Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Sound of Tater

A bit of insanity for a snowy/rainy Sunday afternoon.

I first discovered speppers while looking for French fries videos on YouTube and have since really come to enjoy her work and her personality (or at least how it's presented on YouTube). She's very cool.

These two videos seemed on topic, if not insane, enjoy...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Kate Peck Rocks

Kate Peck | Feeling Peckish - Features

Kate Peck | Feeling Peckish
Foodie faves, Part II

All right fellow foodies, here's part two of my must-have list for college epicureans seeking to round out their bored, uninspired palates.

It's every foodie's duty to seek out the best of the best, and last week I encouraged you to leave campus and check out the local neighborhoods for coffee, pizza and ice cream. I know you're probably thinking I've already covered the basic food groups: caffeine, tasty carbs and even tastier carbs. What else could be left?

That's why I'm here to remind you never to settle when it comes to your food.

The perfect inside-out roll. The packaged stuff is convenient and quick, but come on, you're eating raw fish. Sushi that's going to sit around for a while needs to be refrigerated (duh). But the rice in sushi rolls is vinegary, and when it comes in contact with the fish for too long, it affects the flavor. By the time you get around to eating your sushi, it's not going to taste the way the dish was originally intended. I'm all for convenience, but in this case, fresh is always best.

It's a no-brainer - at an actual restaurant, you can assume you're getting the highest quality fish available. We're in a coastal location, which makes a difference in what you can expect, so take advantage of it! I worked to make my list veggie friendly, and a sushi restaurant doesn't have to be off-limits to those who eschew seafood. I love the options that a great sushi place can provide for vegetarians, especially if they have an additional menu of other Japanese dishes.

The perfect french fries. Two words: no ketchup. Those are my standards for really great fries, and that's coming from a certified lover of Heinz and its 57 varieties. If you can enjoy them without slathering them in some sort of condiment, you've got a good fry. That doesn't mean you have to give up the old ketchup. It's just great to know what you're eating underneath all that tomato sauce.

The question is where to get them. That all depends on what kind of fries you want. Belgian? Waffle cut? Sweet potato? Maybe you don't care except that it should be smothered in cheese? I don't know a single soul who doesn't like French fries, and some reports claim that many American babies' first solid food is a French fry. Nutritionally, that's terrifying, but maybe French fries are the great common denominator for humanity. Think about it: peace talks over pomme frites. Now that's an appetizing thought.

The perfect brew. Last, but most certainly not least, is beer. I know you can only get about one drink per millennium from Hotung, but it still needs to be on the list. Perhaps it's because I lived in Prague last year, a nation which boasts more beer consumption per capita than any other country in the world. Maybe I'm fixated on connecting food to globalization. Or maybe it's just that good.

Why-oh-why are college students fixated on the bane to breweries everywhere, the travesty to beer known as the 30-rack? It's cheap, for mass consumption, et cetera, but there is a world beyond Natty Light and PBR. Boston is full of knowledgeable bartenders who are happy to talk to you about their massive collections. If you find the right wait staff you can even get pairings for your pub food.

So get off campus and seek out some wicked maki, deep-fried potatoes and fermented beverages (for those of age, of course). Just don't do it all in one night.

Unless it's a sweet potato roll with a cold Sapporo. And then you should call me.

Kate Peck is a senior majoring in English. She can be reached at

Friday, November 02, 2007

Renny Harlin's Curly Fries

I'm really not sure if it's really the work of director Renny Harlin, but man, those must be darn good curly fries...

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Hillary Clinton Woos Voters with French Fries

I never intended French Fry Diary to be a political entity, but this is too good to pass up...

From The Telegraph:

Hillary Clinton woos voters with French fries

By Toby Harnden in Toledo, Iowa

Perched on a red vinyl bar stool, her elbows on the worn plastic counter of the Maid-Rite luncheonette, Hillary Clinton scooped up French fries with her fingers and hungrily tucked into a ground beef sandwich.

The front runner for the White House carried on munching as she urged onlookers inside the eatery just off Route 30 to sample what Iowans regard as classic fare. "It's good, you should try it," she enthused. "It's got mustard in it and a tomato-based sauce."

She leaned forward as her waitress Anita Esterday explained that she was a single mother and nurse who did two jobs to raise her sons and could not afford medical insurance. Mrs Clinton nodded sympathetically and told her: "I'm proud of you."

