Bruce Toews (masterofmusings) wrote,
Bruce Toews

The Evolution of the French Fry

One of the most wondrous gifts God has given humanity is the potato. If I had to pick one food item for which I am most grateful, amid a sea of yummy dead animals, delicious grains, nuts, fruits, rabbit food, I'd have to pick teh potato as the most significant.

A sadly-nutritionally-lacking product of the potato is the French Fry. Wonderful invention, a human creation born of a Godly one.

When I grew up, that's what French Fries (Freedom Fries, if you must) were: potatoes cut up, dipped in grease, served up on a plate with ketchup, maybe on a paper towel to absorb the excess grease. Simple enough, right? Delicious.

But there's always been a need to make fries crispier and crispier. I thought the best way to do it was to make the outside of the fries just slightly charred. Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside. I actually like the taste of burned fries when, as with everything else, eaten in moderation.

But the nineties saw a need to add batter to fries. Gone are the French Fries that taste like, you know potatoes. Now if you can't taste flour on a French Fry, it's not crispy enough. It ain't right. I want plain and simple, yummy-greasy fries, not floury dough with half a gram of potato in it.

That's why a really special treat for me, whenever I visit my mom, is homemade fries, under my supervision. I hear the potatoes being cut. If they just came out of the garden that morning, even better. I hear the batter not being added, the potatoes not being modified or altered as they're thrown into the deep-fryer for that extra-healthy grease touch. It's a magical assault of sound and smell, and later of indescribably fresh flavor. The French Fry the way nature intended: pure, unadulterated, untainted, undisturbed, unmarred, unblemished, un-, and this is the important part, battered. O French Fry of yesteryear, I salute you.

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