Why Do Fries At The Bottom Of The Bag Always Taste Better?

fries in a bag
5 Reasons Why Fries In A Bag Taste BetterMcDonald's / Matthias Balk/picture alliance via Getty Images

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French fries are a classic American food. Long a staple at fast food spots, they’re now sold everywhere from fine dining restaurants to street carts, and served in everything from paper “scoop” cartons to plates to cutesy little plastic fry baskets.

We’re all for a fun presentation, but we can’t help feeling that some of these new innovative containers diminish the deliciousness of the French fry. Those little tin pails and mini fryer baskets might be cute, but they’re actually ruining some of the key elements that make fries so amazing to begin with. Here are five reasons fries taste better when they’re eaten from the OG receptacle: the humble paper bag.

  1. The crinkle factor. Similar to the crackle of a chip bag, the special crinkle sound of the fry bag gets us extra excited for fry consumption. Maybe it’s a nostalgic sound that carries good associations. Maybe that crinkle foretells the crispy crunchiness of the fries themselves. Whatever it is, that auditory cue primes our palates for next-level fry enjoyment.

  2. Portability. If you’ve ever strolled down the street sipping an iced latte or licking an ice cream cone, you know what I’m talking about. There’s just something extra special about being able to cradle a warm bag of fries in your hand as you walk, nibbling a fry whenever you want. Sure, you can (maybe?) do the same thing with a paper fry carton, but they usually don’t fit in your hand as well. And some of those cartons have little crevices or gaps in the bottom that tend to drop those treasured crispy fry bits (and extra salt!) onto the pavement as you walk. But bags are built for easy portability, and you never have to worry about anything falling out of the bottom.

  3. Temperature control. There’s nothing worse than a lukewarm French fry, but fries served in containers with ventilation holes or (worse!) straight-up naked on a plate are in real jeopardy of getting cold before they even reach your hand. And even if they reach you still warm(ish), they’re sure to be stone cold before you’ve eaten half of them. Fry bags, on the other hand, are perfectly constructed with no ventilation so those fries stay warm for as long as possible. And speaking of no ventilation...

  4. Textural Variation. We all LOVE a crispy fry, but deep down, most of us also really love those softer, slightly squishy fries that live in the lower third of the bag. Distinct from the super crispy fries at the top, these softer specimens are the recipients of all the steam that’s trapped in the bag (see #3 above) as well as all the grease and salt that trickles down to them from the top fries, coating them in an extra layer of flavor. Which brings me to my final point:

  5. The salty bonus bits. You know what I’m talking about: those last crunchy bits of fries tossed in all that excess salt, glistening with residual grease. In our experience, all that deliciousness is fully realized ONLY when fries are served in a bag. In a scoop carton or basket, all those delicious salty bits tend to fall straight through the holes or gaps and are lost forever. A bag, on the other hand, protects those salty bits so they’ll be there waiting for you to find them at the end of your French fry journey.

Why do you think the bagged fries taste better? Or don’t you agree? Let us know in the comments.

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