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November 21, 2004

Chicken Selects Revisited

In the last week or so, a visitor to this blog posted a comment on my original McDonald's Chicken Selects entry about the nutrition facts and ingredients for that dish.

Inspired, I wandered on over to McDonald's web site and found that the following composes the actual chicken part of the Chicken Selects. Buckle your seatbelts, we're in for a hell of a ride:

Chicken breast strip fritters with rib meat containing: Up to 25% of a solution of water, modified food starch, salt, monosodium glutamate, sodium phosphates, chicken broth, natural flavor (vegetable and animal source), maltodextrin, spice, autolyzed yeast, chicken fat, polysorbate 80, gum arabic.

For starters, your "chicken" is up to 25 percent water. In other words, up to a quarter of what you're paying for isn't meat at all, but sopping wet muscle fiber. Yum!

It does of course get better when we get to the fourth ingredient in solution: monosodium glutamate. Good old MSG! When the food doesn't taste good enough on its own, trick the brain into thinking it tastes good! And given I still thought they tasted like absolute crap, in spite of chemical intervention, they must be complete flavorless dreck in their natural state.

The high water content absolutely explains the frightening spongy texture of the nuggets, though.

On the other hand, if you want to see tender all-white-meat chicken strips done right, you only need pop in to Wendy's.

No MSG in the chicken, no MSG in the sauces, no MSG anywhere in their Homestyle Chicken Strips (because when's the last time mom dumped a bottle of MSG into dinner?). And they taste good! The strips taste like chicken and chew like chicken. The honey dijon sauce tastes like actual honey and actual dijon mustard.

It's kind of like the difference between a McDonald's salad (gross and still grossly unhealthy) and a Wendy's salad (tasty and much healthier).

If the golden arches didn't have to disclose their ingredients lists, they'd probably being use plague rats for meat by now. It's not like anyone would ever notice the difference, with burgers that don't taste like beef and nuggets that don't taste like chicken.

Posted by Colin at November 21, 2004 3:04 PM

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