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Subject: Where have all the good fries gone?
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

============================

From: kimberly 
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 00:51:17 GMT
--------
I am having a hard time trying to tell if the french fries being served
everywhere now-a-days have lost some quality that used to make them
addictive to me....or if I have just outgrown them. I still like the ones my
mom and I make....twice fried, golden and crisp. But it seems like everytime
I go ahead and order the fries, they...well, in a word, they suck. Oh, some
are edible to an extent, I guess. But for the most part, I'm noticing they
always seem to be "coated" with something, or they have *no* flavor, or they
are grainy inside instead of fluffy. Is this a new thing? Or are my
childhood memories of french fry binges with my very best friend being seen
through those infamous rose colored glasses?

============================

From: Dimitri 
Date: Tue, 21 Dec 1999 17:11:53 -0800
--------
Some chains still make them, but very few.

If you are ever in or near Southern California or Las Vegas try the fries at
IN-N-OUT BURGER and see if that is what you remember.  Real potatoes, cut
fresh, fried in small batches and towel dried (degreased) . They are still
addictive. (fortunately) ;-)

The problem with the other cr** (stuff) is it mostly comes from an extruder
or a molding machine in Idaho and is made from mashed or processed potatoes
and a binder - Yuck!

============================

From: Jason Yee 
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 02:16:56 GMT
--------
Dimitri wrote:
> If you are ever in or near Southern California or Las Vegas try the fries at
> IN-N-OUT BURGER and see if that is what you remember.  

I have to respectfully disagree, I love In-N-Out burgers but
I think they have wretched fries.  IMO the texture is
horrible and they are extremely bland.  They taste more like
matchstick potato chips.  I've tried them for as long as
I've been eating double doubles and 3x3's and I still don't
like them.  I've requested them lightly fried and extra
fried per other people's suggestions and I still don't find
them tasty.  On the other hand their burgers are great.  A
lunch treat for me is two double doubles with extra grilled
onions.  

============================

From: Dimitri 
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 09:16:39 -0800
--------
Jason Yee wrote:
> I have to respectfully disagree, I love In-N-Out burgers but
> I think they have wretched fries. 

You are very entitled to disagree all you want.  Wouldn't it be a dull world
if we all had the same taste ?  Ultimately there would be no variety.

For myself obviously I like their fries, and I really like their regular
cheese burgers with grilled onions.  I find the flavor of the toasted bun is
masked by the double double.

============================

From: kimberly 
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 19:25:44 GMT
--------
I do go to In n Out (don't know many San Diegans who don't!) but I find that
they're inconsistent with their fries. They used to have terrific fries, but
the quality seems to have dropped in the last couple years. *sigh*

============================

From: Robert 
Date: Tue, 21 Dec 1999 19:31:53 -0600
--------
> I still like the ones my
> mom and I make....twice fried, golden and crisp. 

You sound like Julia Child. My mother never made French Fries that way. I
work at a sports grill, and we just dump 'em in and serve 'em up. I use your
method at home only

============================

From: Alan Boles 
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 05:24:41 GMT
--------
When I make French fries I cut them thin (like the old Mc D style) then
I soak them in salted water for a couple hours (this removes some of the
starch), pat dry and deep fry them just once. This seems to me to taste
better than frying up tater wedges 2 times.... I don't even peel the
taters ...just wash them well. Oh and I use red potatoes. I prefer the
taste of red potatoes over the white for french fries.

============================

From: Sam 
Date: Tue, 21 Dec 1999 23:24:33 -0500
--------
We also savor good fries. Wendy's are still ok. Burger King's are
those horrible seasoned type, and McDonald's haven't been good for
years. We frequent scads of independent Italian restaurants and they
occasionally have decent fries; but I agree with you--haven't had
really good ones in a long time.

A sign of the times? .....

============================

From: troyer 
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 08:10:51 -0500
--------
Sam wrote:
>  and McDonald's haven't been good for
> years. 

McDonald's stopped being good when they stopped cooking them in beef
tallow.

============================

From: Raymond Chuang 
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 08:00:42 -0800
--------
troyer wrote:
> McDonald's stopped being good when they stopped cooking them in beef
> tallow.

Actually, I remember the very old days (circa 1970) when McDonald's made
French Fries by cutting the potatoes in the restaurant itself! THAT was when
McDonald's had REALLY good French Fries.

Right now, the only decent place to get French Fries is at In-n-Out Burger
(there's a restaurant in Milpitas, CA).

============================

From: Sam 
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 11:53:15 -0500
--------
Yes, and McDs burgers used to be better as well. They messed them up
somehow along the line. Changed the roll, process, ...Don't know.

Burger King has done something to their fires. They are coated with a
seasoning or something that is the pits. No In-n-Outs in our area that
I know of.

