Jul 11, 2023It’s a potato party! Dig into National French Fry Day
In celebration of National French Fry Day on July 13, the Idaho Potato Commission is offering up some tasty trivia, tips and prizes to mark the spudtacular occasion.
Thomas Jefferson introduced french fries to America when he requested his potatoes be fried “in the French manner” at a White House dinner in 1802, according to the IPC. (Despite this origin story, it’s Associated Press style to lowercase french because it refers to the style of the cut, not the nation.)
These days, more than 4.5 billion pounds of french fries are consumed each year in America, or roughly 13.5 pounds per person. Competitors such as tater tots pale in comparison at a mere 75 million pounds consumed annually.
For fantastic fries, the IPC offers some preparation pointers:
- Use an oil with a high smoke point like vegetable, canola or peanut to prevent burning.
- Use a thermometer to ensure the oil reaches 350°, the proper temperature for frying.
- Russet potatoes will yield the best results because of their low moisture content and smooth interior.
Tricks of the tater trade
More IPC helpful hacks:
- If you don’t have a food thermometer handy, grab a wooden spoon and dip the handle in the oil. A steady flow of bubbles means the oil is ready for frying. Too many bubbles indicate the oil is too hot, while too few bubbles mean it’s not hot enough.
- Soak cut potatoes in cold water for 30 minutes to remove excess starch. Make sure to dry them thoroughly before cooking to create maximum crispiness.
- Bake fries in a large casserole dish. The thin, metal baking sheets can overheat quickly and result in uneven baking.
- Bake fries on the lowest oven rack. The heat at the bottom of the oven will provide a deeper roast and crispier product
- Double fry for twice the crispiness. Fry at 350 degrees initially, then remove from the heat and crank the oil up to 375 degrees to remove excess moisture.
Fry lovers can enter to win prize packages, each containing a trio of popular french fry products: pints of Van Leeuwen’s Malted Milkshake and Fries ice cream; a bottle of the IPC’s award-winning Frites by Idaho perfume; and five bags of Grown In Idaho Super Crispy Fries.
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