You know what geometric phenomenon doesn’t get enough love these days? The curly object, that’s what. Think about it. Have you ever known something curly that wasn’t also straight up awesome? From Taylor Swift’s curly hair to the always dependable curl route, curly stuff has always been dependable even when it’s not in style.
You know what’s not dependable, though? Burger King’s new Seasoned Sweet Potato Curly Fries. Launched as a limited time only menu item as part of the chain’s 55th birthday bash for the iconic Whopper, the new fries give the corkscrew treatment to the sweet potato fry Burger King originally brought out this summer. They also give the soggy, burnt, and cold treatment to the sweet potato, and mark another “just ok” development in a long history of “just ok” Burger King sides.
So why did I find myself chucking them in my mouth with all the intensity of Garfield letting loose on a hot lasagna? Because sweet potato fries are like pizza, that’s why. At best, they’re the kind of ethereal, salty-sweet-crispy addiction that makes downing hundreds of calories in the time it takes to read this sentence completely acceptable. And at worst, they’re still chock-full of sweet and salty sweet potato flavor that makes downing hundreds of calories in the time it takes to read this sentence moderately acceptable.
As any serious fry eater will tell you, making the perfect fry out of sweet potatoes is hard enough without trying to throw them through a corkscrew. Often soggy or burnt, with interiors that are more creamy that the ideal fluffy, sweet potato fries may taste great, but the texture is always off. It’s the same dilemma with Arby’s Curly Fries. I love the seasoning on Arby’s Curly Fries as much as the next guy, but unlike that always dependable curl route from your tight end to get your team a much needed first down, Arby’s drops the ball half the time when it comes to perfecting the texture of their signature side.
It’s the same story at Burger King. I only found one true, slinky-esque Curly Fry in my small order, and met a mixed bag carton of fries that ranged from overcooked and crunchy pieces of fry “burnt ends” to the aforementioned slinky, which while fun to look at, was limp and soggy. I can take limp and soggy, but the cold part was really what bothered me. If I wanted cold sweet potato taste, I could have at least bought a bag of chips, which would have at least been crunchy.
Still, like Sbarro pizza, there’s something just intrinsically tasty about it. Perhaps it’s the mere fact that it’s a French Fry made out of sweet potatoes. Obviously they’re naturally sweet and a bit earthy, but it’s the addition of a kind of raw sugar seasoning that allows for snacking on the fries plain to be particularly addicting. This is a good thing, because it took me all of three seconds to reaffirm my belief that ketchup and sweet potatoes just don’t mix.
If anything, I’d say the fries were a bit undersalted. Also, I’m scratching my head trying to figure out if their was some kind of cinnamon addition to the seasoning. I could have sworn I tasted the classic sweet potato sidekick on some of the fries, but a scan of the ingredient list via the BK website shows no signs. Not cool, Burger King. Sweet potatoes and cinnamon need each other.
Burger King could have done a lot worse with their Seasoned Sweet Potato Curly Fries. Like, they could have made regular curly fries, which probably just would have sucked because of a lack of Arby’s signature seasoning. Still, with more and more fast food and fast casual restaurants going orange on us, you can do a lot better if you’re really looking for that salty-sweet mix.
(Nutrition Facts – Small size – 170 calories, 90 calories from fat, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 380 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.)
Item: Burger King Seasoned Sweet Potato Curly Fries
Purchased Price: $1.89
Purchased at: Burger King
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Addictive sweet potato taste. Not greasy. Has a salty-sweet vibe working. Probably the healthiest fry in fast food (just 170 calories for a small order)
Cons: Horribly inconsistent texture. Served cold. Seasoning is sporadic and hit or miss. Could use a little more salt. One of the few things on earth that does not go with ketchup. Pricey for a small side.