Hardees has completely changed their menu. Their burgers, which used
to be ok, are now a zero; but their fried chicken is pretty good.
Better than KFC.

I think there is a market for a new fast food chain that serves a
basic menu of quality burgers and fires. I think McDs and the others
started to go down the tubes when they started to diversify their
menus. 

============================

From: Raymond Chuang 
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 17:26:54 -0800
--------
Sam wrote:

> Yes, and McDs burgers used to be better as well. They messed them up
> somehow along the line. Changed the roll, process, ...Don't know.

You're right about that!! McDonald's used to have fairly good hamburgers. I
think though what has happened is that we've been spoiled by the
flame-broiled hamburgers from Burger King (I LOVE the Whopper made at the
Burger King 1.5 blocks from my condo) and the hamburgers from In-n-Out
Burger.

> Burger King has done something to their fires. They are coated with a
> seasoning or something that is the pits. No In-n-Outs in our area that
> I know of.

Well, it's certainly a big improvement over their older style French Fries.
It appears they may have changed their deep-frying process.

> Hardees has completely changed their menu. Their burgers, which used
> to be ok, are now a zero; but their fried chicken is pretty good.
> Better than KFC.

Unfortunately, Hardee's is a southeastern USA chain, so I don't know what
their food is like. :-(

> I think there is a market for a new fast food chain that serves a
> basic menu of quality burgers and fires. I think McDs and the others
> started to go down the tubes when they started to diversify their
> menus.

Well, that's what In-n-Out Burger has done to our area. In-n-Out Burger
makes Hamburgers and French Fries the "old fashioned" way, and the food
quality is always top notch (and there's usually a big crowd in the
restaurant at lunch AND dinner).

============================

From: notbob 
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 07:18:25 GMT
--------
> You're right about that!! McDonald's used to have fairly good hamburgers.......

McDonald's hasn't had a good hamburger since they became a chain. 
...been avoiding them like the plague since '64 (they made it on their
fresh, fried in beef fat, thin cut, french frys).  

Burger King is now using a potato starch coating on their french frys. 
It actually keeps the frys hot longer (still hot when I get home ...3
miles).  It also gives them a little more crunch on the outside.

In-and-Out are ok, but mainly for the shakes and frys.  Their regular
burger is not as good as a Carl's Jr. Famous Star (plain burger).  I 'n
O's forte is the cheese.  Double Cheeseburger is 30% fat content in the
burger and two slices of cheese ....heart attack on a bun ...but, the
epitonme of American burgerness!!   ....grease on grease.  Don't forget
the mayo.

============================

From: Raymond Chuang 
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 08:11:12 -0800
--------
notbob wrote:

> Burger King is now using a potato starch coating on their french frys.
> It actually keeps the frys hot longer (still hot when I get home ...3
> miles).  It also gives them a little more crunch on the outside.

Whatever Burger King did, their French Fries are definitely a major
improvement over the old stuff. The older style fries BK sold was so bad I
avoided them constantly.

> In-and-Out are ok, but mainly for the shakes and frys.  Their regular
> burger is not as good as a Carl's Jr. Famous Star (plain burger).  I 'n
> O's forte is the cheese.  Double Cheeseburger is 30% fat content in the
> burger and two slices of cheese ....heart attack on a bun ...but, the
> epitonme of American burgerness!!   ....grease on grease.  Don't forget
> the mayo.

Mind you, I don't eat the Double Cheeseburger at In-and-Out, mostly because
they want US$2.99 for one. $_$

I prefer eating the Burger King Whopper at the BK near my condo--they charge
US$1.49 for one and it's quite good. When Burger King switched to
flame-broiling their hamburger patties there was a big improvement in taste.

============================

From: Sam 
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 12:47:53 -0500
--------
>> Burger King is now using a potato starch coating on their french frys.
>> It actually keeps the frys hot longer (still hot when I get home ...3
>> miles).  It also gives them a little more crunch on the outside.
>
>Whatever Burger King did, their French Fries are definitely a major
>improvement over the old stuff. The older style fries BK sold was so bad I
>avoided them constantly.

You're right actually, BKs fries were putrid. IMO they are now
putrid-er, as it were. Subjective, obviously.

>> In-and-Out are ok, but mainly for the shakes and frys.  Their regular
>> burger is not as good as a Carl's Jr. Famous Star (plain burger).  I 'n
>> O's forte is the cheese.  Double Cheeseburger is 30% fat content in the
>> burger and two slices of cheese ....heart attack on a bun..............

If not eaten on a regular basis, not an attack on a bun.

