When folks get the food they have ordered at a restaurant .. and it accompanied by a side of french fries I’d lay heavy odds that the very first thing that is touched, tasted, sampled, eaten and enjoyed … will be the fries. It is a lock. I’ve seen it time and time again. Golden, crispy, ever so slightly salted French fries tempt us in ways that a Proustian cookie could never out do. Dunked into ketchup like many, mustard like some or …au natural … all sublime!
It is unlikely that any of us can remember our first handful of french fries. Our memory banks become flooded considering the myriad times we had them and loved them. The place settings can vary widely. That is because french fries fit into our lives whether we are eating at The Ritz eating Filet Mignon … or on a picnic bench eating burgers. Oh …. the containers change. You might have elegant linen napkins nestling them in a high toned place or a tell tale red box at a drive in billions swear by. Did you know Mc Donald’s flavors them with what they call “natural beef flavor”? Vegetarians take heed. Oh … by the way they are not called French fries because the French invented them. Nearby Belgium likely holds that claim. Some say they are called French fries because “to french something” is to cut it into thin slices. Others believe it has to do with the love American soldiers found for them during World War II and … upon returning home referred to them in that way. The French themselves don’t call their fries “French”. They call them frites.
Now it’s time to hit the ‘Listen on WLRN’ button at the top to hear the remainder of my show. ‘A Word On Food’ airs on WLRN every Saturday around 8:30 a.m. at 91.3 and also 91.5 on the radio. I want to thank so many of you who tell me in person how much you are enjoying the show!