French fries are without question one of the world’s most beloved foods. The ideal fry depends on many things including cooking techniques, but seasonings play a big role. Plain French fries are no longer the only option in town. Here are some of the best seasonings for fries.
Salt is the most basic of all seasonings and is easily the most important when it comes to giving flavor to fries. Most fries are consumed with salt alone as it does not mask the taste of the fry but will accentuate it instead.
Garlic is one of the most popular seasonings and is versatile because it comes in so many forms. Garlic powder goes particularly well with fries. Garlic’s sulfurous aroma transforms a plate of plain fries into something savory and extraordinary.
A source of the compounds that provide the umami component in savory foods, parmesan is used as an accent to dishes that need a dash of salty intensity. You can use Parmesan instead of salt for a low-sodium option or you can add it along with salt for even more flavor. Parmesan can go with most other spices but is especially complementary to garlic.
One of America’s oldest spice blends that is still being produced and sold today, Old Bay is a favorite in Maryland and is traditionally used to season that state’s famous blue crabs. Old Bay is a collection of numerous spices like paprika, mustard and celery seed. On fries, Old Bay enhances the savoriness of the crisp potato and works with the salt to create something exceptionally flavorful.
The traditional American accompaniment to fries, ketchup provides a sweet and spiced contrast to the simple saltiness of fries. Not only do its spices and acidity help to balance out the salt and fat, but it also brings moisture. Ketchup is also the perfect consistency to make a dipping sauce for your fries.
Thick and rich like ketchup, barbecue sauce an ideal alternative if you want something spicier and smokier. It also contains liquid smoke, molasses and other seasonings that perfectly complement salty fries.
While vinegar is most common as a seasoning for fries in the United Kingdom, it has a strong following elsewhere as well. It is especially popular when the fires (also called chips) are being served alongside fish. Vinegar’s acidity not only pairs well with the salt on the chips, but it also helps to cut through the mouth-coating fattiness. The preferred vinegar for fries is malt vinegar, which has a nutty flavor with citrus elements.
Fries with mayonnaise are a popular combination in Belgium. The mayonnaise serves the same purpose as ketchup but without the sweetness. It provides a tang from vinegar and mustard seed while keeping the fries from becoming too dry.
Gravy and cheese
Gravy is a popular seasoning for fries in Canada and is a part of the Canadian national dish called poutine. In poutine, cheese curds make up the third main ingredient. The gravy used is a brown gravy, which also shows up in New Jersey’s disco fries. Disco fries are similar to poutine in that both involve cheese and gravy served over fries; however, disco fries are made with mozzarella instead of cheese curds.