No matter how you slice it – though it had better be in long, thin strips – today’s food holiday is a tasty one. August 12 is National Julienne Fries Day!
Not to be confused with National French Fries Day, of course. We could have gone wild that day and eaten jumbo-sized steak fries or wedge fries! (Alas, we did not. Ours were julienned, which is the most popular method of preparing french fries, at least in the fast food world). Julienning is a culinary knife technique in which a food is cut into long, thin strips similar to matchsticks. Carrots and celery are frequently julienned. When potatoes are julienned, they are often referred to as “shoestring” fries. The origin of the term is unclear, though it is French and may refer to a person named Philippe. Just kidding, named Julien. The technique was first described in François Massialot’s Le Cuisinier Royal et Bourgeois, published in 1722.
According to Wikipedia, instructions for proper julienning are as follows:
With a sharp knife the raw vegetable is sliced to length and trimmed on four sides to create a thick rectangular stick 6 to 7 cm (2.4 to 2.8 in), then cut lengthwise into thin 1 to 2 mm (0.039 to 0.079 in) slices. Stacking these slices and again cutting lengthwise into thin (1 to 2 mm (0.039 to 0.079 in), equal to the thickness) strips creates thin uniform square sticks. Julienne usually applies to vegetables prepared in this way but it can also be applied to the preparation of meat or fish, especially in stir fry techniques.
Work that knife, baby! And don’t forget your ruler, apparently. Sheesh. Technical much?
We weren’t in the mood for precision cutting this evening, so we opened a bag of OreIda french fries instead. And baked them. Oh, the ignominy! But we used a real good quality ketchup. And fry sauce from Arctic Circle.