A Krinkle in Time

King Krinkz

King Krinkz

I Paid: $1.49 for a 4.5-ounce box of fries (prices may vary by region)

Taste: 2 stars

Marketing: 3 stars

Who’s the fast-food giant famous for his surprisingly good mass-produced french fries? What? Ronald McDonald? Yeah, that’s who I would’ve chosen, too. But the guy that plucky upstart ConAgra Foods went for was the Burger King, ruler of the dysfunctional fast-food megachain whose marketing is all over the unfortunately named King Krinkz.

The coolest thing about these frozen, microwavable fries is their package, a large, trapezoidal, microwave-enhancing cardboard box. The cooking instructions, as presented by the box, are simple: “Shake, Vent, Zap, Tap, and Rip. The King Would Approve.”

Shaking the box is supposed to break up the frozen chunk of fries within. Shake harder and longer than I did, because in my experience a lot of the fries remained clumped together throughout the microwaving process. Venting and zapping should, in theory, give you “krispy” fries, but, again, no such luck: Most of the fries were soft and greasy. Tapping, at least, worked, settling the partially soggy fries in the bottom part of the Eazy Transport Frypod.

In defense of the mushy glob of fries produced by this whole ordeal: The spices used to flavor them are sufficiently intense that they taste more like a side dish at a decent if downscale Indian buffet than anything resembling straightforward American fries. If texture and clumping had been less of a problem, the overall flavor experience would have been a more enjoyable one. As it was, the best use of the Eazy Transport Frypod was transporting the bulk of the fries to the kitchen garbage can.

James Norton edits the Upper Midwestern food journal Heavy Table. He's also the coauthor of a book on Wisconsin's master cheesemakers. Follow CHOW on Twitter, and become a fan on Facebook.