Official names of McNugget shapes


McDonald's Chicken McNuggets aren't just weirdly-shaped forms of "white boneless chicken, water, food starch-modified, salt, seasoning [autolyzed yeast extract, salt, wheat starch, natural flavoring (botanical source), safflower oil, dextrose, citric acid], sodium phosphates, natural flavor (botanical source), water, enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), yellow corn flour, bleached wheat flour, food starch-modified, salt, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate, calcium lactate), spices, wheat starch, dextrose, and corn starch." The shapes actually have official names: ball, bone, bell, and boot. And if you're in Canada, the "bone" is officially a "bow-tie." McDonald's paid for Business Insider to visit their corporate headquarters where they learned all about the McNugget experience from the McDonald's (Mc)Sensory Team." (Business Insider)


    1. I feed my dogs a raw diet, which means that every few weeks I run about 120 pounds of raw chicken necks through a meat grinder. When that infamous picture of chicken McNuggets in their “raw” state came out I wasn’t surprised by how familiar the product looked.

      It did, however, leave me wondering exactly which bits of the chicken they’re using.

      1. I looked up “raw diet for dogs” and I’m just thrilled that the Wikipedia article on raw feeding has a photo captioned, “A kitten feeding on a cottontail rabbit.”

          1. Even though I had nothing to do with the Wikipedia article (and didn’t even know about it until you mentioned it) I’m sorry you were subjected to that. Unless you like that sort of thing, in which case I’m glad.

            The only time I fed my dogs rabbit it, like the chicken necks, was run through the meat grinder and turned into an unrecognizable paste. Although it does kind of disturb me how quickly I’ve become used to seeing the occasional chicken head.

  1. I like the boot shape the best. Great for dipping. Doesn’t even taste like sole.

    I’m glad I brought homemade soup for lunch, otherwise things could get tempting …

  2. I have been in a longstanding argument about this. Some people have told me that back in the 90s when they were not all-white meat, that the boot and bone shaped nuggets were dark meat and the others were white meat. Personally, I remember them all being the same with some having higher concentrations of dark meat. Any thoughts?

    1.  There is no difference in the meat from type to type for the current ones. Can’t comment on the 90s nuggets, but I don’t ever really recall dark meat nuggets, chunks in nuggets, or whatever. And I don’t like dark meat so it’s something that would have stuck out a little.

    2. A friend of mine says:

      I remember there being consistent dark meat and white meat variance… but I can’t remember if it was shape related or not.  I definitely saved the ‘dark meatish’ ones for last, being my favorite.  I’m really tracing this memory hard, I think I had to bite into them to see which was which.  Ooh, McShame.  Don’t tell anyone my real name.

    3. I definitely remember being able to differentiate between light and dark nuggets. I don’t remember which shape was which though.

  3. The taste has changed after so long. But I think they use to have dark meat in them as well as white meat. Pretty sure at least.

  4. I’d actually like to see that breakdown of ingredients separated by the batter, the chicken sausage filler, and the cooking oil medium thing. Obviously they all get combined together in the final product, but if you look at a box of breaded or stuffed foods in the store freezer, they often list the breading ingredients separate from the stuffing.

  5. In the 90s, KFC’s Kentucky Nuggets had dark meat, and unlike the sawdust nuggets I see everywhere, they were edible even without sauce. 

    1. Popeye’s has chicken strips that are pretty darn good, if I get an insurmountable craving for fried chicken chunks when I’m out and about.

      1. Popeye’s used to be my favorite fast food place, but I decided never to go there again after some lousy experiences at the ones in Atlanta and Athens.  Maybe I should call the one in Athens and ask them if, by any chance, they’ve had a change in management in the last couple of years.

  6. Hmm. Last time I ate McNuggets must have been in the mid-to-late 90’s when I was… 11? 12? I thank my mom for mostly cutting us off from fast food around that time.

    I mean, we usually had Burger King when I was a kid because there is one pretty close to my parents’ house. I’m not actually sure where the closest McDonald’s is to my parents’ house… I think we mainly had that, occasionally, when staying with my grandparents in another part of town.

    Anyway – I somehow still recall that there were these distinct shapes. I’m not sure I realized at the time that the shapes were always the same, though. I think the Burger King ones are (or were) all… er… “ball” shaped. 

    What I’m trying to say is that I have no doubt this scheme of making them appear to be different shapes fools almost everyone into being more comfortable with what they’re eating. I bet most people who eat McNuggets all the time, even, don’t make the realization (BB readers are a different sort, obviously, since a few earlier commenters report to having noticed – and I’m pretty sure I would notice if I ate these).

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