I am a confessed French fry junkie. I know they make my butt bigger but I can’t stay away from them for long. Pregnancy afforded me an excuse to consume pounds of fries under the guise: “the baby wanted them”. You know the age-old hypothetical question: “If you were stranded on a deserted island and you could have only one food, what would it be?” My answer would be French fries.
I don’t discriminate, either. I love:Fat fries Skinny fries Crinkle fries Straight fries Fries with skin Homemade fries Frozen fries Fried fries Oven-baked fries Steak fries Foreign or domestic fries Seasoned fries Curly fries Burnt fries The one floppy fry in the McDonald’s carton Wendy’s fries Burger King fries Fries in the evening Fries in the morning Fries with food Fries solo I love fries.
But I didn’t really know what true love was until I visited The Capitol Grille in Baltimore, Maryland. Folks, allow me to introduce you to the Parmesan Truffle Fries.
These are the Fries of the Gods. Umami Overload. A foodgasm worthy of a parental advisory.
First, I eat with my eyes. I take in the cute little bucket – what a clever presentation. Parmesan shavings are sprinkled over top the mound of potatoes. A garnish of parsley provides a bit of color. Looks delicious.
As I move closer I begin to smell the fries. The aroma of the truffle oil is unmistakable. The earthy white truffle mingles with the potato, oil and Grana Podano to create a perfume in the air. Smells delicious.
I select one fry. Just one. And I bite into the crispy outer coating and through to the fluffy, delicate center. Oh em gee. I taste the truffle oil, salt and parmesan. The outside world recedes. All that remains is me and this bucket of potato perfection. Oh yeah, and the other two people trying to get some of these fries! I want to eat them quickly (especially since we are sharing) but I force myself to slow down so I can reverently savor each and every bite. Tastes unbelievably delicious.
Just in case you were curious, Grana Padano is one of the oldest hard cheeses in the world, created nearly 1000 years ago by Italian monks in an effort to preserve milk. The name comes from the noun grana, which means grain and refers to the grainy texture of the cheese, and the adjective padano which refers to the Pianura Padana Valley where the cheese was discovered.
The white truffle, a fungus often sniffed out by the female hog near tree bases, is one of the most prized ingredients money can buy. Grown mostly in Italy, white truffles are often served raw, boast a stronger aroma, and sell for about twice the price of their black counterpart. France supplies the majority of black truffles. They have a less pungent and more refined flavor than the white. Interestingly, most truffle oil used in the United States does not contain actual truffles, but a synthetic agent, like 2,4-dithiapentane, instead. I wouldn’t know – I have only tasted truffle oil….not an actual truffle. Budgetary constraints sure cramp my style sometimes.
Nevertheless, the Parmesan Truffle Fries at Capitol Grille were the most delicious food I put in my mouth during my stay in Charm City.
I have truffle oil in my pantry and I am going to try to recreate that heavenly experience at home. You might hear me moaning miles away if I am successful.The Capitol Grille 500 East Pratt Street Baltimore, Maryland 21202 443-703-4064