For those of you reading who don’t know me well, I have a bizarre (some seem to think freakish) allergy to potatoes. That means no mashed potatoes, no baked potatoes, no chips and — you guessed it — no french fries. When I tell new people I meet about my inability to eat the little spuds, it seems to shock them. “How could potatoes kill you?” they ask. Well, I’ve gotten used to it over the years. The last time I ate a fry was at a McDonald’s when I was about five years old. I remember trying to finish it because I thought people would think I was weird if I told them I thought fries made my mouth feel funny. So I doused it in sweet & sour sauce and choked it down.
Eighteen years and an Epi-Pen later, I know better. I never crave fries or chips, because I don’t remember what they taste like (at least not fondly, like other people do). So when I found out that they commonly serve a type of fry substitute in Brazil, I wasn’t sure what to think. The first time polenta was set down in front of me, I didn’t touch it. It looked too much like fries.
I eventually warmed up to the fry 2.0 (which is made out of corn), and discovered how delicious and close to fry flavour it is. Another delicious substitute for fries? Mandioca! Both of these fried treats have made their way into my heart (and stomach), so I need to thank Brazil for introducing me to not one, but two, french fry substitutes. Who would’ve thought that’s what I’d find here?