The Chick-Fil-A Side That Made History

Every good restaurant has a menu item that it's known for; a flagship menu item that is synonymous with the restaurant itself. A great restaurant not only has that, but it's famous for its sides as well. McDonald's not only has the Big Mac and the Quarter Pounder, but it also has the famous French fries and McNuggets. KFC is famous not just for its fried chicken, but also the biscuits and mashed potatoes. It takes skill to make one great menu item, and it takes even more skill to make lots of famous menu items. But it's not just French fries and biscuits that can become famous sides. In fact, they don't have to be anything elaborate or wacky like double deep-fried mozzarella sticks or extra-curly fries. 

Before we get into that, however, we have to talk about Chick-fil-A. When compared to other fast-food restaurants, Chick-fil-A is one of the healthiest quick-service restaurants on the market, per HealthyEater. While the chain does have the usual fries and milkshakes, Chick-fil-A also has a wide variety of healthy options, such as introducing its grilled chicken sandwich in 1989. It's not a type of place you could eat at each day, but it's still relatively lighter than a big greasy burger or oily pizza.

It is this focus on health that makes another particular Chick-fil-A side order so remarkable, considering what it meant for the fast food industry.

Chick-fil-A introduced a bowl of fruit

Chick-fil-A's fruit cup is deviously complicated, so please excuse us as we list off the long and complex ingredients: red and green apples, mandarin oranges, strawberries, and blueberries. Available at every Chick-fil-A location, the fruit cup joins the grilled chicken and salads as one of the healthier items you could order off the menu. While a fruit cup may seem pretty mundane to us today, it was actually a very important step in fast food companies providing healthier choices.

In a 2016 press release, Chick-fil-A claims to have been the first fast-food restaurant to ever offer such a side, considering the wide variety of salty and savory sides that other restaurants offered. Indeed, in the same press release, Chick-fil-A claims to be transitioning to offer healthier sides to the public, following the desires of their customer base. But how else has the chain been working to promote healthier alternatives in a world dominated by grease and salt? According to QSR Magazine, in 2008, Chick-fil-A announced that it had completely cut trans fats out of its menu, even going so far as to completely change their biscuit recipe to ensure that no trans fats remained in their food.  

Today, many other fast food restaurants are a bit more health-focused by offering salads, grilled alternatives, and even some orders that you may not have known were not only delicious but good for you, too.