Yesterday I was chatting with my boss about how a halfway decent restaurant next to our office suddenly shut down with no fanfare or warning, and how it was a bit of a shame, and how it would have been nice if it had served fries, when she dropped this bombshell on me: it didn't serve fries because it wasn't part of the union. The fry union. The National Union of Friturists. I'm fucking serious, here's their website.
Frankly I'm still not wholly believing this isn't an elaborate joke being played on me by my boss. But it does stand to reason, because there is a particular technique of fry-making here which is ubiquitous, and ubiquitously good, but also more labor-intensive than the typical chop-dry-boil-serve of Anglo-Saxonia. And now I find myself doing something I rarely do, which is praise Belgium.
Belgian fries are fucking good, and make it almost utterly non-worthwhile to buy fries back home from the vast majority of places that serve them, except from a few places, sometimes dreadfully expensive pretentious type places and sometimes greasy spoons, that use what is the ubiquitous method here: chop-dry-boil-drain-boil-serve. Far more crispy, and perhaps counter-intuitively far less fatty, at least as far as taste and texture go.
Okay - once in awhile, when you've been roughing it in the bush for a bit in Northern Ontario and you've got a dreadful hunger on and there's some chip truck selling fries with fresh pickerel or something lovely like that, it's quite nice to have a big soggy mess of piping-fresh chop-dry-boil-serve potatoes to eat because they still taste like potatoes, in a way, and the dripping-fattiness isn't unwelcome. And as a convert to the joys of poutine, I believe, perhaps erroneously but blow me, motherfucker, that it wouldn't be nearly as good with chop-dry-boil-drain-boil-serve chips as it is with chop-dry-boil-serve, because with poutine I believe the whole point is to ensure maximum dripping fat uptake in an effort to soak up a drug and alcohol binge (thank you for helping me live with my vices, Quebec).
But I find I have to really be in the mood for those, or else dead drunk or coming off amphetamines, the second of which won't happen again until I have a mid-life crisis in twenty years, while chop-dry-boil-drain-boil-serve chips, while in the end rather less recognizably tasting of potatoes, are always really fucking good.
So anyways, good on you, National Union of Friturists. Solidarity! But I wonder what they do to non-unionized people who make chips, or union members who commit heresy and make chop-dry-boil-serve chips. I almost don't want to know how this particular delicious sausage is made. . .