!