Wendy’s has updated their fries to better survive the drive home, so we had to take a look.
While Wendy’s still has not updated their website with a revised description of this fry revision, Delish.com describes them like this:
In a recent press event, Wendy’s explained the detailed process of creating their new formula. New Hot & Crispy Fries live up to their name: one side is built for heat retention, the other for crispiness. So when you pull out of the drive-thru or order Wendy’s for delivery, you can have peace of mind your fries will be just as hot and crispy as they are when pulled from the fryer.
Also during Wendy’s recent press event, they described the difference as a “whisper of coating”, which essentially means to me that they’ve lightly battered them in a profound yet, comically complicated way to enhance Everyday Joe’s fast food habit.
While I’ve seen from experience that there are a lot of heavily educated Fast Food executives who use more science than you could ever possibly imagine to solve some of nature’s cosmic questions, it’s incredibly satisfying when they actually get it right.
Soggy fries are one of the largest issues facing the takeout food industry. Due to the ol’ pandemic, we’ve probably ordered more takeout and delivery than ever as a society, and we can all agree that when French fries get the least bit lukewarm, they are a soggy, droopy disaster.
Cold fries are one food in which the experience can legitimately be ruined when encountered. The texture, flavor, and mouthfeel are all altered for the negative, even to the point of dumping them out. One household remedy I discovered is the air fryer, but sometimes it isn’t quite convenient to bust out a kitchen apparatus the size of small bear when you just want to eat quickly.
Wendy’s did 2.5 years of research to determine how they could make their fries stay hotter and crispier longer so that someone could conceivably get drive thru, make it home, and not have to give all their fries to Fido in disgust. The end result is a proprietary battering process, that “whisps” enough batter on the potato to create a protective heat blanket. The fries should stay crispy on the outside and hot/fluffy on the inside for 15 to 20 minutes.
To me it’s a little bit odd that Wendy’s is hyping these new fries through the press but hasn’t even updated their website to showcase the new and improved fries. Regardless I took the fries for a spin, via the drive thru to see how well they hold up.
If you look at the fries with just a casual glance, they look very similar to the Natural Cut Fries iteration that Wendy’s introduced about a decade ago. Taking a closer look though, you can see the textured batter surface that has been added to the fries. True to word though, they aren’t heavily coated like Burger King’s fries are, but with a much finer grit.
While I didn’t exactly have an infrared thermometer, I will say that the fries definitely seemed to hold their heat longer than the typical fry. It really did feel like I was eating them in a Wendy’s compared to after a ten minute drive home. While nothing is going to stay hot forever, the fries definitely passed the heat test.
Taste wise, I was doubly impressed. Retaining the natural-esque fresh cut taste that the previous Wendy’s fries had, while gaining a “whisper” of texture and crisp, the Hot & Crispy Fries tasted great. They didn’t have the prefabricated and overly manufactured texture that some fast food and casual dining fries typically produce, yet they definitely didn’t resemble a wet noodle at all. Even the fries that didn’t get hit on the fryer as hard as the others, retained some texture and crisp. Salty, hot, and crispy, these fries are definitely enhanced.
While there’s only so much to say about fast food French Fries, I will have to say that the Hot & Crispy Fries from Wendy’s are much improved from their already solid offering. As far as traditional shaped fries go, it’s hard to find a better fast food offering.
Wendy’s Hot & Crispy Fries: 7.5/10