February 11, 2002
Would you like fries with that?

Got this off a mailing list I'm on:

Heinz launches chocolate french fries

Beginning in May, H.J. Heinz Co. will ship a new line of Ore-Ida frozen potato products called Funky Fries featuring five new shapes, colors and flavors, all intended to give kids even more say over their parents' grocery store lists.

The new products include French fries flavored with sour cream and chives, or cinnamon and sugar, and a new product called Crunchy Rings - basically Tater Tots with a hole in the middle.

Then there's Kool Blue - a sky blue seasoned French fry, and Cocoa Crispers -- a brown chocolate fry designed "for kids with a sweet tooth."

"We asked the kids what would make them want to eat more French fries," said John Carroll, managing director of North American potatoes and snacks for Heinz' frozen food division.

Man. No one ever had to do anything funky to get me to want to eat french fries. I always thought they were their own reward. That's great when you're a kid, not so great when you're an almost-36-year-old grownup with a desk job and a fondness for the couch. Even as I write this, I'm trying not to think about the excellent fries at Fuddruckers, which I regularly crave and am barely able to resist most of the time.

So I have a hard time understanding why anyone needs funky flavors as an enticement to eat french fries. I remember a frozen-french-fry-like product from my childhood called "I Hate X", where X was a vegetable. They made french-fry-like things out of the vegetable, on the theory that they would then be more palatable to finicky children since they looked and (sort of) tasted like french fries. It actually worked pretty well, though I still refused to touch the "I Hate Broccoli" ones. Haven't seen them in years now.

My old college roommate Greg used to dip his fries in mayonnaise. I once thought that was the best example of taking a basically unhealthy food and making it even worse for you. Then I was introduced to chili cheese fries. That sound you hear is my arteries hardening at the very thought.

I mentioned that to the other list members, and found that lots of people like dipping their fries in nontraditional condiments. The most popular, which I found moderately appalling, was Wendy's chocolate Frosties. Others voted for tartar sauce, and vinegar. Personally, when I go to Fudd's, I like to use their barbecue sauce. It's zippier than regular ketchup without being, you know, gross.

What's the strangest thing you've ever seen someone dip french fries into? Let me know, and I'll print any interesting replies I get.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 11, 2002 to Food, glorious food | TrackBack