Saturday, October 22, 2005

Fries, Frites, Patat

I guess everyone already know that the French did not invent fries but the Belgians did.

Back home in the Philippines and in other countries, we always order fries by saying, “I’d like some French fries with my burger”. But alas in Europe, people don’t. They just say “Fries please”. What’s so French with it anyway? *raise eyebrows*

So how do these fries differ from each other?

The Dutch Patat [Dutch Fries] ordered “Speciaal” with mayonnaise, curry sauce and chopped onions.

The Belgian version, which we usually call here Vlaamse patat or Vlaamse frites [means Flemish fries] are quite thicker and bigger. The fast food standard fries, like the ones in McDonalds, Burger King and other fast food joints are smaller, thinner and crunchier. The Dutch version which we call here Patat [means fries] is in between the Belgian and the fast food standard.

You have a choice to order only with mayonnaise, or without, or with curry, or without the chopped onions. I will have to point out though that the onions and mayonnaise are by nature very typical Dutch.

I found it so odd at first to see onions sprinkled on top of the fries. You just don’t eat the onions raw, right? It’s supposed to be a kitchen ingredient or say, garnish it with your salads, but not on your fries? However, I tell you, I was surprised, the fries really tasted good with it!

Then there is this mayonnaise anomaly. On the contrary, I am not a bit surprised with this fries and mayonnaise combination after all I also eat like this sometimes back home. From time to time, I order an additional mayo at McDonalds or Jollibee for my fries. Before you make faces and let out a blech, here’s the catch, the mayonnaise here in Holland is very different than the mayonnaise sold in bottles in your supermarket. It is simply not the same thing that you use to whip up your dressings at home. Their concoction is quite distinctive, much smoother, creamier and tastier.

And this might be worthwhile information, ketchup is almost non-existent here. Instead, people prefer the curry sauce [see foto above], and this has nothing to do with Indian curry by the way.

Well, I am not that fanatical with this Dutch Patat specialty. The Dutchman too, but he has his lucid moments when he craves for it. It’s just like me desiring for my green mango and bagoong [sautéed spicy shrimp paste] on certain days.

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