Each year, on National Julienne Fries Day on August 12th, everyone fries up skinny sliced potatoes for a delicious and crunchy treat.
Cut into thin, uniform matchsticks, julienne fries tend to be crispier and are often called “shoestring fries.” It’s no surprise this delicate and precise cut is a French favorite. Just look to the 1722 edition of Francois Massialot’s Le Cuisinier Royal et Bourgeoi for the oldest known written reference to the julienne cut.
Although no one knows the origin of the julienne cut, Eneas Dallas, in the book Kettner’s Book of the Table written in 1877, analyzes the sources of the julienne cut. One recipe interests him, called Julienne Soup. The recipe calls cooks to cut all the vegetables,(such as turnips, carrots, potatoes), into long strips or straws. Another recipe may share a clue. A woodsorrel soup recipe required two cuts to be made on each leaf. Not one or three, but two. By doing so would create a trefoil or a trinity, which would be significant to some Christian or superstitious cooks.
According to Dallas, the people of Europe knew the woodsorrel by many names. The French knew it as La petite oseille and surelle (among many others). In England, it was called stubwort, sour trefoil, or cuckoo’s meat. Another unusual name for the woodsorrel was Alleluia or Allelujah. By this name also it was found in Italy and Spain. The word would often become corrupted or manipulated. For example, the scientific name for woodsorrel is Conserva Lajulce. Dallas carries this point to Italy, where the name becomes Juliola.
Dallas also suggests that when woodsorrel is cooked, the leaves cook away. The soup leaves only the twigs or the representative julienne cuts.
Despite all these possibilities, National Julienne Fries Day promotes noshing, not superstitions. However, sharing the origins may impress your friends.
HOW TO OBSERVE #JulienneFriesDay
What’s the best way to celebrate this food holiday? By slicing up some potatoes into small sticks and frying them up, of course! You can also visit your favorite restaurant and order some. We even have some tips to help you succeed at homemade shoestring potatoes:
Once you’ve sliced your potatoes into matchsticks (which can be achieved with a tool with a julienne blade), let the potatoes rest in a bowl of ice water for about 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, pat the potatoes dry with paper towels. You want them dry before placing them in hot oil, or the grease will vigorously splatter.
When you add the potatoes to the hot grease, don’t add too many at a time. They need room to fry on all sides. This tip also prevents your oil from excess splatter and overflowing.
The ideal temperature for frying your potatoes is about 350°F.
Once the potatoes become golden brown, remove them from the oil to a clean paper towel to drain and season immediately.
Use #JulienneFriesDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL JULIENNE FRIES DAY HISTORY
We were unable to find the creator of National Julienne Fries Day.
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