Concept: 2 out of 5
Execution: 1 out of 5
Yeah, but: Even I can't believe I'm reviewing a potato.
The Long Version: Fast-food burger restaurant Wendy's launched their New And Improved french fries almost a month ago in Canada. For those who aren't familiar with them, French Fries (aka "Freedom Fries" for my American readers) are narrow strips of a nutritionally deficient beige root vegetable that has been turned into candy by cooking it in one of the least healthy ways possible. So right off the bat, Wendy's efforts to attach connotations of wholesomeness by calling their new product "natural" is problematic at best.
So what's the difference between "natural" fries and the ones that they've served for the previous four decades? They're not peeled, and they use sea salt. Exciting times.
Wendy's previous favourite foodlike meal-filler were unremarkable but inoffensive; the new product has neither virtue. Thinner and stringy, they look like a 'grunge' version of the ones from McDonald's that go stone cold in the time it takes to eat a McNugget. The vaunted sea salt still has the same sandy table-salt texture, and there's far, far too much of it. A single 'medium' serving now contains one third of the RDA for sodium, up from a mere 23% for the old version.
From information gathered from their respective nutritional information web pages:
- Mcdonald's fries per 100g - 319 calories, 15g fat, 239mg sodium.
- Wendy's fries per 100g - 295 calories, 14g fat, 352mg sodium.
While french/freedom fries are never going to be healthy, Wendy's has moved in exactly the wrong direction on this. But even beyond the whole "real" and "natural" marketing spin, which is almost too absurd to be insulting, the results are bad. After three unsuccessful attempts to like them, I'm now actively avoiding Wendy's fries. Fortunately there are other foodlike fillers on their menu, but so far my solution has simply been to go elsewhere for lunch.
What can I say? For me, this is the straw that broke the Frosty's™ back.
last updated 6 dec 2010