My husband and I have been reading Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser, which, for those of you have not heard about it, breaks down the evils of fast food generally, and McDonald’s specifically, point by saturated point . Each chapter is more disturbing than the last, from factory farms to exploited workers’ rights on down the digestive tract to e. coli tainted meat. Ugh.
But among all this, what really knitted my eyebrows was the role of the self-titled “flavorists” in the McManufacturing process. These chemists are responsible for nothing less than making that flash-frozen, shipped, thawed, deep-fried potato stick taste (well, smell, actually) like a McDonald’s French fry. These highly educated men and women have managed to create something so deceptive that the author, upon smelling a slip of paper laced with these chemicals, had to open his eyes to make sure there was no one in the room actually grilling a burger. Yet the only shout-out these alchemists receive (at least publicly) is a mention of natural (that’s right, natural) or artificial flavors at the end of a very long list of Mcgredients.
And therefore, as I explained to an understandingly confused friend, it was a compliment for my husband to say that my apple tarts tasted “as good as McDonald’s apple pies.” And no pHd in taste-manipulation required. Here’s the recipe so that you too can feel like a “flavorist.”
Apple Chutney Tarts