Thursday, September 25, 2014

French Fry Diary 617: Old Bay Seasoned Fries

Like Kleenex and Xerox, Old Bay Seasoning is very conscious of their trademark, and in recent years has been taking back its territory. For instance, rather than the traditional silver foil edition, Herr's Old Bay Potato Chips now bear the image and logo of Old Bay Seasoning, same for their Old Bay Popcorn and Cheese Curls. When I first saw these Old Bay Seasoned Fries in my grocery store's frozen section, I thought it was much the same situation.

Old Bay Seasoning dates back almost eighty years to Maryland where bars often offered crabs for free as they were so plentiful. This special blend of spices that make up Old Bay Seasoning when put on the crabs made patrons thirsty, and therefore they bought more beer. Just like peanuts in the rest of the country, don't you know. Now the blend is one of the more popular seasonings around, especially on variations of the favorite fried food.

The fries are coated with a little batter and that same Old Bay seasoning with 'the iconic blend of eighteen spices.' Also notably some of these natural cuts are really long, a couple measuring eight or nine inches long. Wow, those must be some huge potatoes. The directions gave two cooking options - baking and deep frying. I went with the baked option.

I did find that the directions were a bit off however. When I pulled them out halfway through to turn the fries, they were brown on one side and nearly done. I gave them a few more minutes and took them out, cutting about eight minutes off the recommendations. They were just right, your mileage may vary, but keep an eye on them in the oven.

I was expecting an overpowering seasoning like with Chickie's & Pete's Crab Fries or the Herr's potato chips, but these are quite pleasant, with just the right amount of Old Bay. I was very surprised, and liked these a lot. I wanted more. Old Bay Seasoning should definitely be protective, and proud, of their trademark on these fries. Recommended.

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