Tuesday, July 12, 2011

National French Fry Day - 2011

By Diane Forrest,
French fries, frites, patates frites or pommes frites are names that mean fried potatoes.  I know this, because today is National French Fry Day.

Some history about the french fry in the US involves Thomas Jefferson, in 1802 his chef prepared potatoes in the french fried method.  Here is an excerpt on how they were prepared:  Cut new potatoes in thin slices, put them in boiling fat, and a little salt; fry both sides of a light golden brown color; drain.

In Great Britain they are called Chips...as in Fish and Chips.  In Spain, fried potatoes are called "patatas fritas.  French fries are believed to have originated in Belgium, and are called French Fries for the method of cooking, and not the country of origin.

In the  1940's the J.R. Simplot company began commercializing frozen french fries, and Ray Kroc, owner of McDonald's, contracted them to provide french fries for him in 1967, by 2004, 29% of the potato crop was used for the production of frozen french fries. 

They come in several different ways, straight shoe string cut, crinkle cut, curly q shapes and wedges.  I like the crinkle cut best, thick, but not too thick, fried crispy and hot, sprinkled lightly with salt then a side of ketchup for dipping.

Years ago, while working as a waitress at a local historical inn, I sampled their fries, and let me tell you  perhaps the best french fry ever!  They cut the potato’s ( frozen will not do)  wash and drain them, then sprinkle with flour before dropping them in the hot peanut oil., kind of like a battered fry, but not heavily coated.  This gives the potato a little extra crunch and makes it even tastier!

Today, you can get them loaded with all kinds of things; cheese fries, chili fries, chili cheese fries, or a number of dipping sauces can be used as well such as ketchup, mayonnaise, barbeque sauce, ranch dressing or vinegar for the Canadian folks.

A new trend developing is sweet potato fries, these are very good, and my father will fry them every year when he fries the turkey at Thanksgiving.  You can also find frozen sweet potato fries as well.

Many of you know I have a weakness for chocolate; well my cousin has the same weakness for french fries.  After all these years, McDonald's still has one of the best french fries in town.  She will pop in and grab some fries to satisfy her craving.

So today, on National French Fry Day, why not satisfy your craving and grab some fries.  Don't forget the ketchup for dipping!

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