For reasons unknown, North American restaurants have, in increasing numbers, abandoned the true french fry. That crisp, salty, delicious potato concoction, as American as Boston cream pie, is just a memory. For nowadays, when you order “french fries,” instead, you get a tangle of oily, limp, nasty-tasting “curly fries,” as appetizing as a plate of that Klingon delicacy, gakch (“gakch is best eaten alive”). Who invented this insult, and who foisted them upon us Americans? For they assault not only the taste buds but the sense of fairness at which we excel, as well as simple civility, and, can I add, appetite?
The hamburger with french fries is the arch-typical American meal. Who has not savored this dish, over and over, through the years? First dates. Homecoming football games. An office lunch out. Wedding rehearsals. Boy Scout jamborees. A quick, tasty lunch for deployed service people. Meetings of innumerable clubs and associations. True, highly modified, industrial fries are served at McDonalds, Wendy’s, Burger King. But even these are the assembly line version of the real thing. There are almost no restaurants that any longer serve the real thing: crispy-salty on the outside, golden brown, tender and succulent on the inside. Alas!
In the current era in which the First Lady wears $8,000 of designer clothes for PR shots at food banks but warns the White House is poised to punish anyone who eats a fried food, expect no help from Washington. This is a battle we have to fight and win for ourselves. Every time you are served “fries” that look and taste like night crawlers cooked in motor oil, just say no. Send them back; demand better. Stand-up for your eating rights! And have a very Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!
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