Are McDonald's Fries Made From Potato Paste Or Are They Cut Fresh?

McDonald's fries on cutting board
McDonald's fries on cutting board - Junce/Getty Images

Fast food is heavily processed; it's a universal truth we just accept. And surely, because fast food is at the forefront of Frankenstein food science, that means every aspect of a major chain's food must be some chemical monstrosity, right? You might think that even McDonald's fries, as undeniably delicious though they are, probably aren't made with fresh potatoes, but rather some weird mish-mash of potato paste. (Man, we can't ever have nice things.)

But actually, that's not the case at all. While McDonald's fries aren't exactly made from potatoes cut fresh on-site every day, they're also not made from a weird amalgamation of Lovecraftian nightmare food. Much like the myth of pink slime Chicken McNuggets, there's no potato paste in McDonald's fries. They're made from real, whole potatoes and shipped to the stores. Sure, McDonald's french fries have other added ingredients, but at their core is are real potatoes.

Read more: The Ultimate American Fast Food Restaurants Ranked

McDonald's Fries Are Made From Potatoes

McDonald's fries on prep rack
McDonald's fries on prep rack - Joe Raedle/Getty Images

TikToker @chefmikeharacz is a former McDonald's corporate chef who's made it big online by answering frequently-asked questions about the company and its practices. Haracz has answered questions about whether Big Mac sauce contains ketchup (it does not), why McDonald's will never sell onion rings (they're not cost-effective, relative to french fries), and why it's never bringing snack wraps back (it makes things way too complex, operations-wise). Recently, he answered this specific question about the company's fries and whether they're made from potato paste or actual potatoes.

According to Haracz, the company uses real Russet Burbank potatoes that are brought to a manufacturer. The spuds then get washed and steam-peeled, and then workers cut out any unsightly brown spots. Then they get shot through a cannon.

You didn't read that wrong. There's a french fry tube filled with blades that the potatoes are shot through at high speed, resulting in the classic fry shape you're familiar with. The fries then get blanched, dried, and par-fried before being frozen and sent to McDonald's locations. They get cooked the rest of the way in a deep fryer on-site. So, that's how you get McDonald's fries.

McDonald's Is All About Standardization

McDonald's soda cup
McDonald's soda cup - Mario Tama/Getty Images

In many ways, the secret to McDonald's decades' worth of success has a lot to do with standardization. This is a company that takes universality, both in practice and in results, very seriously.

While franchises may be given some leeway with things like pricing, the idea is that the food at one McDonald's will taste exactly like the food at another McDonald's. The company's attention to detail may seem over-the-top at times, but the results speak for themselves. Ever wondered why McDonald's sodas seem to hit different? It's because the company takes specific care to store its syrup and chill its distilled carbonated water. McDonald's ketchup is also proprietary and designed to mesh with its products, which is why it feels distinct from something like Heinz.

It can be tempting to believe that companies will create processed nightmare food at every turn — and they often do. But in the case of McDonald's fries, at least, you can rest assured that you're eating an actual potato.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.