Saturday, November 05, 2011

Adventures in Ingredients

I recently made a discovery:  McDonald's french fries contain milk.  You can look it up for yourself if you don't believe me.  As crazy as this is, it got me thinking about what other unexpected ingredients are in the food we eat?  I have food allergies, so this is relevant to me from a health perspective.  Even if you are one of those lucky people who can eat whatever you want without any ill effect, it can be surprisingly interesting to see what ingredients are in things.

For example, let's look at the ingredients listing for White Castle.  Much of this looks pretty standard, though I'm not sure why it takes about half a page to list the ingredients for Buffalo Chicken Rings.  What surprised me the most, though, was that with White Castle, ingredients can change depending on where you are in the country.  For example, with my allergy to milk, I can't eat sausage patties in St. Louis White Castles (I'll leave the question of why I would want to unanswered for now), but I can in Louisville, KY.  And in Minneapolis, MN they have a Spicy Sausage Patty instead.  Why?  I don't know.  Of even more interest to me is the fact that "select regions" sell Sweet Potato Fries.  I love sweet potato fries!  Why don't you sell them in St. Louis, White Castle?  I demand an answer.  In fact, I can promise that if you start selling sweet potato fries in St. Louis, I will double my frequency of eating at White Castle.  Admittedly, I eat at White Castle maybe once every two years, so that isn't a large increase, but it is something.  You want to make your customers happy, right?  Do the right thing White Castle.

It also turns out that White Castle sells Clam Strips in "select regions" as well.  That doesn't sound like a very "White Castle" kind of thing to me.  I wonder where these regions are?  The Northeast?  Strange.