Monday, July 26, 2010

Question: Do you think fries with gravy weird?

On our honeymoon last year, I made a faux pas in Montana by asking for brown gravy with my fries. The cashier gave me the kind of look normally reserved for questions like, "Hello. I'm a stranger. Would your children like some candy? I assure you it's not poisoned in any way", and she recoiled in disgust. We asked one of the other employees about fries and gravy, and one of them mentioned she'd seen it in a movie once (there are movies with fries and gravy in them? Sounds like a summer blockbuster to me!).

In the end, we chose fry sauce - BBQ sauce and mayonnaise - and I had some nacho cheese for dippin'. We've had fry sauce before - in Idaho and Utah it was ketchup and mayonnaise, and in Spokane we were offered tartar sauce. I've seen other variations of fry sauce on "Drive-Ins, Diners & Dives" and the topic comes up today because the host seems stunned by the idea of chips and gravy! As if BBQ sauce and mayonnaise is normal but gravy - blech?

We have this all the time in Canada - sometimes with cheese curds and we call it poutine (this originates in Quebec, but it's national now), and I never thought the idea of chips and gravy was odd until last year. I admit I'm confused because it seems so obvious - potatoes and gravy are pretty much a staple in Canada, the UK, and the States. So the potatoes are in a different shape...why is this such a strange concept?

So I ask you, my wonderful readers, my question is - do you have chips and gravy (or fries and gravy) in your region of the world? Do you consider it strange? (It is very tasty and I encourage you to try it some time. But warning - once you taste it, you can't untaste it, and if your part of the world thinks it odd, then you'll never be able to have it outside of the home!)

And as a quick note, I'm a dipper, not a pour-er. I dip my chips into whatever sauce is offered (with the exception of poutine as it's got to be on top to be proper poutine) as I can't stand my food to touch. So those who are making the crispy chip argument - I'm with you on that! I like a really crisp chip that I can dip! (My mom makes the best chips in the universe...I never dip them into gravy or any other sauce. They're perfect the way they are!)

15 comments:

Siilike said...

Let me tell you something even weirder: potatoes are starch and so are buns. Well, Brits take a bun, place some potato chips between it, add ketchup and mmmmmm - tasty. Made me roll my eyes, who eats starch with starch?
But - rest assured, in Estonia gravy with potatoes (mashed, boiled, fried) is rather the norm. Usually it's beshamell-sauce like gravy. Decent gravy is available rarely, when someone has made a pot-roast or something, mmmmmm.
Eating fries with mayonnaise is strange to me, I'm just getting used to ketchup being added everywhere. I mean - in my house ketchup is added to meat dishes that have turned out bad.

Meaue said...

I don't think it's a U.S. thing (maybe somewhere regionally - not the Pacific NW), but it sounds SO good (I am so hungry right now!). And as you said, mashed potatoes and gravy are a norm.... why not with fries? If it was easy to order (without the looks :)), I'd have my fried this way for sure! I have a friend that uses mustard with her fries, now that I'm not too keen on trying!

MadeaJ said...

Susan

That made me laugh. I live in the US south, a northern transplant. I was eating an IHOP. I also lived three years in Scotland and really enjoy a good malt vinegar with my fish and chips. I got a meal with steak and chips. They did not have the brown gravy so I asked the waitress to bring some vinegar. It wouldn't be malt, but they did have apple cider vinegar. She made a face and asked what I wanted it for. I told her, she made another face, said okay and conveniently 'forgot' to bring it to the table. lol, I guess she just couldn't bear to see me put vinegar on my chips.

In southern Spain and France, its common to see mayonaise and ketchup squirted in large quantities over a perfectly good pizza. :-0

MadeaJ

Celine Blacow said...

Yep, we have chips and gravy here (Ireland) .. personally I can't stand it, I like chips (when I eat them which is very rarely) to be crispy .. I do like mayo with them, maybe ketchup and vinegar (white or malt) is a must. Also VERY popular here is curry sauce with chips - again, can't stand it (all these sauces make the chips soggy, bleugh!). Give me a dip on the side and I'm happy.

