“Whether you call them French fries, pommes frites, or chips, the fried potato is one of the most elusive of foods to get right, though countless entities try and most fail on a nearly daily basis,” writes David Todd McCarty in this delightful article published in The Standard.
McCarty says: “It might come as a surprise to most Americans that the French and the Belgians have heated arguments about which of them invented the idea of frying potato slivers in hot oil, given that a large majority of our countrymen just assume they were invented by a clown named McDonald in Iowa somewhere, and presented as the perfect accompaniment to the hamburger and Heinz ketchup.”
“The fact they they appear so simple, yet seem to be so difficult to master, may be one of the reasons we are so drawn to them,” McCarty figures. “They are a bit like good summer corn, random sex, or a perfect golf shot. When they are good, they are so good that they brand themselves on our cerebral cortex. When they are bad, we simply think back to the good ones we had that one time, from that one place, after coming from that thing…”