Fries are one of the greatest side items to ever grace a plate.
The preparation takes a humble potato and turns it into a perfect combination of salt and grease, with an ethereal texture that is fluffy on the inside, impeccably crisp on the outside.
Whether these little beauties are served on the side of a burger or as a main plate, we love them just as they are.
That said, many variations exist; some achieve the ideal fusion of flavor and texture, while others are an abomination, an affront to everything good in life.
Wedge fries fall into the latter category. To put it bluntly -- they just suck.
While researching for our recent Ten Best French Fries list, we visited a local restaurant that used to serve some of the best fries around. We ordered a burger, expecting to get a side of crunchy and firm hand-cut fries on the side.
We're not going to reveal the restaurant (that's not the point here), but much to our disappointment, we discovered that the flawless deep-fried potatoes we remembered had been switched out for wedges. Oh, the horror! The fry-manity!
We asked the manager about the change and were told that customers had been complaining that the thin, pillowy version got too cold too quickly.
If you were one of those malcontent, French-fry philistines, you are what is wrong with the world: You need to stop complaining, cease eating out, and give up your voting rights. (Too far? Well, quit ruining fries for the rest of us!)
Stemming from either Belgium or France -- the two have been fighting over the glorious dish's origin for centuries -- fries are made from hand-cutting potatoes into thin strips, soaking them in water, and frying them twice in either oil or fat to achieve the ideal texture of soft and crisp.
Some rumors have even floated around that the term "French fry" came from the julienning of the potatoes -- julienne is also known as matchstick. (Ever seen a matchstick shaped like a giant wedge? Just sayin'.)
Wedges, on the other hand, are the complete opposite. Only the smallest, overcooked morsels achieve just a mere semblance of that firm, slightly brittle exterior that gives way to a steaming pocket of fluffy, salty potato when you bite in.
And the interior of a wedge is always more reminiscent of baked potato than a fry. Don't even try arguing that one with us.
If you want to eat baked potato, then eat a freaking baked potato or even a thick-cut roasted potato. But just don't try to pawn it off on others as a fry -- we know the difference. We're onto your game.
When we want to eat grease-soaked pieces of starchy tuberous crops, we want them the American way: We want Freedom fries, or French or Belgian (or whatever nationalist plug we're going for these days) -- either way, you know what we mean.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.
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