I say if you want gravy, have gravy!!!

Ged said...

I'm with Celine here ... chips are supposed to be crisp and crunchy ... covering them with sauce diminishes their raison d'etre! All my grandchildren pour ketchup on their chips, and I have to admit that for some reason it turns my stomach ... Having said which, Belgian crisp hot frites with mayonnaise is a match made in heaven ... as is the British chip butty, which, and I'm afraid Silike is in error here, is made with soft white bread (NOT a bun!) spread with lots of butter and a sprinkling of malt vinegar (ketchup here would be an abomination ...) In Spain, where I live now, the chips are horribly soggy and then covered with a glutinous pink sauce (yes, patatas bravas ARE as bad as they sound!)

Are we going to do emulsified scrubs soon, pretty please Susan?

Ambra said...

Fris with gravy? Absolutely at our house, all the time. But the Icelandic tradition is to eat French fries with souce called "kokteil sosa". It's basically mayo seasoned with ketchup and salt and pepper. Love that too, especially made with Heinz ketchup.

Topcat said...

Mmmm....in Australia we have tended to follow the British way, although we are much more cosmopolitan now ;)

Chips (fries) and gravy have been around as long as I can remember, as well as fish and chips and vinegar (my personal favourite). I do like my gravy as a dipping sauce, not poured onto my chips, as I too prefer my chips to be as crisp as possible. I love having a chip 'butty' but I DO use a bun - and lots of butter and salt.

My kids regularly pour tomato sauce (ketchup) all over their chips, which has never appealed to me, and my daughter likes mayonnaise on hers.

Anonymous said...

Fries and gravy are only my most favorite food ever! I'm not so much of a ketchup fan, but I do love flavored mayo (mmm.....chipotle) and sweet potato fries!!

Nancy Lindquist-Liedel said...

If my family can go ape-nuts over Chili Cheese Fries and people in Utah eat, "Fry Sauce." Mayo and Ketchup, then fries and gravy are just a different form of mashed potatoes and gravy.

Birgit Biehl said...

In Germany we dip our pommes frites in a mayo based sauce and it is amazingly delicious...
I don't know about fries and gravy, that sounds weird...but knowing me I'm sure I would try it. I have never met a fry I didn't like. Even if it is dipped in gravy...

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Okay, so it's not a bizarre, disgusting concept! Woo, I thought I came from a country of weirdos! As I mentioned in the update on the post...I'm a dipper, not a pour-er. I like to dip my chips into mayo, rarely ketchup, often gravy, and sometimes cheese.

Now I'm hungry!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Ged. I've done a few version of the emulsified scrub here...

Formulating with soy bean oil
Emulsified scrub for dry skin
Emulsified scrub for other skin types

Did you want more detail about these products? 'Cause I can write more!

Long Leaf said...

My sis is currently dating a guy from Toronto...and fries w/gravy is about all he talks about...I am sure I am exaggerating, but you get the pic! Guess when you think about mashed & gravy it isn't that weird....I do like tarter sauce on mine though for a change!

Sarah {The Student Knitter} said...

It has been aaaaaaaaaaages since I've had real chips and gravy! One of the highlights of my trip home every year is the first great poutine we eat! I even got my hubby addicted. I'm in town about noon on Monday and I admit I'll probably have had a poutine by about 5ish. hehe

oo also... I'm a dipper too, but I like to squirt some ketchup in to the little gravy dish so a get a bit of both. hehe

and no, they give me the same look here in Virginia when I ask for gravy.

pish said...

Oh dear. Now that I know they don't serve gravy with fries elsewhere, I may never travel...at least not without a tub of gravy in my suitcase! ;)

How about ranch dip? Perfect on those big fat wedgie Mojo type fries.

Mmmm. Darn it now I'm hungry too! Ha.