The scene was picture perfect and the theme just right. An impromptu stop at a roadside eatery crammed full of everyday folks would help dispel the oft-levelled charge that the former First Lady is a professional politician who does not relate easily to ordinary people. Miss Esterday's plight was just what Mrs Clinton was highlighting on her "Middle Class Express" bus as it sped from town to town past fields of corn and soybeans. Such a spontaneous interaction was the stuff of campaigning among Iowa caucus-goers, who are proud of their brand of face-to-face retail politics.

Except that virtually every detail of the casual visit had been carefully orchestrated. A team of burly Secret Service men, clad in suits and shades, had driven ahead to carry out a recce. All but two of the customers were Clinton loyalists, including union leaders flown in from New York and Washington, who had been at her previous rally and were travelling on her bus.

Mrs Clinton chatted with the supporters, some of whom grinned a little sheepishly at the blatant staging, as the photographers snapped away. Reporters, kept on a separate bus throughout the day, seemed so stunned to be suddenly beside her that the only questions asked were about what she had ordered.

Was she drinking Coke or Pepsi? "Iced tea, unsweetened — news flash!" responded Mrs Clinton, who has a clear lead in national polls among her Democratic rivals and has now edged ahead in the crucial farm state of Iowa, where party supporters will have their first chance to vote for their candidate in January.

The Maid-Rite encounter was the closest Mrs Clinton got to an unscripted moment or a real discussion with a regular voter all day.

Although she repeatedly used the tale of hearing about the waitress's tough lot as a "perfect example" of what her campaign was about, Mrs Clinton took no questions from the several hundred people gathered at the four events she held on Monday.

With her senior operatives hoping that her campaign is an almost unstoppable juggernaut, the new Clinton strategy appears to be to minimise the potential for any mistakes. The to-and-fro sessions during her early events are now a rarity and she often goes for days without a press conference.

At the final stop in Ames, Luke Gran, 22, a forestry student at Iowa State University, repeatedly raised his hand in the air during Mrs Clinton's 35-minute speech in a vain attempt to ask a question.

He jumped up and down in frustration as she finished off her waitress anecdote by saying: "I see these stories every day. No American is invisible to me."

Mr Gran, a campaign volunteer for John Kerry, the Democrat who lost to President George W Bush in 2004, was disgusted. "It's talking down to us," he said. "How does she know what I care about if she won't listen to my questions? It's terrible and it's not leadership."

His friend Adam Faircloth, also 22 and studying political science, said: "We wanted interaction but there was none. It was so top down."

The question-free day was perhaps a reaction to an unseemly confrontation with Randall Rolph, a Democratic voter, on Sunday after he asked her a hostile question about Iran that she said was a plant – "somebody obviously sent to you". Afterwards, Mr Rolph accused her of having "bitch-slapped me".

Mrs Clinton drew very healthy crowds on Monday and won applause for her fluent speeches blaming Mr Bush's "cowboy diplomacy" for having "alienated our friends and emboldened our enemies". But with her chief rival Barack Obama having a more extensive organisation in Iowa and still holding frequent question-and-answer sessions across the state, a Clinton strategy of trying to remain aloof and avoid controversy could, paradoxically, turn out to be risky.

Mr Gran said: "She's an intelligent woman and I don't dislike her, but I feel she's missing the point of all this."

Sunday, September 30, 2007

How to Peel Potatoes the Easy Way

Yeah, it's in Japanese, but it's also pretty self-explanatory. Just an easier way to get to making French fries, so get to it!

Friday, September 14, 2007

"Who Put the "Freak" in French Fries?"

Apparently I'm not the only one freaked out by those scary Burger King commercials. The one that scared me the most was when the guy wakes up with the 'King' in his bed. And i wish that the recent "Simpsons" promotion had let Krusty kick his scary plastic-headed butt. Here's a great editorial by R.J. Carter with his take on said subject:

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Apple Fries???

Burger King Unveils Healthier Kids Menu

By ADRIAN SAINZ, AP Business Writer

MIAMI - Burger King pledged Wednesday to offer healthier fast-food items for children under 12, with plans to sell and market flame-broiled Chicken Tenders and apples cut to resemble thick-cut french fries.

Burger King Holdings Inc., the world's second largest hamburger chain, said it has set nutritional guidelines to follow when targeting children under 12 in advertising, including limiting ads to Kids Meals that contain no more than 560 calories, less than 30 percent of calories from fat and no more than 10 percent of calories from added sugars.

In that vein, Burger King is building a Kids Meal that will contain the flame-broiled Tenders, organic unsweetened applesauce and low-fat milk, for a total of 305 calories and 8.5 grams of fat. It will be available in restaurants sometime in 2008, the company said.

The fast-food chain is also developing what it calls BK Fresh Apple Fries. The red apples are cut to resemble french fries and are served in the same containers as fries, but they are not fried and are served skinless and cold.

