Monday, June 18, 2007

One Potato, Goo Potato

There's really no good way to take a picture of this stuff.
Well, maybe there is, but it would be all Hallmark la-la, and it would disguise the fact that this is nothing but a vat of lava lamp food.
Some background: A blog pal from Utah is coming to San Francisco this weekend, and we want to meet face-to-face. So we are. (Go visit her blog if you're interested in crashing the party; you'll be welcome to join us.)
I'm not sure if that was what was whirring away in my brain yesterday, but all of a sudden I wanted french fries. And, by golly, I had a strange, murky memory of a Utah-famous dipping sauce for fries.
I Googled it. "Fry Sauce," it's called. You'd never guess from the name that "fry sauce" is a dunk for taters; at first I assumed it was something to, hmm... boy, I don't know what I thought. I mean, they're called "fries," not "fry."
Well, linguistics probably has something to do with that missing S.
Anyway, fry sauce is nothing more than a mixture of ketchup and mayonnaise. Some people use Miracle Whip, surprise, surprise. But there is no pickle relish or any other silly stuff (and keep your Utah Green Jell-O jokes to yourself.) The correct proportions are two mayonnaise to one ketchup.
I wanna say "Ew" again here. Can't help myself. But really, aren't Belgian fries served with mayonnaise instead of ketchup? And in most parts of the USA, Freedom Fries come with ketchup instead of mayonnaise. Why not achieve a happy medium? OK, not so happy, not so medium.
You're dying to hear the verdict, aren't you? (Tap, tap, tap. Hello? This mike still on?)
It was... OK. It's not that I'm averse to trying new things. I'm more familiar with fries dunked in ketchup, sure, but I think fries in mayo is lux-o-rama — if the fries are good enough.
The fries I experimented on are the best you can buy within a few miles of the average American home on the spur of the moment: McDonald's. I like 'em. Sue me.
But I thought fry sauce smothered the hell out of them.
Eh. Maybe next time I'll try Baltimore-style fries and gravy.


amanda said...

mmmm. fries with gravy! now you're talking. those are my favorites. i can take or leave the mayo based sauces.

Dagny said...

I like mustard on my fries, preferably a sweet and hot one.

And Saturday is the first day of the Pt. Reyes Farmers' Market for this season. I was toying with heading over because then I could be back in time to set up for my b-day party. And since it's my b-day, I really deserve to get all the jellies and jams that my heart desires.

Mags said...

I'm totally with you on the McDonald's fries thing. They're the best.

I do have to say, I used to think it was the nastiest thing ever, but fries really do taste great dipped in mayo.

Don't judge!

Abby said...

Yep, McDonald's has the best fries.

And that whole ketchup-mayo thing? Down here it's salad dressing - or at least it is in my family. Poor man's Thousand Island (which I believe you alluded to.)

On my fries? I like mayo and MUSTARD. Or ketchup and black pepper. Oh, yum.

BreadBox said...

I regularly mix tabasco with tartar sauce as a sauce for french fries: less sugar than using ketchup, and rather more bite for the buck!


Kalyn said...

You are too funny. However, I want to be clear on one thing: No Miracle Whip! Yuck. A lot of the burger places here put a little dill pickle juice in the fry sauce, and a few put a little barbecue sauce. It's a Utah classic. The best fry sauce in Utah, and probably the best fries too will be found at Hires Hamburgers. I don't think I've ever had fry sauce on McDonald's fries. It's better on the thick cut fries. Hires uses fries made from raw potatoes, cut right on the site. They're the best.

cookiecrumb said...

Amanda: OK, on your recommendation, it will be my next attempt. Hah!

Dagny: Well, it's new to me, but I love trying new tastes.
Sadly! I would love to meet you at the Pt. Reyes market -- I know that Saturday is opening day, and I want to wish you happy birthday. But Kalyn and I have to meet in SF that day. Funny coinkydink. Later on, OK?

Mags: See, you're judging. You say McDonald's are the best (and I do like them). But in my post, I said mayo on fries was lux-o-rama. We actually agree! :D

Abby: OK, that's two votes for mustard on fries. My next experiment. Thanks.

Breadbox: Eee! Tabasco and tartar sauce? Will the innovations never cease?

Kalyn: Thank you for distancing yourself from the Miracle Whip. Amen.
And I do recall reading about the dill pickle juice...
Oh, it all gets so... um...
We'll talk about it when you get here.

Tea said...

I've been inducted into the world of Fry Sauce by a friend of mine who grew up in Utah and loves the stuff. But if you look at the back of a bottle of packaged fry sauce it's not just ketchup and mayo, they have special "herbs and spices" too. Or maybe that's the pickle juice:-)

Have you seen the video of how McDonald's fries don't rot--even after 10 weeks of sitting out?

I'm not saying they're not tasty...

I wish I were in CA this week--I want to hang out with the two of you!

KathyF said...

We've been introduced to the fries-with-mayo phenomenon since my daughter's boyfriend, formerly of Germany, arrived. Maybe I'll surprise him with some fry sauce.

Although I'm thinking a touch of horseradish might be nice...

Jessica Schessler said...

Ewww, I don't think I could ever eat a fry with mayo on it. I mean, I'd try it, but it just sounds disgusting.

Oh, and sue me too.. I like McD's fat-laden fries as well... but only when they are nice and salty, mmm. You know, when you can feel them clogging your arteries.

Anonymous said...

As a product of Utah, and a fry sauce fan, i must inform you of the secret....

Put some tabasco in that mix and you'll have a little more excitement in your life.

Ilva said...

I want to come too, I feel really sad and left out and sad and sulky.

Pam said...

What a wonderful combination - Gay Pride, Food Bloggers and the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market! Wish I could be there, too!

El said...

