So, what's on YOUR mind?
This is an example of something that really really bugs me but in the grand scheme of things is meaningless. Welcome to my mind, it is never a vacation here.
This is just random but this has been building up for some time so I thought I would just throw it out there in search of solidarity amongst my peers. I hate that restaurants ruin french fries by trying to make them their signature dish by creating something so completely modified that they no longer resemble french fries.
French fries in their pure form should be a potato that is sliced into either wedges or sticks and fried in oil or fat and served with a dose of salt, which is optional. Anything else that is done to fancy them up should not be considered french fries. PERIOD.
The impetus of this post comes from two experiences in the last week where I have been convinced to get fries at a restaurant that claims that it has the best fries I have ever had (or not had at that point). Ultimately it was my experience at HopCat in Detroit that pushed me over the edge with their “Crack Fries”. Yes, they indeed name their fries after an addictive drug in a way that makes us non-crack users think “if 1. crack users love crack so much and 2. these fries are apparently like crack but not crack, they are going to be A-MAY-ZING”. In the end they were fried potato slices that were loaded with so much spice that I found them barely tolerable.
I understand it is personal taste. I am sure there are a lot of people who try the HopCat crack fries and love them(after all they are addictive, like crack, which sounds awesome) but at the end of the day I do not think they should be called fries. And I don’t mean to pick on HopCat because it is fantastic and a beer lover’s paradise. It is just I see it more and more frequently that restaurants are trying to improve fries by doing their own version of them that somehow is make us believe that they are better then the original idea of straight up deep fried potatoes.
My beef isn’t just limited to fancy restaurants, several fast food chains have also substituted the plain fried potato for a version that is coated in some starchy product that I think is intended to make them crunchy but in the end gives them an oily processed taste. Burger King is an example. I don’t have others because I don’t eat fast food but I know I have seen them.
Reinheitsgebot – German for “we love beer more than we like you” (not a real translation)
So to my point – I think we should institute a law over french fries that is similar to the Reinheitsgebot, otherwise known as the German Beer Purity Law, that was created in 1497 in the interest of identifying (and limiting) the ingredients that could be used in the production of beer. Reinheitsgebot stated that beer could only made from barley, water and hops. That was it. What was to be considered beer could not include any other ingredients. Interestingly, even though its been around 607 years and is often cited by modern day brewers, a version of the law still exists in Germany. It has been modified to allow other ingredients such as yeast and wheat but the concept is still the same. If you want the full history of Reinheitsgebot check out the Wikipedia page but let’s just say that the German’s recognized the glorious simplicity of beer and wanted to ensure that it was protected. .
The French Fry Purity Law of 2015
So herewith I introduce my proposal for the French Fry Purity Law of 2015. This law says a French Fry (or abbreviated “Fries”) can only be made by cooking a sliced white or yellow potato (no sweet potatoes) by deep frying in oil or fat and optionally garnished with salt.
Anything else has to be referred to by another name. Can’t be French fries, can’t be “whatever” fries. It has to be a name that does not include the words French or Fry or Fries. This will make it so when we order off a restaurant menu we know if we are getting actual French Fries or a potato product created by some hoity-toity chef to falsely make us believe they can improve on the extremely simple but wonderful original recipe.
Come on people. Let’s get behind this. Say it with me “Viva le French Fry”.
Great read. Always clever, full of interesting points and humor. Love this one.
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great article! and in complete agreement! can we do the same for coffee??
Lol. I have to admit I am less passionate about coffee. But you are welcome to propose your own law in that regard.
Crack fries? My god some potato is rolling in his grave at that.
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“Viva le French Fry” 🙂