Entire fast-food empires have been built around the french fry. And yet, companies still continue to pursue perfection -- as in, a better-for-you fry.
The modestly named Perfect Fry company out of Calgary thinks it's nailed such a thing. At the National Restaurant Association show, which opened Saturday at McCormick Place, the company, which makes ventless, hoodless fryers, showed off its new baby: the Spin Fresh.
The 17-inch wide countertop fryer uses centrifugal force to spin off a third of the oil and calories from just-fried fries, chicken nuggets and the like, but retrieves the oil so it can be reused. The fries I tried looked and tasted noticeably lighter and less greasy than most.
The technology was developed by the Spin Fresh company, one of whose investors and board members, Ed Rensi, knows a thing or two about french fries. Rensi ran a little company called McDonald's for 13 years.
Perfect Fry acquired the technology; in turn, Perfect Fry was just acquired by Elgin's Middleby Corp., maker of the Turbochef ovens used by Starbucks to heat their breakfast sandwiches and pastries.
All of this is to say, you may be seeing a spun-fresh fry at your favorite fast-food eatery sooner rather than later.
(photo by John J. Kim/Sun-Times)