Breaking Down: French Fries

French Fries are the staple side dish. They’re everything that one could ask for. The vast variety, from light and crunchy to dense and chewy, they can compliment any dish! A few common pairings have been burgers, hot dogs, chicken wings, and even some exotic dishes that have their own version of a frenched and fried potato. In today’s blog, the history of the frenched fry will be uncovered so that you can have a true understanding of the icon in fast food, french fries.

The term “french” is a verb used to describe the method of cutting something into long rectangular prisms. This applies to French fries because they are, well, long rectangular prisms. The latter part of the name “fry” simply means that it is the result of being fried. There is no need to include any form of “potato” in this name because a summary of how the food was made is already the name. Who cares about the origin when the final product is sitting right in front of you? Well, maybe you should, because we need to talk about potatoes.

Potatoes are one of the least healthy vegetable. It lacks carotenoids, resulting in a plain brown color. It lacks vitamins, but it makes up for it with large amounts of starch and carbohydrates. This is why potatoes are known to have a high glycemic load, which is the scientific term for a food that spikes insulin surges in your body. Though they are one of the most versatile vegetables, they shouldn’t be treated as one. So next time someone tells you to eat some vegetables, please do not pull out potato chips.

French fries cannot be reduced down to the identity of just a food item. There is quite the political and historical conflict that goes behind it. The method of frenching originated in a region that covers the northern area of France, and the southern area of Belgium. Though most people consider that region to be Belgian, France has laid a historical claim to it, as the French Empire had control over it for a majority of modern history. An argument has been made that the word French would most likely be influenced by the name of the country, France, but the French people refer to the method as julienne. There is a complicated history, and anyone’s opinion will be based on what articles they read.

Something to remember, french fries were never intended to be healthy. As the new craze of health foods set in, alternatives came up. Home cooks have discovered that sweet potatoes are a healthier, less starchy alternative to the plain potato. Baking can replace the method of frying, for an almost equivalent level of crunchiness. The only issue with this is that sodium is still an issue. The natural sweet flavor in the sweet potatoes will rarely be overpowered by table salt, but many people try. This results in even more sodium that there is in a normal potato french fry. This same issue arises in the battle of meats versus imitation meats, but that is a later topic. Sacrifices have to be made, and the experience of a french fry depends on what you are looking for. The flavor will never be the same, but for some, the texture is enough.

The most common misconception about health foods is that it needs to be about change. It is always good to innovate in food choices, but sometimes, imitation is the opposite of flattery. Some things do not need to be changed. If you work too hard to change something, then there is no point of choosing that unique thing in the first place.

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