Taste test: Burger King's new lower-calorie 'Satisfries'

Burger King is hoping to boost sales by putting french fries on a diet. The burger chain just introduced new fries promoted as having 30 percent less fat than its regular fries and 40 percent less than the fries at McDonald's.

The exact formula is still top secret, but Burger King says its new crinkle-cut fries, dubbed "Satisfries," are made with the same potatoes, same oil as the BK Classic fries. Key ingredients are said to reduce the oil absorption, so the fries have less fat and fewer calories.

So much for marketing; I want to know about taste. I ordered one large serving of regular fries and one large serving of Satisfries to go. I surprised a group of local college students (translation: french fry experts) with a blind taste.

They knew they were sampling french fries, but that's it. I called the Satisfries "Fry A." And the regular fried "Fry B".

Response to "Fry A" was moderately positive.

"I liked them. They're good. They kind of taste a little bit like store bought ones that you make at home, though." said one tester.

"When I like of like Burger King, I think if really skinny crispy fries that are really salty and good," said another tester, commenting on the thick, crinkle-cut fries.

The six blindfolded testers were a lot more interested in taking seconds of "Fry B," the BK Classics with 30 percent more fat and 20 percent more calories than the new Satisfries. With one exception, testers favored the fattier fries, although they clearly had no qualms about devouring all of the fries, once the test was over.

According to my taste buds, Satisfries aren't bad. Just don't expect them to taste exactly like regular french fries. They're a little more potato and a little less fry. If you're a die-hard french fry fanatic, chances are you'll stick with the fat and calories of the regular deep-fried spuds.

If you like a less guilty "carb crunch," the Satisfries are a healthier option. Dieticians warn, however, don't take "healthier" as a license to consume more. It's still a fried carbohydrate.

And be prepared for Satisfries to take more fat out of your wallet. The reduced fat and calories for my order cost me an extra 30 cents.
By the way, my taste testers agreed that the name Satisfries gets a thumbs down.

The sole fan who liked them better than regular fries believes -- as does Burger King -- that the lower-calorie fries will catch on. Others give it three months. Burger King does note that Satisfries are only available for a limited time, which suggests the company is still testing the market.