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Fried and Tested

On International French Fries Day,we examine how the snack has taken root in the city.

Dishes,like people,have their own set of problems. While some are under the constant pressure of a cooker,others are left out in the cold (or in it rather). The ubiquitous side,french fries,suffers from that most unfortunate of maladies: schizophrenia. Floridly named after the French,fervently claimed by the Belgians and flagrantly capitalised by the Americans,it is small wonder that the fried potato chip can do little but bow it’s head to the inevitable (yes,we do mean ketchup. Or mayonnaise if you’re a Francophone).

Their shapes (from baton straight to telephone chord curly),seasonings (from salt of the earth to beef fat of controversy and the entire flavour chain in between),and family (the bourgeois potato wedges,the patatas bravas of Spanish tapas to name but two cousins of a large carbohydrate family) are as myriad as the 2,000 odd variety of potatoes available in Peru (the tuber’s country of origin)

Like pagan pantheons,french fries come in many avatars,the only de rigeur being that they’re made of potato and are,in fact,fried. In the following passages,we describe the variety of fries available in Delhi in ascending order:

The Flaccid Fry

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Dive bars are the best friends of the impecuniously hedonistic. Cheap booze and food along with a distinctly collegiate atmosphere make for good times (not associated with the Kingfisher campaign). And the french fries,low on the pocket,high on the stomach lining,make for an ideal accompaniment to a liquid diet. Mybar,4S and several other establishments provide just the right chip on the stomach to accompany these.

The Fast Fry

McDonald’s might have preemptive representation of fast food fries (the medium of fat that the fries are cooked in notwithstanding),but the Capital’s local chains gamely challenge the conglomerate chips. While Kent’s,that old habitue of the calorifically inclined,has been a lauded purveyor of the deep-fried treats for several years,new kid on the block Burger Girl is also increasingly being spoken of with respect in concerned circles.

Fancy Fries

As with every other major societal group (food or otherwise),there is a certain hierarchy of haute. And even with french fries,there is a noblesse to oblige. As the high-end diner becomes ever more prominent,restaurants such as Smoke House Deli and Cafe Delhi Heights among others are twisting their fries with exotic seasonings and cutting-edge chopping. The results are being engulfed without snob value. Perhaps,Van Gogh was right — we are just a bunch of potato eaters.

First published on: 13-07-2013 at 04:16:12 am
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