They’re the most likely item to be stolen — brazenly or sneakily — from a companion’s dinner plate. They’re both the lowbrow snack of concession stands and the highbrow half on platters of sizzling steak frites at charming French bistros. No one with a working set of taste buds and a beating heart can honestly resist French fries. Fat, salt and potatoes: what’s not to like?
These days, the future of fries is brighter than ever, with creative toppings, bold flavors and international influences. Of course fries are already a winning combination, but what you put on them can make all the difference.
Blank canvas, global delights
“For operators, potatoes are an inexpensive blank canvas,” says Darren Tristano, Chief Insights Officer at Technomic, a research and consulting firm servicing the food and foodservice industry. Onto that blank canvas, operators are adding a full palette of options, including cheese, bacon, garlic, sour cream, truffle, mozzarella and gravy.
Gravy, really? Yes indeed. Poutine is a meta-fry trend that was once virtually unknown outside of Canada. Now discriminating diners worldwide are discovering this cheese curd topped and gravy smothered fry sensation.
New fry options are increasingly taking a cue from global menus. At Indian Hot Foods, Amol Dixit serves a flavor-bomb worthy of Bollywood with his Indi Frites. The extra-crispy russet and sweet potato fries are tossed with Indian spices, prepared in a crispy batter and served with a side of mango pickle aioli. At Korean-fusion bar and restaurant The Rabbit Hole, crispy fries come with spicy kimchi aioli.
The best way to enjoy French fries is with a worthy dip accompaniment. For many consumers, that means reaching for the bottle of ranch dressing instead of the ketchup bottle. Many Marzetti® dressings, dips and sauces are the perfect accompaniment to French fries, including Avocado Ranch, Buttermilk Ranch, Chipotle Ranch, Garden Harvest Ranch and Parmesan Peppercorn Ranch.
As you’re crafting your own ideas for a new twist on French fries, look at the rest of your menu and see how a fry offering could complement or enhance some of your favorite dishes. If you want to start getting more creative, remember that anything you can put on pasta, you can put on fries. Or think of your custom fries like a sandwich—just add protein and now they’re a meal.
Learn more about global flavor influences in this On Your Plate post
This list from Time Out US promises a rundown of the best fries in the United States, “from crispy and salty spuds to delicious pommes frites”
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