French fries, or “furaido potato”, as they are called here in Japan, are the standard side order to all kinds of fast food.  Which fast food shop has the best tasting fries in Japan? My Navi News  decided to find out by canvassing 1000 working men and women from the ages of 22 to 32 on Japanese social networking service Mixi.

The results show the top fast food shops ranked by their french fries along with a few select comments from those polled. Their occupations and genders are also shown and although there may not be any direct correlation in occupation to french fry tastes, their education does suggest a discerning taste in french fry eating.  The gender of the people taking the survey appears to have absolutely no significance except that ‘gender role-happy’ Japan cares about such information.

The survey was conducted by simply asking, “Which fast food restaurant makes the best french fries?”

And the winners are…

First Place – McDonald’s at 49.1%
Second Place – Mos Burger at 23.3%
Third Place – Kentucky Fried Chicken at 8.1%
Fourth Place – a tie between Lotteria and First-kitchen, each at 3.7%

Comments were compiled in order of most popular:

■ McDonald’s

・   “They are great right out of the fryer and are the perfect size.”  ( 25-year-old males working in finance and securities)
・   “They have a tantalizing smell.”  (22-year-old male medical care workers)
・   “I like the soft supple ones that McDonald’s makes.”  (25-year-old females working in finance and securities)

■  Mos Burger 

・   “They are fluffy and yet have a nice texture”  (23-year-old females in the retail sales business)
・   “You get the true taste of a potato”  (27-year-old males who are agricultural and fishery technicians)
・   “They are thick and non-greasy”  (32-year-old males in the architect and building industry)

■ Kentucky Fried Chicken

・   “They are cut big and in wedges”  (22-year-old male students)
・   “They are still good when they’ve cooled down”  (28-year-old females working in IT and secretarial jobs)
・   “Their thickness gives them good substance.”  (29-year old female insurance sales persons)

■  Lotteria – includes furu pote, or french fries that you can shake in a bag with different flavored seasonings.

・   “I like the different flavors of the furu pote”  (31-year old females working in precious metals and chemistry)
・   “I like the strong salty flavor”  (28-year-old females working at Personnel Agencies)
・   “The texture and saltiness are just right”  (26-year old females working in the architect and building industry)

First-kitchen – you can try green curry flavored french fries among other flavors.

・   “They have lots of flavors to try”  (26-year old males in the architect and building industry)
・   “You can choose the flavor according to your mood”  (30-year old males working the pharmaceutical industry)
・   “You don’t get tired of them because there’s always a new flavor to try”  (22-year old females in advertising and media)

■ Not included in the top four – Subway Sandwiches – also have the shake in the bag type flavoring method.

・   “They aren’t deep-fried yet they are crunchy”  (26-year old females in the Public Service Sector)
・   “The cheese and basil flavors are tasty and healthy”  (32-year old females in special metals and chemistry)

In reviewing the results –

The first place winner, McDonald’s was also found to be popular for its addictive quality “I just can’t stop eating them”, was a common response.  More than one of the surveyed people mentioned the convenience of  the drive-through as being a factor of french fry popularity.  “I go to the drive through solely for french fries.”

The second place Mos Burger fries were admired for the taste of the potato.  “You are getting real potatoes.”  “It feels like they use high-grade potatoes.”

For the third place Kentucky Fried Chicken fries, size and cut, stood out as reasons for their popularity.  There were also quite a few comments on their being a ‘nice chew’.

Lotteria and First-kitchen tied for fourth.  Lotteria’s idea for flavoring fries by shaking them in a bag with seasoning is largely popular.  The most well-liked flavor being butter shoyu (soy sauce) flavor.  First-kitchen also has a variety of flavored fries to choose from like green curry and burnt butter soy sauce.  The interesting variety of flavors to choose from gives these fries high value.

There seem to be two major preferences when it comes to furaido potato: those who like their french fries crispy, and those who like them soft and supple. With fast food shops serving their fries in a variation of methods, the fact that McDonald’s is still the most popular might just prove that no matter how you cut it or flavor it, a french fry is a french fry, plain and simple, and that is what people like the most!

Source: My Navi News