Say what you like about fast food. You may disapprove. You may think that the food is bad for people. You may think it's an affront to cuisine and good eating. But you have to admit it's never been so easy for people to get fed for so little money. Inexpensive calories for anyone at anytime.
Plus many of those calories are very tasty.
One of the standards for tasty and inexpensive cuisine, possibly the gold standard for the longest time, is the McDonalds french fry. Crisp yet fluffy. Hot but not overly greasy. Remarkably dependable no matter where you go. With so many people loving McDonalds french fries you had to know there would be imitators.
It turns out it takes a lot of work to imitate the golden arches. J. Kenji Lopez-Alt went on a quest to create the perfect french fry at home. A fry that was as close to a McDonalds fry as possible. The quest involved industrial espionage (getting samples of still frozen McDonalds fries for analysis) and the realization that some of the steps that the person at home can avoid may help the process (Freezing before the second frying, like McDonalds does to get the fries to the restaurants, helps a great deal). The result is The Burger Lab: Hot to Make Perfect Thin and Crisp French Fries over at Serious Eats.