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Our Fries: Fresh Cut vs. Frozen

11 Sep

Our Fries: Fresh Cut vs. Frozen

We’ve been on a fresh cut fry journey since we moved up to the Central Coast two years ago.  After we moved here it became much harder to get a lot of the product we used to get at Restaurant Depot down in Los Angeles, like the frozen fries we used that everybody loved!  We had to have fries so we decided to make them ourselves.  It was something we had been wanting to experiment with for a while anyway.   

I don’t think anyone would argue that Fresh Cut Fries are far superior than the boxded, frozen fries you get at a typical fast food chain.  They’re from a real, fresh potato, with the skin on, cut by hand within hours of being made and are never frozen.  

Fresh cut fries are a science, however.  We’re like mad scientists over here trying to crack the code.  And on our quest to find the formula for the best fresh cut fry experience, making them and working with the potato we’ve learned some things …people love their fries crispy! Who doesn’t?! We’ll let me tell you, that crisp does not come easy! It takes a process, a long, loving, nurturing process.  Potatoes are starchy and to get that crisp you need to remove as much of the starch and moisture out of those fries before they hit the fryer.  They need to soak, they need to cook. 

Fresh Cut fries are only superior if they’re done right, consistent and available to serve, and it’s not an easy task!  A lot of it has to do with the potato itself and it’s variety.  Most of the time we get them right, but sometimes they were a fail and our faithful dedicated fans lovingly let us know when they were not up to par.  Sure, paying $1 for a side of fries isn’t much, but if they weren’t perfect people let us know!  

Or, if during our process we let them process for too long and a whole batch of french fries you were making for your shift that day, turns into a giant batch of mashed potatoes, not helpful at all.  It feels like a punch to the gut after all the hours you spent to get that batch just right.  

Oil conditions must be perfect as well in order to get that perfect golden crispy fry. The oil must be new, but not too new, filtered, and needs to be the right kind to get up to temp.  Peanut oil is the best for frying, but we are sensitive to all the peeps with allergies out there, so we use Canola oil.    

Timing is everything.  You can’t drop a whole basket of fries right after you just pulled a basket of fries out, you have to wait for the oil to come back to temp.  You can’t pull the basket too soon. You can’t plate them too soon or else they’ll be “too greasy.” Definitely can’t serve cold fries, so they need to be served in a timely manner.  

Everything happens at the right time.  We recently signed up with Sysco food service so now we have the whole world at our fingertips, including fries very similar to what we used to get down in LA and now we don’t have to dedicate a whole day to driving into town to do our shopping! 

After two years of experimenting and trying our hand at fresh cut fries we made a huge discovery!  Well, more of a realization.  We’re not a brick and mortar restaurant with a full crew.  We’re a food truck, with limited space and for the most part it’s my husband and I working it.   We’re trying to operate like a restaurant, 5 days-a-week, during a pandemic and some things don’t have to be so hard.  And, while we don’t want to throw in the towel on fresh cut fries we don’t want to kill ourselves over them either.  So, this past Saturday we fried our last batch of hand cut potatoes and this week we introduced our “new” fries. So far most people love them and some people miss our fresh cut fries.  We’ve tried pleasing everyone before but that didn’t go well so now we are doing what’s best for us and our business.  We’re a hot dog truck anyway!      

This doesn’t mean we are throwing in the towel and turning our backs on fresh cut fries, once we get an actual brick and mortar location we’ll pick them back up and continue where we left off on our fresh cut fry journey.  For now, let us know how you like the fries!

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