People always ask me where I get my inspiration from when I’m cooking or baking. OK, well maybe not ALWAYS (fine, I got asked it once by my friend Shila) but it’s an interesting question that I always wonder about other food bloggers. Do they bounce around to other food blogs to get inspiration or do they leave their computer/iPad/iPhone and get to experience the real world with all that it has to offer? I know that whenever I feel stagnant in the kitchen (how can I come up with a different take on a cookie recipe?) I take a walk around my neighborhood or run over to my local grocery store where inspirations is bound to hit me in the face. So when I was challenged by Alexia Foods for their “Reinvent a Classic” project to come up with a new flavor of French fry for them, I started to think about all the great cuisines from around the world. Potatoes are such a great blank canvas for flavors and I wanted to see how far I could push the envelope while still keeping the fries approachable.
The first thing I had to consider was what type of potato I wanted to concentrate on. Though Alexia fries have a pretty wide range of potatoes in their line, including Yukon gold, Columbia Basin red potatoes and the two options that they gave us bloggers to play with are the Russet Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes. I can live with that. Too many options and you’ll find me going crazy with my final product (what’s that? Purple heirloom fingerling potatoes with grains of paradise, ramps and organic microlot coffee? Sounds like a winner to me!)
Along with the choice of russet or sweet, I get to choose between julienne cut (what most people think of when they think of French fries – long and skinny), crinkle cut (a fan favorite from growing up), waffle cut (I used to love this cut growing up) and wedge cut (for the more adult sophisticated individual). Choices, choices. What should I pick? I will say that I love them all, though I automatically gravitate toward the classic julienne cut (better crispy surface to tender steamy inside ratio) for a regular run of the mill fry. But some seasonings really work better with different cuts. A more robust flavor may overpower the thinner julienne cut but work with a waffle or wedge cut (and I do like my big bold flavors). Perhaps certain ingredients would get caught in the waffle or crinkle cut fries more than the julienne cut, meaning I could do chunky seasonings like onions or bacon. Mmmmm. Bacon.
So what do you guys think? Skinny julienne cut next to your classic burger or fat adult wedge cut next to a medium rare steak? Fun and frivolous waffle cut or maybe the old school diner crinkle cut that makes me nostalgic for a white picket fence I never had. And what about the potatoes? Classic Russet or fancy pants Sweet Potato? And though I’m playing with flavor ideas already, if you have any fantastic ideas for how to season a French fry, I’m all ears. Or eyes (we’re talking potatoes after all).
[This is a sponsored post. I did receive compensation from Alexia Foods to write about developing a new fry flavor, but all opinions are my own. For a full disclosure statement about my sponsored post policy, please visit my FAQ page]