"We not only want to better inform parents and kids about these new menu options but also to demonstrate through product innovation that better-for-you foods can be fun and taste good," said John Chidsey, Burger King's chief executive.

The 2.4-ounce serving of Apple Fries will have 35 calories, the company said. A small serving of Burger King french fries has 230 calories and 13 grams of fat, according to Burger King's Web site.

Burger King will use U.S. grown apples that are cut and packaged in a sterile environment and subjected to a pre-wash that contains lemon to keep them from turning brown, said Burger King spokesman Keva Silversmith.

The Miami-based company will continue to offer its fried Chicken Tenders on its menu. The flame-broiled Tenders have 145 calories and 6 grams of fat per four-piece children's serving. A four-piece serving of fried Tenders has 170 calories and 10 fat grams.

Miriam Pappo, a registered dietitian and nutritionist, said the move is part of a trend to offer healthier products at restaurants as people become more aware of nutrition and take interest in exactly what they are eating.

"It's a good trend. The actual ultimate solution is still to eat less fast food," said Pappo, clinical nutrition manager at Montesiore Medical Center in New York. "It will only be successful if it tastes good and it will only be successful if it fills the child up."

Long criticized for a lack of healthier options, several quick-service food chains in recent years have developed items for those seeking fast access to a less-expensive meal that has fewer calories and less fat than a burger, french fries and a soda.

Burger chain leader McDonald's Corp. offers apple slices with a low-fat caramel dip and low-fat milk in its Happy Meals, while offering salads and fruit parfaits on its regular menu. Wendy's International Inc. offers salads, yogurt with granola and mandarin oranges.

Burger King also sells salads and has a veggie burger. It did not reveal a price for its new children's items because food and paper costs have not been set, Silversmith said.

Ronni Litz Julien, a Miami nutritionist and author, praised Burger King but said it was the responsibility of parents to teach their children to eat healthier.

"I'm elated with the idea that they are paying more attention to the children today," Julien said. "The truth of the matter is that children in this country have never been more unhealthy. Fast food has been a big part of that. ... If a parent doesn't encourage this from the get go for their children, whether its 4 years old or 10 years old, it can't possibly be successful."


Monday, September 03, 2007

Alexia Yukon Gold French Fries

"Ksointeriors" over at Expo Television, an admitted French fry hater, raves about Alexia's Yukon Gold Julienne Fries with Sea Salt.

They're not bad. Standard-sized fries with the skins still on made from (obviously) Yukon Gold potatoes. Alexia has a variety of upscale frozen potato products (some made from Russets and Reds as well as Yukons), including sweet potato fries, and onion rings to die for. For the most part I agree with Ksointerior's assessment of this product, her thoughts on fries in general... well, let's just say not.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Free Fry Day 8-24-2007

Hardee's(R) Launches New Natural Cut French Fries

New Thicker Fries with Potato Skin Left On Are Better Complement to Hardee's Thickburger(TM) MenuGuests Can Sample New Natural Cut Fries During "Free Fry-Day" Promotion Friday, Aug. 24

ST. LOUIS, Aug. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- After a three-year search -- and an extensive amount of testing and consumer research -- the perfect French fries to complement Hardee's Angus-beef Thickburgers have been found. Beginning today, guests who order a combo meal or a side of fries will be treated to Hardee's new Natural Cut French Fries -- thicker fries with the potato skin left on them to mirror the kind of premium-quality fries found at sit-down restaurants.

To help celebrate the launch of its new Natural Cut Fries, Hardee's has declared this Friday "Free Fry-Day" at all U.S.-based Hardee's restaurants. Guests who stop by any Hardee's restaurant this Friday, Aug. 24, will be treated to a small fry on the house.

"When we first introduced our line of premium quality, Angus beef Thickburgers at Hardee's four years ago, we also began working on the rest of our menu with the goal of matching the quality of food found in sit-down restaurants," said Brad Haley, executive vice president of marketing, Hardee's. "That work led to the subsequent introduction of such popular menu items as our Hand-Scooped Ice Cream Shakes and Malts, but our search for French fries good enough to be served next to our charbroiled 1/3-, 1/2- and 2/3-lb. Thickburgers proved to be a bigger challenge than we thought. After many tries, we're pleased to be able to offer our guests a great fry that is the perfect complement to our great Thickburgers. And, now we can say with confidence that we believe we have the best burgers, shakes and fries in the business."