Who knew this had a name. I thought it was just something weird my weird cousin John dreamed up. Thanks for setting me straight.

But eww, no thanks!

Have fun at lunch though.

cookiecrumb said...

Tea: Man, is there anything you haven't already tried?
I saw a picture of the commercial goop in bottles; it's -- pink! And yeah, you'd expect there to be other "stuff" in there.
Wish you were here.

KathyF: I guess my version of fry sauce was wimpy. What I liked least, though, was how cloying the mixture was, more than either ketchup or mayonnaise alone.

Jessica: Good girl, one fair and square bite!

Anonymous: Tabasco makes everything better! Thanks for the tip.

Ilva: OK, party at Cookiecrumb's, and you're invited!

Pam: You too.

El: It's "cuisine"! Of course it has a name. :D

Sean said...

I'm a ketchup purist, myself, but DPaul prefers the combo of ketchup and French's yellow mustard. Ick. I'm not a mayo eater under almost any circumstances, so this does not so much work for me.

I'll keep an eye out for you gals at Cowgirl on Saturday. I'm usually wrapping things up right around then, so I'll be the pack animal with 30 pounds of produce on my hump.

Mrs. L said...

I used to work at Bobs Big Boy where we dipped fries into the "special sauce". I went from there to dipping fries in tartar sauce. Fish and chips? Yeah, the fish gets the vinegar and the fries the tartar sauce. Yum.

sfmike said...

I lived in Amsterdam for a summer and basically survived on beer and fries with mayonnaise. So did the rest of the country. In fact, there was a famous Dutch novel of the time (1972) called "Een Pataat Met," which was what you would say in Dutch when ordering fries with a dollop of mayonnaise on top from small stands throughout the city.

The mayonnaise over there is different, though, slightly sweeter and much better as a dipping sauce. Commercial mayonnaise in the United States is all wrong for fries.

And I want to join your party on Saturday afternoon if you're coming to San Francisco. I can take glamorous photos of you and your friends. Where are you meeting?

tammy said...

I'll eat fries with anything or nothing. But, I LOVE malt vinegar.

connie said...

i love "fry sauce" as you call it!! i'm not a fan of tomatoes (i dont like eating sour tangy foods -- and i think tomatoes are too sour even when perfectly ripe) so i find that adding mayo makes the flavor sweeter and milder.

cookiecrumb said...

Sean: Cool, we'll be looking for you Saturday.
I can't believe your beloved mixes FRENCH'S with his ketchup. We don't even have any of that in our house.
But to each his own. You don't like mayonnaise...
(Where are you at on Marmite?)

Mrs. L: Watch out, it's a gateway drug. Next thing you know, you'll be dipping your fries in truffled foie gras, and I say why the hell not?

SFMike: So, have you tried the Japanese brand of mayo, Kewpie? I believe it's sweeter...
Anyway, here's our itinerary for Saturday: We're meeting in front of Cowgirl Creamery in the Ferry Building at 10:30. After a leisurely stroll/shop, we're walking up to Yank Sing for lunch at 1. Go click on the link in my post to let Kalyn know you might be coming... or just show up.

Tammy: Oh, we forgot to talk about malt vinegar! Thanks for that. You should go read Hungry in Hogtown for a killer post on fries cooked in horse fat. Yes.

Connie: It's so interesting to me that you can't tolerate the acid in tomatoes. We're all so different... Wait, so are tomatoes! Have you ever tried the dark-skinned ones like Black Krim or Cherokee Purple? You might like them for their sweetness.

amy said...

Mmmm, McD's fries. I love them, they're often a secret indulgence though.
Now as for ketchup + mayo? When we were little, this was our (I guess cheap version of tartar) sauce for the battered fish my dad caught earlier. Yum!

Pat, honorary Canadian said...

I've tried to like fries with mayo, but it just doesn't do it for me - too overwhelmingly oily.

Do yourself a favor - try poutine. Fries with gravy and cheese curds. Preferably fresh mozzarella cheese curds, though little fresh mozzarella balls might do. Save it for a cool night. (Ideally a cold and blustery Canadian night, but I see you're in California, so cool will have to do.)

kayenne said...

we've been doing that mayo-catsup mix for more than a decade already. also good with cheese sticks. you usual kraft processed cheese bars cut into very thick matchsticks and wrapped in spring roll wrapper, then deep fried. best when the dip is very cold and the fries/cheese sticks hot, freshly fried.

cookiecrumb said...

Amy: Exactly. Tartar sauce. And if you got all fancy, some pickle relish. Although (whisper, whisper) I think tartar sauce is white and "cocktail" sauce is pink... Oh, wait, it's red.
I'm so confused.

Pat: Oh god. Poutine is SO on my list. We do have cold nights hereabouts. I'll mark my calendar.

Kayenne: That is so awesomely trashy! I put that right up there with "cheese fudge" which you make with Velveeta and Pace Picante sauce. I'm not being a snob; I've eaten it! Thank you.

katiez said...

In Ireland and the UK that's called 'Mary Rose' sauce...
And in Spain they serve 'chips' with aioli - garlic mayo with enough kick to keep you sleeping alone for a long, long time! (it's worth it!)

Melissa said...

I visited eastern Montana recently, and restaurants there all serve fries (and everything else) with ranch dressing. Gross.

I like ketchup and pepper...but I think I will have to try gravy on my fries now!!

cookiecrumb said...

Katie: Well, isn't that elegant? "Mary Rose." Almost tempting, but... nah. Aioli, however -- oh, yeah, baby.

Melissa: I'm of two minds about ranch dressing. When it's good, it's wonderful, and when it's bad it really stinks. (Well, I guess that means I'm of one mind about ranch dressing. :D) But on fries?

Anonymous said...

bunch of fat fuckers