- Ada, Oklahoma


May 29, 2013

French fries and, please, Lord, ketchup


Ada —

Look at me without my shirt and deny that has happened.

Instead of talking about my momma’s fried potatoes, I would like to explore the food item that has become an icon for America’s poor dietary habits: the French fry.

And when I say the French fry, I am not being specific enough because there is a wide variety of French fry.  There is the steak fry, the crinkle fry, the curly fry, the McDonald’s fry, fries with the skin on them, and I could go on.  These can be classified even further.  For example, curly fries can be graded by their suppleness.  There are those that are more chip-like and some so “supple” they will slowly slide down any wall you fling one up against.  

This latter kind is my particular favorite, but it requires the eater to have a level of trust with the cook that one does not have time to develop when traveling abroad. Indeed, I like to be in countries where I (or my heirs) can sue restaurant owners before eating that kind, but l digress.

There are those who, perhaps, are not fond of McDonald’s-like French fries but even detractors cannot deny one of the virtues of this type of fry is that they can be widely replicated. Potatoes, hot oil, and cook them until they are crispy.  

It’s not a hard recipe.

And that’s important.  You’d like to think a cheeseburger would be easy to make, but you are wrong.  At various times in high-quality, in restaurants in cosmopolitan cities, I’ve attempted to seek comfort in a cheeseburger. Bun, ground beef, cheese: you’d think a chef worth his salt could to this. 

No. It’s on the menu; it looks good in the picture; your body, tired of trying to figure-out how to digest the local cuisine would be willing to accept just about anything; you take a bite. 

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