McDonald’s Fries – A Stroll Through Memory Lane

McDonald's French Fries

McDonald's Fries - A Stroll Through Memory Lane

I grew up in the 70s and 80s and this was a time before it became common practice to eat at a fast food restaurant. In fact, this was a time before McDonald’s had drive-thrus. The first Mickey D’s drive-thru was in 1975 in Sierra Vista, Arizona, near Fort Huachuca, an Army base. 
It was Harry and Esther Snyder, of the In-N-Out Burger chain that built the first drive-through restaurant in 1948 in America. This was back when you could get an entire mail for around $1. Back when McDonald’s had a large outdoor playground ( debuted in 1972), which is the Playplace that is still alive in a few restaurants. Sadly, the for many McDonald’s restaurants. 
Back when they had cookies in a little box. There was this cool little plastic Ronald McDonald puppet, and they always had some type of collectible like glasses.
Vintage McDonald's Collectable Glasses
McDonaldland Cookies
Back when there were actually little metal (brown glass in some locations) ashtrays at each table. There was always a line of high chairs waiting for toddlers.McDonald's vintage glass ashtray
McDonald's high chairs
Back when there were different themes followed in decorating each restaurant. And more importantly, back when there was a ton of employees all very busy doing their job. There would be 5-6 lines open and the person who was taking your money never left the counter. Other employees made your food and handed a tray to the employee at the counter. Back then, McDonald’s was clean, fun, and fast.
McDonald's employee - circa 1980
Back when McDonald’s had a group of McDonaldland mascot characters, that represented the restaurant, on TV, in print, and in person as special events and at some restaurants.
McDonald Land Characters
back row: Mayor McCheese; Ronald McDonald; Grimace; Officer Big Mac
first row: Captain Crook; Hamburglar (original look); Fry Kids; The Professor
This was also the time frame when McDonald’s has the “World’s Best French Fries” and they were actually really good. They used beef tallow to fry in, instead of vegetable oil, and using the beef tallow, gave the fries a rich and buttery flavor. What in the heck is beef tallow? It is actually a rendered form of beef fat that is solid at room temperature. They were using beef tallow because it was a more cost-effective product and was more convenient than oil. In fact, McDonald’s was using a blend of 7% vegetable oil and 93% beef tallow. This special blend just for McDonald’s was known as Formula 47.
McDonald's French Fries

McDonald’s worldwide used Formula 47 until they got pressure in the early 90s to serve healthier foods. In fact, they were getting pressure from not only the healthy food nuts but the vegetarian nuts. McDonald’s folded and switched to 100% vegetable oil to cook their fries. McDonald’s fries were no longer the same and they knew it. They even tried to add “beef flavoring” to the fries, and they once again received pressure from vegetarians and Hindus.

Ronald McDonald Puppet - circa 1981

If you want to learn more about McDonald’s history, then watch “The Founder (2016)”, it is a really good movie. Salesman Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton) receives an order from Dick McDonald (Nick Offerman) of no less than six milkshake mixers–actually, better make it eight. Ray ends up purchasing the very first McDonald’s from the McDonald’s brothers, and the rest is history. Here is the trailer.

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