McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets are one of the fast food juggernaut’s core menu items. They’re offered all over the world and are gobbled up by the millions.
McDonald’s has to make sure every piece is as perfect and standardized as possible — all the way down to the shape of the chicken.
So, there’s a method to the McNugget madness.
We visited the McDonald’s headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill., and sat in on a quality testing session. They had flown in chicken pros from suppliers like Tyson to grade the nuggets.
The McDonald’s sensory team explained that Chicken McNuggets have four distinct shapes and in order to have a chance to meet the McDonald’s “Gold Standard” for quality, they have to match them as perfectly as possible.
And each of those shapes has its own name.
Here are the four shapes of Chicken McNuggets, according to Barbara J. Booth, director of sensory science at McDonald’s USA: