How many times have you gone to a restaurant and said, “I’ll be good and order the salad”? Well, now with restaurants limiting sales to take our and delivery, it’s time to switch your strategy to “I’ll be good and ORDER the fries!”
What’s changed? The demand for potatoes grown specifically for restaurant French fries is down substantially. Especially now with patio-season upon us, restaurants that typically would see customers relaxing for a couple of hours, and likely ordering additional fries as shareable snacks while they enjoy a beverage or two will not the norm for a little while longer.
Because of this, the potato industry says the falling demand has resulted in 200 million pounds of Canadian French fry potatoes stuck in storage. For those who are not aware, there are specific spuds grown for the select purpose of being used for French fries in restaurants.
As Laura Brehaut shares in her piece in the National Post on this issue “French fry potatoes are a special breed of spud, larger and more elongated than the varieties commonly available in the produce sections at your local grocers. Their raison d’être is to be cut into batons and packed into bags for foodservice. They were bred and grown specifically for the fryer.”
Here’s the silver lining. We’re encouraging you to eat and order those delicious restaurant fries with your next take-out order and because of the way these potatoes are stored they can last up to a year.
For those of you who wonder about the nutritional power of potatoes, read what Jayne Macdonald, McCain Foods expert dietitian, and food scientist say about potatoes as a healthy choice in her blog, “Why Carbohydrates Are An Important Part Of A Balanced Diet”.
Here are a few tips for eating fries without the guilt;
- Watch the condiments, some like ketchup can contain lots of sugar
- Reduce the salt by jacking up the flavour with spices like rosemary, garlic or chili powder
- Balance your menu. Eating fries once a week is OK
So go ahead, help our Canadian potato farmers, and treat yourself to some of their delicious fries.