Food ingredients

Why are curly fries curly?

Most people in the United States love curly fries. They are not only tasty but also pleasant to look at due to their bouncy curls. Curly fries have a distinct mildly spicy seasoning that appeals to most people.

If you love curly fries, you may have wondered how they get their curly shape. There is a specific process used to make curly fries curly.

Manufacturers use powerful machinery to turn the potatoes into perfect spirals. First, they peel and wash the potatoes.

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Once clean, they push the potatoes into a set of pipes at a speed of 60 miles per hour. They use hot water to push the potatoes. While inside the pipes, the potatoes pass through rotating blades.

The blades cut through the potatoes which remain stagnant for a specific time giving them their classic spiral shape.

Once the fries are shaped into spirals, they are blanched. This ensures that their insides are perfectly soft. Additionally, it ensures that the outside of the curly fries turns out crispy when fried.

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After blanching, the fries are dried and mixed with seasoned batter. Finally, they are fried and frozen.

Most restaurants and diners don’t make curly fries from scratch. They buy them frozen, so all they have to do is fry them once more. It only takes a few minutes to fry frozen curly fries (approximately 5 minutes). That’s why every time you order curly fries, they are ready in just a few minutes.

In this article, we will discuss why all curly fries taste the same. Additionally, we will look at two recipes on how to make homemade curly fries. Let’s dive in.

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Why do all curly fries taste the same?

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If you are a curly fries fan, you may have noticed that they taste the same regardless of where you eat them. The curly fries at Arby’s have a similar flavor to those sold in local diners.

So why do all curly fries taste the same? Unlike regular fries which are merely fried potatoes that are salted, curly fries always have a golden brown coating. Additionally, they are seasoned with a blend that contains a lot of garlic powder and onion powder.

All curly fries taste the same because of the coating and seasoning. If you order curly fries at a restaurant or diner and they don’t have a golden brown coating, they are not authentic curly fries.

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Another explanation is that curly fries are a frozen product. Simplot was the first company to produce curly fries. With time, other companies imitated their seasoning blend and started curly fries’ production too.

On Simplot’s website, curly fries are referred to as Seasoned Crisp Savory Loops. The ingredient list reveals that they are spiral cut potatoes tossed in a mixture of cornmeal, wheat flour, and rice four seasoned with paprika, sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, other spices, and preservatives.

Simplot’s competitors have products similar to it, but with different names and slightly different ingredients.

Since we are all conditioned to think that curly fries should have a specific flavor, all manufacturers try to make them as similar as possible.

Homemade curly fries

If you like eating curly fries in restaurants and diners, you’ll like homemade curly fries more.

Contrary to what most people think, curly fries are quite easy to make. The only special equipment you’ll need is a spiralizer.

There are two ways to make curly fries at home. On the stovetop, and in the oven. I’ll share two recipes for you to decide which one suits you best.

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Recipe 1: Stovetop

You will need;

  • 2 large potatoes.
  • Vegetable oil.
  • Salt to taste.

For the batter;

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  • ½ cup flour (all-purpose flour).
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne.
  • 2 teaspoons paprika.
  • Freshly ground black pepper.
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt.
  • Kosher salt.
  • 1 cup water.
Instructions
  1. Use a spiralizer to spiralize your potatoes and transfer them to a container. Soak the potatoes in cold water and place them in your refrigerator for 60 minutes
  2. In a large pitcher, combine the all-purpose flour, cayenne, paprika, black pepper, salt, and water. Transfer the mixture to a resealable plastic bag.
  3. Remove the potatoes from the refrigerator, drain the water, and pat them dry.
  4. Transfer the fries to the resealable bag containing the batter and combine so that all the potatoes are well-coated.
  5. Set them aside for half an hour. This time allows the potatoes to absorb the various flavors.
  6. In a heavy pot, heat some vegetable oil until it gets to 365 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use a deep-frying thermometer to measure the temperature.
  7. Once the oil is hot enough, cook the potatoes in batches until they are all ready. Do not overcrowd the pot. Cook the fries until they turn golden brown.
  8. Use paper towels to drain the excess oil, sprinkle salt on the curly fries and serve as soon as you are done cooking.
Recipe 2: Oven
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You will need;

  • 2 potatoes.
  • 2 ¾ spoons canola oil.
  • ½ tablespoon pepper.
  • 1 tablespoon paprika.
  • ½ tablespoon garlic powder.
  • ½ tablespoon cumin.
  • ½ tablespoon chili powder.
  • Ketchup.

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 230 degrees Celsius (450 degrees Fahrenheit).
  2. Use a spiralizer to spiralize your peeled potatoes.
  3. On a baking sheet, line the spiral potatoes in a single layer.
  4. Drizzle the canola oil on the potatoes then add the pepper, paprika, garlic powder, cumin, and chili powder.
  5. Bake the potatoes in your oven for 30 minutes or until they are crispy.
  6. Once they are ready, serve with ketchup and enjoy.

Conclusion

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Curly fries will always be iconic. Unlike regular fries, they have a unique flavor and shape. They are as tasty as they are attractive.

Manufacturers use special machinery to turn potatoes into perfect spirals. The process itself is long and a little complicated. At home, you can use a spiralizer to give potatoes that unique spiral shape.

Most diners and restaurants buy pre-packaged frozen curly fries. This explains why they taste the same regardless of where you eat them.

Normally, they fry the frozen curly fries once more, and they are usually ready in just a few minutes.

If you haven’t tried curly fries before, you should. They make for an amazing snack or meal.

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