Let Us All Unite in Praise of Better French Fries

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Longtime readers may remember my unhappiness about modern french fries cooked in vegetable oil. Back in the day, fries were cooked in beef tallow or something similar, and they tasted great! Today everybody is afraid a bit of cow fat is going to kill them, so fries are universally cooked in corn oil or some other vegetable shortening. But since you’re eating the damn things with a hamburger, why get bent out of shape about the fries being cooked in saturated fat in the first place?

That’s America for you, I guess. But now someone is fighting back. Coast Packing, “the number one supplier of animal fat shortenings in the Western United States,” has announced that Friday is #NationalBeefTallowDay. It is also #FRYdayThe13th. Plus there’s this:

Coast has put out a call for the public’s most poetic/ecstatic/witty/tasty tweets, proclaiming their hunger for beef tallow fries, in the first-ever #BeefTallowFrenchFries “Tweet-to-Win” Contest….The contest’s expert judge is blogger/columnist/beef tallow fries lover Kevin Drum. “Nobody makes fries the old way anymore,” Drum lamented in Mother Jones a few years back. “They used to be so good. These days—phhht. There’s no taste at all… Fries made in beef tallow are unquestionably better.”

I’ve finally made the big time! Details here, winner to be announced on July 27. And if you’re an Orange County local, come on out to the fair on Friday to hear chef Ernie Miller talk about the science of french fries and then sample some fries cooked in both peanut oil and beef tallow. What better way to spend a Friday evening?

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It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you’ll agree is worth supporting.

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