America’s Greatest French Fry Secret Revealed


A picture is worth a thousand words, so here’s the fast-food french fry ranking picture:

Sorry, intern, but your food critic is right. Well, he’s right about one thing, anyway:

In this ranking, Del Taco is the University of Maryland, Baltimore County taking out Virginia in the first round of March Madness. I came in with the lowest of expectations for Del Taco fries — this is a Southern California-based taco chain after all, and I didn’t even know they had fries until I went in.

Hello, upset! This was a very decent batch of crinkle fries, with a crispy, salty outside and nice, fluffy center. Even better was that the employee who took my order gave me packets of both ketchup and smoky hot sauce with my order.

This is one of the best kept french fry secrets around, so good on Lucas Kwan Peterson for going beyond his preconceived notions and recognizing it. On the other hand, I’d say that Carl’s Jr. fries kind of suck and In-N-Out fries are fine. As for McDonald’s, I know they have a great reputation, but the last few times I’ve had them I’ve been unimpressed. Was this just bad luck? Maybe. But I’d put them on probation at the very least.

What’s also interesting here is that—in Peterson’s opinion, anyway—taste and texture are very tightly correlated. The upper-left and lower-right quadrants are practically empty. Hmmm again.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend