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#actuallyautistic voices

French Fries!

From poetry to fantasy, Nadia has explored all kinds of writing this year. Add research and informative writing to that list! And what better topic to learn about than fries! We formed research questions, searched for answers and took notes, and learned about presenting information in a structured 5-paragraph essay that follows Sheridan Baker's keyhole structure. Nadia asked to share what she wrote with the blog. So, happy Friday, French fry style!


Can you imagine a world without French fries? It is hard to do. They are simply standard sides for everything from steaks to seafood. They are on every menu, but what do we really know about them? As French fry eaters, we often don’t realize just how much there is to know about these potatoes.

Not all potatoes are created equal. Though they get a bad rap, potatoes actually aren’t that unhealthy. They are a low fat source of carbohydrates. When you fry them, though, that changes. A serving of fries has quadruple the calories of its plain potato counterpart and tons of fat and additives. With that nutritional information, itt makes sense that some diners ask to substitute this starch.

If you aren’t a French fry fan, maybe you just haven’t found the right fry. There are over 20 varieties of fries! You can have curly or straight, single or double fried, waffle cut or shoestring or one of many variations. And that’s just the beginning. Want cheese on your fries? Sure! Chilli? Sure. Almost anything goes. At a world fry convention, you may see American using ketchup while the French dip in mustard. Some Japanese like curry or soy sauce while the Malaysians like chilli sauce. The Belgians and the Dutch find mayonnaise tasty. Maybe the most unhealthy but most delicious are the Canadians who drown their fries in a gravy poutine. French fries are truly an international food.

Did you know French fries aren’t even French? No one knows for certain where they come from. In one story, the people of Belgium started frying potatoes when the river froze and they couldn’t catch fish to fry. When they gave these fried potatoes to American soldiers after World War Two, the soldiers heard them speaking French and assumed they were in France. Another story gives the Spanish credit. They had a history of frying things in olive oil and had introduced the Incan yucca to Europe. Whichever country created them, there is no doubt the French first introduced them to America by way of Thomas Jefferson. Although they easily could have been mistaken for today’s curly French fries, they were called “pommes de terre frites á cru en petites tranches (potatoes deep fried while raw, in small cuttings).” But what’s in a name anyhow? A French fry by any name still tastes delicious.

Clearly these are no simple fries. At first glance this favorite food looks a lot like a greasy stick. A deeper look shows the complex history and myriad ways to cook and eat them. The next time you order a side of fries, ask yourself if French fries are as easy as you thought.


The author points to letters to spell her poetry.

Nadia asks the world to presume competence of all nonspeaking autistics and to use respectful language when you talk about people who type instead of speak.