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Wendy's Natural-Cut Fries with Sea Salt ... or what In-N-Out fries should taste like.

Wendy's recently introduced "natural cut" fries, and to prove it they left on the skin. Read about it here: http://wendys.com/food/Product.jsp?fa...

Tried it today.

I must say, while I've never been a french fry snob -- as long as they're fried and sturdy enough to scoop up ketchup I'm generally happy -- I must say these were definitely some of the best fries I've had from a fast-food place.

It's not the McDonald's kind of fries, these are more substantial. Real potatoes, with skins, no trans fat oil, and sea salt. Good crunchy texture with a soft, pillowy center.

These are the types of fries I would imagine In-N-Out making if they could ever get their french fry production down right.

My only complaint with these new Wendy's fries is that they could use more sea salt. As I was chomping down on these I realized I started to detect (gasp!) a potato flavor.

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  1. Per the nutrition information on the link you provided, Wendy's uses bags of sliced frozen sliced potatoes with oil. Then fries them.

    In-N-Out uses fresh potatoes. Sliced in the store. Then fries them.

    12 Replies
    1. re: Cathy

      Therein lies the problem with In-N-Out ...

      1. re: Cathy

        I'm curious, where does Wendy's say they use frozen sliced potatoes with oil?

        1. re: ipsedixit

          Nutrition information on the link from OP. I have only seen freezer trucks, paper supply trucks and a bakery truck deliver to my local Wendy's. I have never seen them slicing potatoes inside the store.

          1. re: Cathy

            Well, I'm the OP, and here's the full nutrition info from the link by Wendy's:

            ______________________________________________________

            Large French Fries
            Large Fries
            Potatoes, Vegetable Oil (contains one or more of the following oils: canola, soybean, cottonseed, sunflower, corn), Dextrose, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate (to maintain natural color). Cooked in Vegetable Oil (soybean oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, natural flavor [vegetable], citric acid [preservative], dimethylpolysiloxane [anti-foaming agent]). Cooked in the same oil as menu items that contain Wheat, Egg, Milk, and Fish (where available). Seasoned with Sea Salt.

            Ketchup, 1 packet
            Tomato Concentrate (made from red ripe tomatoes), Distilled Vinegar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Salt, Spice, Onion Powder, Natural Flavoring.

            Ketchup, 2 packets
            Tomato Concentrate (made from red ripe tomatoes), Distilled Vinegar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Salt, Spice, Onion Powder, Natural Flavoring.

            A Word about Trans Fats

            As previously announced in August 2006, Wendy's switched to in-store cooking oils containing 0 grams of trans fats which has significantly reduced the amount of trans fats in its French fries.

            Wendy's groundbreaking switch to cooking oil with 0 grams of trans fats continues Wendy's role as an innovator in the quick service restaurant industry. Wendy's is working to reduce trans fat levels even further by addressing other issues that affect the level of trans fats, such as the oils used by Wendy's French fry suppliers and deviations from proper oil rotation during busy meal times.

            In preparing French fries from raw potatoes to the hot, golden brown product customers enjoy in Wendy's restaurants, two processes affect the level of trans fats in the finished product: processing by the French fry supplier and cooking in one of our restaurants.

            In Wendy's continued efforts to further reduce trans fats in its food products, Wendy's has directed its French fry suppliers to create a blend of oils that has 0 grams trans fat to be used by the suppliers when preparing Wendy's French fries. Wendy's is currently testing in its restaurants (with favorable results) French fries cooked by suppliers in oil blends containing 0 grams of trans fat.

            As with all of Wendy's food products, Wendy's French fries are individually portioned and variations will exist from restaurant to restaurant. In order to ensure that our customers can have confidence in the nutritional information provided by Wendy's, Wendy's follows a rigorous testing process that follows the recommended procedures of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Samples are taken from Wendy's suppliers across the country and sent to independent laboratories for analysis. These tests are conducted at regular intervals and the results are available at www.wendys.com.

            Wendy's is proud of its legacy as an innovator in the restaurant industry and our efforts to remove trans fats from our food products are a continuation of that tradition.

            ______________________________________________________

            Don't see a mention about frozen potatoes in oil ..?

            1. re: ipsedixit

              Large Fries
              Potatoes, Vegetable Oil (contains one or more of the following oils:

              I just called someone who works there. They come frozen.

              1. re: Cathy

                Well, ok that may be the case, but you said originally that they were frozen per the nutrition info link, which is what threw me.

                Original reply:
                "Per the nutrition information on the link you provided, Wendy's uses bags of sliced frozen sliced potatoes with oil. Then fries them."

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Well. I knew what I meant. If only you could see how my brain works, then you'd maybe understand.

                  In any case, I liked In-N-Out fries better than all others, probaby because of the simplicity, but gave up eating fried potatoes in 2009.

                  1. re: Cathy

                    You should give these a try if you ever go back to eating fried potatoes.

              2. re: ipsedixit

                Don't see a mention about frozen potatoes in oil
                ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                The ingredients listed tell you the potatoes have been blanched, prepared with oil...

                "Potatoes, Vegetable Oil (contains one or more of the following oils: canola, soybean, cottonseed, sunflower, corn),......."
                -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                In a commercial operation a frozen french fry produces a more consistent product than pre-packaged fresh (not frozen) fries or making them from fresh potatoes.
                The starch content in potatoes can change through the growing season and sometimes that starch can change to sugar which is undesireable when making a french fry (sugar turns dark and can taste burnt when fried).
                A reason why Thomas Keller uses frozen fries is because they're more consistent.
                A restaurant chain I worked for used those steak fries and they were prepared and packed for us fresh. There were inconsistencies because of starches and sugars so we went to frozen.
                So in any large operation you can almost assume the fries are frozen, except for In-N-Out.

            1. re: PorkButt

              They make for better fries ... it's one reason In-N-Out fries are generally subpar.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                Most fries are blanched (cooked quickly) then frozen or refrigerated and then fried before serving. Basically cooked twice.

                In-N-Out fries are not blanched....reason why they're always limp. I always ask for In-N-Out fries well done.

          2. Am I wrong, or has Jack In the Box been doing this for years?

            1. I went to Wendy's the other day for a chili fix and sampled a few fries (forgetting they made a switch, until after I left and saw the new signs) and there was no revelation like you had. Maybe I have to pay better attention next time.

              The chili is definitely good.

              1 Reply
              1. re: monku

                The chili is definitely good.
                _______________________

                So is the burger.

              2. While heading for Thanksgiving I popped into a Wendy's at Dulles Airport in Washington. It was great. I have eaten lots of Wendy's, but for some reason this was perfect. The burger was so hot and juicy, the toppings were fresh and crisp, the bun was substantial, it was delicious. And the fries were awesome. I hadn't heard they were getting new fries and I sometimes don't get them because they are pretty bad...but these were great. They were very hot and crisp and they tasted like actual potatoes! They were much, much better than the old ones. It was so tasty that I even told my mother about it when I got home. And I stopped again on my return trip back through the airport. If all Wendy's were like that I would be eating there an awful lot.

                1. Bleh, no thanks. Wendy's already had too much salt on the fries, and now there's almost 50% more. I'll pass.