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Latin Recipes & Gastronomy

What makes McDonald's fries so good? The answer shocks millions 

French Fries
French Fries | Shutterstock

April 20, 2023 1:16am

Updated: April 20, 2023 1:16am

A TikToker took to social media to reveal the secret to Mcdonald’s world-famous fries: “natural beef flavor.”

In a recent post, TikToker Jordan Howlett, 26 claimed to know one of the fast food chain’s juiciest “secrets” of its popular menu. He said he knew “why McDonald’s fries taste different from everybody else’s fries.”

“It’s because McDonald’s cooks their fries with beef flavoring mixed within their vegetable oil,” the San Diego-based content creator explained in a video that has gained more than 10 million views. 

The natural beef flavor is “why the fries taste so good,” he added, but it’s “probably bad news for vegetarians.”

Howlett said that when he found out about the secret listed ingredient for the fries, he “thought it was incredibly interesting.”

“I figured it’s information that people with dietary issues might want to know,” he continued. “Whether it contains meat or not doesn’t really change my view on the McDonald’s fries. I still enjoy them.”

@jordan_the_stallion8 #stitch with @youraveragetechbro #fypシ ♬ original sound - Jordan_The_Stallion8

McDonald’s says that the fries are partially fried by supplies, which use an oil blend that contains beef flavoring. “Natural beef flavor contains hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk as starting ingredients,” the chain says on its website

Howlett notes, however, that "in the UK, Canada, and Australia, they cook it with regular oil, so if you're vegetarian you can eat the fries at those places." On the U.K. website, for example, the fries are listed as a vegetarian item.

Despite the backlash from many social media users, the fries sold in the U.S. do not necessarily mean that they are not vegetarian. In 2002, McDonald’s lost a $10 million lawsuit filed by vegetarians claiming that the fast food company did not disclose ingredients properly, including the “essence of beef.” 

Furthermore, “natural beef flavor” is not necessarily derived from beef, the New York Post reports. In many cases, it is made of “wheat and milk derivatives” that give it a beef flavor.