French fries. Chips. Fries. French-fried potatoes. Hot chips. Potato wedges. Pommes frites. Whatever you call them, they are GOOD, and without them, a burger, a sandwich and battered fish just isn’t the same. Even with the best of entrees, you can’t help but eat the fries first – it’s almost like eating dessert before the main meal. Where did this lovable, ubiquitous little potato miracle come from, and is there anything it can’t make better?
There isn’t a lot of evidence to support any single country being the original harbinger of the beloved French fry (not even France, if you can believe it). What we do know is that Thomas Jefferson proudly presented them at his dinner table courtesy of his French chef. Coincidence? Perhaps not! The Belgian journalist Jo Gérard insists that so-called “French” fries were actually the invention of Belgian fishermen who just loved frying potatoes and adding them to the daily catch for dinner. Hey man, so do we. So do we.
Thankfully, so do the guys at A Salt & Battery. They’re keeping in true tradition with the suggested origins of the French fry with some delicious and sustainably-farmed Pollock. Yum. Although at heart most Americans are all about ketchup with their fries, it does the soul good to try a bit of salt and vinegar when your fries are paired with fried fish.
Brooklyn’s Corner Burger is serving up a more modern French fry creation that comes directly from our lucky – and genius! – Canadian neighbors: the poutine. The fabulous French fry chefs at this restaurant start with a pile of perfect, sizzling fries and top it with delicious curd cheese and hot gravy. Everything melts together in a symphony of gooey decadence and – pow! – the fries have transcended. For an extra level of heaven, try out one of their American-style poutines, like the Coney Island Twisters. This delightful dish starts with curly fries and ends with chopped bacon. Enough said.
So why are French fries so irreplaceable? Robert Preidt says that they can produce a real, honest-to-goodness addiction in some of us, due to the high glycemic-index of the carbohydrates. In short, eating good French fries begets cravings for French fries, which leads to eating more French fries. The good news? If you need to switch your addiction off, you can eat sweet potato fries instead – and there’s nothing wrong with that!