There are some issues so inherently divisive, so politically charged, they threaten to make bitterest enemies from the greatest friends.
The history of the United States is full of such dissentious debates: Republic or Confederacy, slavery or freedom, government regulation or laissez-faire capitalism. As citizens argued (and often fought) to decide down which road the United States should embark, families were divided, and brother fought brother. All these hurdles our country overcame by way of compromise.
I fear, however, that an even darker storm of confrontation looms.
I am speaking of the issue of curly fries and waffle fries and the fervent fight being waged for the title of “America’s Most Loved Trans-Fat Packed Tuber Snack Food.”
All the brouhaha is compounded by the fact that we are in an election year. At press time, none of the three major campaigns had published an official stance on fried frenches. The silence of our most prominent politicians on this issue is only further proof of the enormity of the situation; clearly there will be much political posturing and polling of voters to determine which side would be most politically lucrative to support.
I urge you, Collegian reader, to write your lawmakers and voice your opinion. Public dialogue is necessary, it is American, and it is of the upmost importance to the future of our nation.
The war of words has reached fever pitch. In the K-State Student Union food court, cliques have been divided. The purveyors of curly fries and the consumers of waffle fries (once friends and close confidants) are no longer seated at the same table.
Gone are the proselytizing ministers and armed forces recruiters from the free speech zone in Bosco Plaza. They have been shouldered out by representatives from Arby’s Army (those sympathetic to the curly fry cause, taking their name from the only national fast-food restaurant chain to always offer curly fries on its menu) and Cathy’s Berserkers (waffle fry zealots who named themselves in honor of S. Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A restaurants and the only server of waffle fries on campus). Here, on the campus of K-State, we witness the fight firsthand.
Being only a humble opinion columnist with little training or understanding in food science, I will attempt to enumerate for this journal’s readers why the true snack of the future, the tastiest tuber, is in fact curly fries. In double-blinded taste tests administered in the Union food court last week, curly fries were favored for taste by twice as many people as waffle fries (three people were involved in this study).
Before they are fried, curly fries are coated with paprika and other seasonings (unlike waffle fries, which are merely cut and thrown unlovingly into lava-hot peanut oil) leading to a much more palatable deep-fried experience. Said one person surveyed, “These so-called waffle fries taste like salty chalk.”
French-fry aficionados will appreciate the crunchiness of the curly fry. The spiral shape of the curly fry is achieved with a special cutting tool that is either motor-driven or hand-turned. The cutting implement is set into one end of the potato and the potato rotated, creating the trademark spiral shape. The advantage, of course, is in the increased surface area achieved with the helix shape (over a waffle fry). With more precious potato in contact with delicious oil during frying, the result is a crispier, crunchier fry.
Finally, the curly fry is a relative newcomer to the salty potato snack saga. Food scientists and carbon-dating experts have placed the first curly fry at around 1981 AD. The classic shoestring-shaped fry traces its roots back to 19th-century France and Belgium. In a recent interview, former Student Body President Matt Wagner agreed the curly fry is the obvious choice for the symbol of our generation, the Millenials.
“I associate the waffle fry with unimportant issues like the Cold War, the free love movement and the legacy of Lyndon Johnson,” Wagner said. “The curly fry is the symbol of the new, the snack of the Internet Age. Anyone who does not embrace it is living in the past – or probably uses Unix.”
Joe Vossen is a senior and double major in equine therapy and family and marriage counseling. After graduation he plans to attend the North American Racing Academy in Kentucky for jockey training. Please send comments to email@example.com.