Where To Find Old Fashioned McDonald’s Fried Apple Pies in Tampa
I’m probably the last one to know this. But I had to post this just in case. I thought deep fried McDonald’s apple pies disappeared for good 20 years ago. I only moved to Tampa a few years ago. I’ve lived everywhere from Boston to San Francisco. Deep fried McDonald’s apple pies share space in my mind with the Rubik’s Cube, Max Headroom, and the 45RPM record as fond memories of time gone by.
If you’re over 30 years old, a taste of your childhood can be had all over Tampa Bay. All McDonald’s restaurants owned by the Casper Company have said no to the Golden Arches’ corporate big shots and have refused to sell the baked apple pies that replaced those fried tubes of sugary cinnamon goodness in the early 1990s.
I grew up in the 1980s as the son of a single working mom. Plus I was a fussy only child who loved Ronald. After a hard day at work, Mom often hit the McDonald’s drive thru to bring home dinner. And no meal was complete without one of those crunchy apple pies. You knew the deal… you better let the sucker cool off because the molten lava inside that crust was lethal for that first hour.
When the Mickey D’s fried apple pies disappeared, the world was just not the same. Those bland baked frauds just didn’t cut it.
Then I visited Europe for the first time in 2006. I thought I’d do the cliche American tourist thing and snap a pic inside a foreign McDonald’s. When I stepped up to the counter, I saw that beautiful oval box, not the square one I was used to seeing. Could it be? YES! European McD’s still have fried apple pies! I’m pretty sure I heard angels singing. The rest of the room may have even gone dark as a ray of light shined on that stack of pies in the warmer. I probably had 3 pies that trip.
After hearing me talk about the fried apple pies in Europe, a listener called my show. She saw the cell phone pic of the pies I posted to my Facebook page from that trip. She claimed to have found a McDonald’s near MacDill that had them. I scoffed and instantly dismissed the story. But she insisted. I knew research had to be done. I picked up the phone.
When the poor McDonald’s manager on duty confirmed that they indeed do carry old school fried apple pies, I perhaps got a bit over excited. A tear may or may not have been rolling down my cheek when I repeated… “Are you sure? FRIED apple pies, not baked?” Thinking that I was pranking her, she chuckled and asked if I was for real. I think she was close to hanging up on me. She just didn’t understand. My world had changed. A piece of my childhood was back.
After doing some more looking in to this, sure enough, all of the Casper McDonald’s locations in Tampa, Pinellas Park, Oldsmar, Temple Terrace, Brandon, Seffner, Riverview, Town N’ Country, Lutz, Valrico, Madeira Beach, St. Petersburg, and Treasure Island have them.
I’m sure it’s no big secret to those who’ve always lived here. But I feel like I found a hidden time machine. You don’t know how lucky we are to live here! Nobody gets to enjoy these! VisitFlorida.com people – this could eventually bring more tourists to the Sunshine State than Disney. If you’ve got friends up North, let ’em know and wait til you hear their reaction!
McDonald’s all over the country denied our taste buds of the fried pastry in 1992. I’m assuming it had something to do with the infamous hot coffee lawsuit. KFC, Taco Bell and some other fast food joints tried to recreate them, but the original is here in Tampa Bay! As the rest of the country has to get by with those chewy baked pies, we Floridians can crunch and burn our tongues in joy!