New Idaho Potato Commission "Signature" Video Shows Operators How to Make Fries from Scratch

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BOISE, ID, July 6, 2004 - The perfect fresh made French fry need not be an enigma any longer. The folks at the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) have created an instructional video that walks restaurant and non commercial operators through the ABCs of creating the best on premise freshly prepared French fry possible.

The IPC produced a variety of formats (DVDs, CDs and VHS) that will be distributed to institutions likely to create their own fries (instead of using convenience frozen fries). The videos are slated for distribution over the next several weeks. Hand-out materials with tips or "cheat sheets" will be included in the video mailing for easy referral and display in the kitchen area.

"The tape answers many of the questions that an operator needs to know to create delicious Idaho Potato French fries," says Don Odiorne, Vice President of Foodservice for the IPC. "We know that people probably have their own technique, favorite oil or perhaps even a secret 'step' that they hold dear, but this tape covers the basics and it's the basics that seal the deal as far as a great-tasting French fry."

The video stars Idaho chef and National Public Radio personality Joyce Doughty and runs ten minutes. The segment starts with advice on how to select the best potato for making the best French fries. She recommends that restaurants use Idaho Potatoes, particularly as their high solids content results in a crisper, better fry. She also notes their oval and consistent shape, which creates longer fry strips, also a plus visually. To demonstrate the solids content characteristic, Chef Doughty drops two potatoes in a pitcher of brine water solution and the Idaho Potato sinks to the bottom - with its high solids content - while the other russet floats to the top.

The tape offers a series of easy to execute steps on how to store potatoes (room temperature versus cool refrigeration which affects the starch level), to cutting, rinsing and drying tips. Chef Doughty also recommends that the potatoes are blanched in 350 degree oil for about three to five minutes to seal in the flavor and reduce the future cooking time required. She continues by offering cooking techniques, oil maintenance and seasoning advice ("use an up and down motion when you sprinkle salt - this way you don't get salt in your oil.")

Along with demonstrating the basic French fry cooking methods, Chef Doughty also shows how to make oven roasted Idaho Potato fries, which can be easily customized depending on what seasonings are used.

To order a free copy of "Signature Fresh Cut Fries", individuals may do so by contacting Don Odiorne from the Idaho Potato Commission at (208) 334-2350, ext. 12, or via email at ipc@potato.state.id.us and asking for a CD, DVD or VHS video tape version.

Although Idaho is famous worldwide for its premium potatoes, some consumers don't realize that only potatoes grown in the Gem State can wear the "Grown In Idaho" seal. Both Idaho® Potatoes and the "Grown in Idaho®" seal are federally registered Certification Marks that belong to the IPC. These Marks ensure that consumers are purchasing potatoes that have been grown in the state of Idaho.

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