We've been quiet lately on the web/around town as Fritas Shack has been out of the country for the past two weeks for a long-ago planned trip to a good friend's wedding in England (Congrats Mr. and Mrs. Johnson!). In any case, we're back in the Bay! Coincidentally, we're back on a very special day... July 13, National French Fry Day!
In honor of this special day, we'd like to highlight what could quite possibly be the best French Fries I've had so far (aside from Fritas Shack's Chile Verde Fries of course!). On our trip, we were lucky to have eaten at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at the Mandarin Oriental in London. Known for his three-michelin starred restaurant The Fat Duck and his molecular gastromy, we couldn't pass up the chance to try his famous fries (or chips as the English call it) which he's stated as being one of his proudest legacies.
Although we had the tasting menu and none of our dishes included fries, i politely requested a side of the "triple chips", letting our waiter know how far we've traveled to have a taste. They brought out the golden, thick cuts of fries out to our table, and at first bite- they did not disappoint. The surface had a nice crispy crust that crunched when you sank your teeth into it. The interior of the fry was extremely tender, and melted away in your mouth, almost the consistency of a mash potato.
After the meal, we had a conversation with our waiter, saying that the fries we're some of the best we've had. He went into detail about the cooking process and noted that it's difficult to re-create the restaurant version with the at-home adoption of the recipe circulating on the web because of the extra equipment involved. After prepping the potato, he said the fries went into a vacuum pack and cooked sous-vide, then after- immediately put into a blast-chiller to dry out- two pieces of equipment the normal homecook doesn't have access to.
asked about the oil used, and he said that to impart extra flavor- the
restaurant used beef tallow for frying the fries, another thing the
homecook doesn't usually use. All in all, he said that it took a full
day's prep to get the fries ready for the next day's service...
incredible! I do have to say, it is all worth it for the eater. We
dined at a few other restaurant around London seeking fries to rival
those we found at Dinner by Heston- they had different preparations-
some touted being duck fat fried, some were double cooked, and some had
different cut sized fries, yet none came close to the triple-cooked
fries we had. It was definitely a memorable experience!
If you have the time to try the home version for yourself, have a look at the recipe here
Happy National French Fry Day!