Posts tagged ‘mcdonald’s’

McDonald’s Imports One Third of Mexican Sesame Seeds

By Chad Upton | Editor

Sesame seeds come from sesame plants where the seeds grow in pods.

The seeds range in color from very dark to nearly white and are used in foods from Europe, Asia, The Middle East, North America, South America and virtually everywhere else. They are found in everything from sushi to breadsticks and soup to hamburger buns.

A tasty Middle Eastern dip known as Tahini, is made from ground sesame seeds and salt (and sometimes other spices too). Sesame seeds are also very popular in a variety of baked goods including breads, bagels and crackers. In Togo, a small country in West Africa, uses sesame seeds as a main ingredient in soup. They’re also used in Greek cakes.

Sesame seeds are popular because they add a subtle savory nut-like flavor. They taste good because they’re high in polyunsaturated fats (the “good” fat). It should be mentioned that heat from cooking or baking damages the polyunsaturated fats.

The largest producers are India and China, and one of the largest consumers is McDonald’s, which buys one third of the Mexican sesame seeds imported by the US annually.

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Sources: Wikipedia (Sesame, Polyunsaturated Fats), Purdue.edu

Photo: Oceandesetoiles (cc)

April 25, 2011 at 2:00 am Leave a comment

Bozo the Clown was the First Ronald McDonald

By Kaye Nemec

Weather Man Willard Scott is well known as Bozo the Clown, but what most people may not know is that he is also the man who created Ronald McDonald.

Scott started his show business career on the Joy Boys radio show in 1955 and remained a co-host until 1974. In the 1960’s, Scott began his television career by appearing in children’s programs as Commander Retro and Bozo the Clown. In 1970 his weatherman career officially kicked off when he became the weekday weatherman on WRC-TV. He is also well known for his Smucker’s birthday segment on NBC’s The Today Show.

Original Ronald McDonald Costume

In 1963 a local McDonald’s franchise in Washington D.C., where Scott was living, asked him to create a children’s character for their restaurant chain. He came up with “Ronald McDonald” and appeared in three different television spots in the Washington D.C. area using the phrase, “Ronald McDonald, the Hamburger-Happy Clown.”

In the movie Super Size Me, Eric Schlosser says that McDonald’s decided to replace Scott with someone who wasn’t as overweight because they were concerned about the image they were sending if their mascot did not appear healthy and fit.

Although there are hundreds of actors who play Ronald all around the country, the company likes to keep the illusion that there is only one Ronald. In an effort to create this illusion, all actors are trained on specific mannerisms before performing as Ronald.

Ronald McDonald is still very popular and a widely recognized character today. According to McDonald’s statement about Ronald McDonald, 96% of all school aged kids in America recognize him.

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Sources: Wikipedia

Photo: partly cloudy (cc)

November 10, 2010 at 2:00 am 2 comments

McDonald’s Once Owned Chipotle Mexican Grill

By Chad Upton | Editor

Chipotle Mexican Grill is a popular fast food restaurant with more than 1000 locations in the United States, Canada and England.

For those who don’t know, they are well known for using fresh and healthy ingredients. For the most part, they use meat from animals that are free range, fed vegetarian diets and raised without antibiotics, hormones or arsenic, not to mention vegetables that are organic and locally produced.

If you’ve read or seen Fast Food Nation (2001/2006), you’ll know that most fast food chains do not operate like this. They source the cheapest meats possible, which often come from animals raised in the least healthy ways. If you’ve seen the documentary Food Inc (2008), Chipotle is painted as a very different kind of fast food chain.

That’s why it’s so surprising that McDonald’s once owned a majority share.

Chipotle was started in 1993 by a chef named Steve Ells. The first store was in Denver Colorado, followed by a few more Denver stores in 1995 and five more in 1996. The chain was growing quickly, so they accepted outside investors in 1998, including McDonald’s.

Because the chain was expanding so quickly, it made a lot of sense for McDonald’s to invest. The funding helped Chipotle expand even more quickly, going from 16 stores in 1998 to 500 in just 8 years.

In January of 2006, Chipotle went public on the New York Stock Exchange. It was the second most successful public offering for a restaurant, second to Boston Chicken (now Boston Market), which was another McDonald’s property. McDonald’s divested its interest in both companies in October 2006 to focus on the McDonald’s brand.

It should be noted that Chipotle chose to sponsor the documentary Food Inc. Although, it’s not know if it was the chicken or the egg, that is if Chipotle was painted in such a positive light because they were a sponsor or if they sponsored and promoted the film because it made them look good. The sponsorship was announced almost two months after the film was released, so it’s plausible the sponsorship was an effort to promote the film because it was so favorable to Chipotle.

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Sources: grist, wikipedia, chipotle

Photo: Mr. T in DC (cc)

September 10, 2010 at 5:00 am 4 comments

Big Mac Sauce is Not Just Thousand Island Dressing

There is no shortage of McDonald’s secrets. In a previous post, I talked about the secret markings on McDonald’s cups that indicate proper ice and soda levels.

Now, I want to talk about the Big Mac. It was invented by Jim Delligatti, one of the earliest McDonald’s franchisees. It was so popular at his restaurants, McDonald’s made it a national menu item in 1967. (more…)

March 4, 2010 at 12:01 am 3 comments

The Secret Marks on McDonald’s Cups

The secret marks are all about ice. How much ice is too much? Are you getting ripped off? Why are they so concerned with how much ice goes into the cup? Let me tell you…

McDonald's Cup Lines

Firstly, for credibility and disclosure, I should mention that I worked at McDonald’s for a while during high school. This was one of the most interesting, enlightening and dirty jobs I’ve had.

One of the most surprising things was their commitment to quality. I know that’s kind of an oxymoron, but keep in mind they’re dealing with burgers and fries, not White Alba truffles. Regardless, they take burgers and fries very seriously. They employ top culinary experts to perfect things such as, the exact amount of mustard their proprietary dispenser puts on a burger. They hand pick only the best potatoes for the fries, according to one training video. They also have proprietary shortening for cooking the fries and a different shortening recipe for nuggets and fish fillets.

Their attention to detail includes regular calibration of the soda dispenser. This ensures the proper mix of water, syrup and carbon dioxide for the perfect Coke. There are also buttons that represent each cup size to automatically fill the cups while the cashier gets the rest of your order. It is important that the exact amount of ice is put in your cup, otherwise the calibrated machine will not fill the cup to the top mark on the cup.

Let’s take a step back, there is a large machine in the back of the restaurant that supplies the soda machine with all of the ingredients. It compresses air for the carbonation, filters tap water and holds all of the various syrup flavors. There is tubing that carries all of these supplies to the front of the store where the soda dispensers are. There is no refrigeration in any part of this system, so they have to put enough ice in your cup to take the drink from room temperature, to ice cold — before you take your first sip.

On the internet, there are many complaints about too much ice in these drinks. People complain that they’re being ripped off. While I agree, there is a lot of ice in these drinks, if you compare the price per ounce, it’s still cheaper than canned drinks. Some people don’t mind room temperature soda and ask for it with “no ice” and some people even ask for “extra ice” so it’s extra cold.

Extra ice doesn’t sound that strange if you have one of those fancy fridges with an ice maker. Maybe you’ve experimented with different amounts of ice, and if you’ve ever completely filled a cup with ice you may agree that a super cold soda is the best kind there is.

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November 19, 2009 at 11:28 pm 16 comments


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