The new Natural Cut Fries will be sold at all Hardee's restaurants in small, medium and large sizes for $1.29, $1.49 or $1.69, respectively. Prices may vary. As previously announced, the chain will begin cooking the new Natural Cut Fries, and all other fried items, in zero trans fat, 100 percent canola oil starting in January.

Hardee's Food Systems, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of CKE Restaurants, Inc. of Carpinteria, Calif. As of the first fiscal quarter ended May 21, 2007, CKE Restaurants, Inc., through its subsidiaries, had a total of 3,022 franchised or company-operated restaurants in 43 states and in 13 countries, including 1,101 Carl's Jr.(R) restaurants, 1,905 Hardee's restaurants. For more information, or to find a Hardee's near you, go to or

Friday, August 17, 2007

French Fry Grease Helps Nab Thief

French Fry Grease Helps Nab Thief

Teen tries to rob the wrong food stand at Wyalusing carnival, police and owner say.

August 16, 2007

By George Osgood
Star-Gazette Wellsboro Bureau

WYALUSING -- There are all kind of non-lethal, high-tech ways to apprehend suspected criminals these days: Tasers, shotgun-propelled beanbags, pepper spray, stun guns, flash-bang grenades, even ultra-quick-drying epoxy.

Now you can add another one, though perhaps not so high-tech: greasy french fries.

At least that was the weapon of choice when a 17-year-old from Lake Winola, near Clarks Summit, tried to run off with the cash box from the french fry concession at the Wyalusing Firemen's Carnival Tuesday night, police said.

Thanks to quick action and an "instinctive" heave by Marvin Meteer, a retired English teacher, the bold juvenile ended up in handcuffs instead of a getaway car. It's also a good example proving once again the adage that booze and fries don't mix.

Meteer tells it this way.

"Tuesday is the first night of our Firemen's Carnival," said Meteer, who, though he is not a firefighter, runs the fry booth with wife Maxine, daughter Melissa and several friends.

"This was close to 10 o'clock," he said. "We had been really busy for hours, but things had started to taper off. Normally, we sell a ton of french fries. But business was dwindling. A guy had come up to the stand and just kind of stood there," Meteer said. "Our helpers had gone, so it was just my wife and me and Melissa. She asked him if he wanted anything, and he said he was just thinking."

He left. Maxine was talking with the carnival manager, and the youth returned, accompanied by another boy this time.

"They didn't stand together, though," Meteer said. "The other guy just stood off to the side. And she asked him again if there was something she could get him, and he said, 'Yeah. I'll take an order of pierogis.' She said, 'Well, we don't have pierogis here. That's another booth.' The other guy said he would take an order of cheese fries.

"So she gets the cheese fries for him, and I'm looking at this other guy from the back of the tent, and I'm thinking, 'What does he want?'

"All of a sudden, quick as a flash, he ducks under the front counter and slams his hands down on the cash box and takes off to the side," Meteer said.

Melissa tried for a handful of shirt, but the youth was big and strong, "really rugged," Meteer said.

"I think he intended to go out an opening in the back of our booth, and I was headed around that way," Meteer said. "So instead of going out that way, he went to duck under the back counter and when he did that, I don't know, it was just an instinctive thing. I took one of the baskets we cook our fries in and I threw the fries at him, but not the basket.

"So anyway, he had the cash box at that point, and when he came up on the other side of the counter is when the fries rained down on him," Meteer said. "He hit those fries and they were just greasy enough that he started to slip and slide, and that gave me enough time to get around the end of the counter and a couple of guys who were there began wrestling him to the ground."

The youth threw the cash box. Maxine scooped it up. And began screaming.

"That was exactly the right thing to do," Meteer said. "That got the attention of many people. A lot of people came running, thinking that maybe one of the fryers had blown up and I had gotten burned. We all worked together and wrestled this guy to the ground and pinned him there. The first thing he said was, 'It wasn't me. I didn't do it.' I just said, 'Right.'"

Cheese-fry-guy had parked a car just behind the fry booth and waited there with the passenger door open, police said. When his buddy went down, he took off. A bystander got his license number, but no charges had been filed against him Wednesday.

The 17-year-old smelled of alcohol (and fries). The fire company president called state police.

"The guy said, 'My friend talked me into it, and I'm just a blankety-blank,'" Meteer said. "It was an interesting evening."

When State Trooper Brian W. Atherholt arrived, the crowd applauded. He handcuffed the youth and searched him, then took him away, embarrassed, in trouble and greasy. But it could have been worse.

He could have tried to rob the pierogi stand.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Saturday, July 07, 2007

A Story About French Fries

A Story About French Fries

There's a lot more to French fries that I ever could have imagined...