The last two weeks of July mark some of our favorite food days of the year. Today presents our most favorite of all foods – French Fries! We’re suckers for fries. Why?
Because french fries are great any time of day. Morning, noon or night, baked, deep-fried, pan-fried – you name it. Even when you feel like you are so stuffed you couldn’t possibly eat another bite, you’ll usually poke down another french fry! For most of us, they really are THAT good! Crinkle fries, criss-cut fries, waffle fries, curly fries, steak fries, home fries, shoestring fries, chili cheese fries, animal fries and truffle fries (yeah, that’s where we really get excited about french fries) are the most common forms served.
McDonald’s produces more than 2 million pounds of french fries a day! Today, the average American consumes almost 2.5 pounds of french fries per month. Ray Kroc the well-known founder of McDonald’s is primarily responsible for our insatiable appetite for fries.
It’s a well-known fact that Kroc’s original recipe for fries was so well-loved, that even acclaimed food critic James Beard sang their praises. It’s no wonder why, when you consider that those fries were originally fried in oil that was 93% beef tallow and had more saturated beef fat per ounce than the hamburgers they were served beside.
Until 1990, McDonald’s had a strangle hold on fast food’s “tastiest fries” award. But with mounting concern over the saturated fat content their frying oil changed and so did the flavor of their fries. Forever. (Beard would probably roll over in his grave if he knew what had been done to Ray’s fries!)
Today anyone who serves fries at their restaurant – chain, mom & pop or even pop-up – knows that fries have a great profit margin. But that’s only true if people want to eat them. Most of us like our fries to be crispy, sometimes very crispy. Let’s be honest, soggy fries just aren’t appetizing!
In the pursuit of producing crispy fries one ingredient consistently produces deliriously delicious results. Duck fat. The fat is not only incredibly tasty, but has a much higher smoke point than vegetable oils. The higher smoke point allows for the higher oil temperature that is necessary for producing that nice crispy crust!
Another tip is to parboil your fries. This helps to create the dehydrated layer of gelatinized starch before frying. Parboil your fries and you will have some of the crispiest fries ever when you introduce them to duck fat! (Double or triple fry them to increase the crispiness.) Everyone knows that french fries aren’t really french fries without lots and LOTS of salt, so, to totally kick them over the top, we recommend salting them with a combination of Black Truffle sea salt and Hawaiian Red sea salt.
Your french fries and taste buds never had it so good, and the days of feeling like you miss the ‘old’ McDonald’s French fries will be long gone! We think the food guys are right; today, is as good a day as any for french fries.