You can find french fries in all kinds of restaurant menus throughout America, from tiny, hole in the wall, burger joints to local and national fast food franchises, and even in trendy microbreweries. Every professional chef has a special spot in the heart reserved for the greatest food debacles and french fries are definitely one of the main conundrums to observe. No fry will ever be perfect because there is widespread disagreement on what constitutes an outstanding fry. Champion’s Brewpub Garlic Fries Seasoning is a powerful blend for french fries!
Opinions vary regarding the ideal texture—some prefer it crunchy and crispy, while others are looking for soggy and soft—, as well as the perfect cut—waffle, curly, crinkle, shoestring, and steak… all these variables appeal to different tastes. To make matters even more complicated, some people will swear by the absolute necessity of having sauce on fries, with gravy and cheese taking the lead in this game.
The History of “French” Fries
The controversy starts way, way back. In Europe, there is a long-standing feud between Belgians and the French regarding the origins of well, “French” fries. The Belgians surely affirm that the first baby fry was born in their land, somewhere along the river Meuse.
According to them, Belgian villagers would fry fish every day, as the village subsisted on the fruits of their own fishing. But then, in the winter, there would be no fish because the river would be entirely frozen. So the villagers turned out to potatoes, which they fried just like fish. So we should be calling them Belgian Fries, right? Well, the French say that in the 1780s, just before the French Revolution, they were already having fries sold in the streets. Next to Paris’s oldest bridge crossing the river Seine, Pont Neuf, street vendors sold fries to locals and foreigners with great success.
So who’s right? No one knows! But hey, someone else is coming for the potato crown.
The Spanish claim that they deserve the credit since they brought potatoes from South America to Western Europe during the first stages of colonization (which started out… two to three centuries before the French Revolution, if it helps in figuring out the “Great French or not French Fry Debacle Timeline”). In a 1553 memoir, Spanish envoys describe how Incas would boil potatoes, resulting in a flavor reminiscent of hot chestnuts. Once the Spanish people became acquainted with potatoes, they preferred to fry them in oil. So the Spanish probably did fry potatoes before anyone else, but their dishes certainly did not resemble our contemporary maybe French fries. Maybe we can give them an honorable mention for possibly coming up with potato wedges.
Many have claimed that Thomas Jefferson, widely known as America’s first foodie, can be credited with introducing French fries to this nation. In this version of History, Jefferson discovered French fries when he was in a diplomatic mission as the U.S. Minister in France in the 1780s (a time that correlates with the previously mentioned Pont Neuf theory). Jefferson’s reputation as the country’s food connoisseur forefather is built upon the discovery of old, handwritten family cookbooks belonging to him that include a lot of now-classic American dishes such as vanilla ice cream and mac and cheese, as well as a French recipe for fried potato sticks. Sounds like a win for Team France with an assist from our very own founding father.
The Story Behind Champion’s Brewpub Garlic Fries Seasoning
What the Spanish and the Belgians get wrong is that French fries are several notches above fried potatoes. Great French fries make you forget that vegetables even exist, even if for a brief, extremely salty few minutes. If you go into any joint that takes pride in its French fries, you will see the hard work and meticulous attention that go into crafting the perfect fresh, hand-cut fry. It’s hours and hours of peeling, cutting, rinsing, soaking, rinsing again, frying and cooling that result in truly excellent fries. Based on labor, these should not be the cheapest item on a pub’s menu. Many of our manufacturer’s recurrent customers are microbreweries and pubs. In honor of their love of perfectly-made, gourmet French fries, it became a priority to develop a pub-style garlic fry seasoning.
Preparing Pub Style Fries at Home
If you hope to create your very own perfect, golden French fries, you will need to take the process seriously. It’s fun food, but to perfect it, you need to be as committed as you would be to foie gras. But in the end, you will be rewarded with homemade fries that are crispy and crunchy on the outside, but deliciously soft on the inside. First, you need to understand how starch works. Potatoes are mostly starch, which precludes the outside of fries from getting crispy. It also means that it takes far too long for the inside of the potato to get cooked, which results in burnt edges.
So, you’re swimming against the tide here. But here’s what you gotta do. You’ll start out by peeling the potatoes and cutting them into regular sticks that will go into a medium to a large colander. Next, you will thoroughly rinse off the potato sticks. Then, place them all inside a large pot, add cold water, covering all the sticks and leave them soaking for at the very least, let’s say, two to three hours. Now, you think it’s too much effort? In a real restaurant, they would be soaking overnight so, don’t be a quitter.
Once the soaking is done, drain the potato sticks, put them back in the colander, rinse them all off again, and lay them out over a whole lot of paper towels to dry off. Pat the potato sticks with the paper towels to get rid of excess moisture.
Into The Oven
You’ve spent about four to five hours thus far. We told you, foie gras commitment level. Keep going.
You’ll move on to phase two now, which is the first fry. Get a pot, fill it up with oil and preheat it to 300 degrees. Each batch of potatoes that you fry should take only four to five minutes to be done. Reminder: this is the first fry. There will be more, you won’t be getting them golden on the outside just yet. This is simply to get them soft inside. In the very first batch, test one potato stick as soon as you hit four minutes. If a knife cuts through it easily, then it’s done. As you take it out each batch, drain the fries and lay them over fresh and dry paper towels.
Congratulations, you’re not a quitter. But you don’t have golden-brown French fries just yet. Once all the fries are pre-cooked and set to dry, turn up the heat to 400 degrees. Wait until the oil reaches this temperature (you could use an oil thermometer to test it because you have what? A foie gras commitment level). Fry the sticks again until they become crispy and golden. As you remove each batch from the pot, set them out over paper towels to be dried off. Add seasoning while they are still oily and hot as it sticks to the fries more easily. Voila! You did it!
Warning: It’s probably inadvisable and should be illegal to prepare real, homemade foie gras as it tends to involve animal cruelty. Make great French fries instead.
Champion’s Brewpub Garlic Fries Seasoning has a salty and smooth flavor of roasted garlic, with undertones of white pepper.
Brewpub Garlic Fries Seasoning Ingredients
This hand-crafted blend contains sea salt, roasted garlic, white pepper, and onion.
Champion’s Brewpub Garlic Fries Seasoning comes in glass containers, which help maintain the taste and freshness. . Always house your spices and seasoning blends in glass containers to preserve deliciousness and to make your kitchen even more charming.
Wondering what potatoes to buy to make your expert-level French fries? Usually, restaurants purchase Russets, especially the ones grown in Idaho. The best oil for deep-frying should be peanut oil because it has a high smoking point and the natural taste of the oil is very mild so it won’t overpower the fries and your preferred seasoning. If your kitchen has a countertop deep fryer, you’re golden! Another alternative is using a heavy bottomed pan.
For sweet potato fries, you can follow the same steps outlined above.
You can also just throw Champion’s Brewpub Garlic Fries Seasoning onto some popcorn, it’s delicious!