>> ...but, the  epitonme of American burgerness!!   ....grease on grease.  Don't forget
>> the mayo.
>
>Mind you, I don't eat the Double Cheeseburger at In-and-Out, mostly because
>they want US$2.99 for one. $_$
>
>I prefer eating the Burger King Whopper at the BK near my condo--they charge
>US$1.49 for one and it's quite good. When Burger King switched to
>flame-broiling their hamburger patties there was a big improvement in taste.

I'll second your flame-broiling observation motion. 

============================

From: Raymond Chuang 
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 13:29:54 -0800
--------
Sam wrote:
> I'll second your flame-broiling observation motion.

The only downside to a Burger King hamburger is the fact you have to wait
for them to make one, especially the specialty hamburgers like the Whopper
and Big King. But, they are definitely FAR better than any hamburger at
McDonald's!

But getting back on topic (^_^), where do YOU find a good place for decent
French Fries? The only place I know of is In-and-Out Burger.

============================

From: Jill McQuown 
Date: Sat, 25 Dec 1999 05:23:09 -0600
--------
Here in Memphis they have a place called Dyer's.  Their burgers are deep
fried.  I kid you not.  They are the best tasting burgers I've ever eaten!
Years ago I was working at a place that had the blessings of Mr. Dyer to
make his wonderful burgers.  Ground round (anything with more fat would fall
apart in the oil), rolled into meatballs then pounded flat when an order was
placed.  Slipped into deep hot oil (I think it was peanut oil)... when the
burger floats at the top, it's done.  They'd fish it out with a strainer and
slap it on a bun.  Awesome!  The key here was never to actually change the
oil.  Strain it, but never actually change it.  Good Lord, when they moved
the Dyer's restaurant from Midtown to out East, the 50 year old oil had a
police escort!

============================

From: notbob 
Date: Sat, 25 Dec 1999 18:21:40 GMT
--------
Jill McQuown wrote:
>    The key here was never to actually change the
> oil.  Strain it, but never actually change it.  Good Lord, when they moved
> the Dyer's restaurant from Midtown to out East, the 50 year old oil had a
> police escort!

LOL...

We have similar situation with a few of the roach-coaches making the
rounds here in the silicon valley.  I've been considering a plan to
relieve them of their fryer oil to bottle it for sale as a laxitive. 
Some of them are so bad, they've spawned a phenomena I call the "11
o'clock sprint".  Figuring out which ones is a kind of a "Rolaids
roullette". 

============================

From: Martha Hughes 
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 07:17:58 -0800
--------
If you're ever on your way home from Tahoe, stop by Davis and go to Murder
Burgers ("So good, you'll die for them). They have awesome burgers. Then
there's this place in the Hayward Hills I used to go to when I went to
college at CSUH (Darn, I've forgotten the name..!) They are an old fashioned
burger joint with real milk shakes, where they give you the extra in the
metal container. If I remember the name, I'll post it.

============================

From: kimberly 
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 19:27:51 GMT
--------
> Hardees has completely changed their menu. Their burgers, which used
> to be ok, are now a zero; but their fried chicken is pretty good.
> Better than KFC.

I miss Hardee's. I used to get the biscuits in the morning, with the
cinnamon and glaze? Yum. Those and some hot coffee and a fruit salad were a
good way to wake up.

============================

From: mict72[at]ibm.net (Rico)
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 22:11:07 GMT
--------
Raymond Chuang wrote:
>Right now, the only decent place to get French Fries is at In-n-Out Burger
>(there's a restaurant in Milpitas, CA).

Oh yeah!!!  In n Out is the BEST!!!!

============================

From: Raymond Chuang 
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 17:28:36 -0800
--------
Rico wrote:
> Oh yeah!!!  In n Out is the BEST!!!!

Yep. Here in the Bay Area, the two In-n-Out Burger restaurants I know of are
always full of people at lunch AND dinner. Must the the demand for decent
"old fashioned" hamburger and fries like we remember from the 1950's an
1960's.

============================

From: Karen 
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 18:24:02 -0800
--------
Raymond Chuang wrote:
> Yep. Here in the Bay Area, the two In-n-Out Burger restaurants I know of are
> always full of people at lunch AND dinner. Must the the demand for decent
> "old fashioned" hamburger and fries like we remember from the 1950's an
> 1960's.

There will be a new one in South San Jose very soon.

============================

From: Martha Hughes 
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 16:21:05 -0800
--------
Would it be blasphemy if I said I love garlic fries? I get them at every SF
Giants' game I go to.

============================

From: Raymond Chuang 
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 17:32:17 -0800
--------
Martha Hughes wrote:
> Would it be blasphemy if I said I love garlic fries? I get them at every SF
> Giants' game I go to.

No. (^_^)

Actually, there is now a big pent-up demand for places that serve simple but
REALLY good take out food. Small wonder why In-n-Out Burger is always busy
(at least the Milpitas, CA restaurant I frequent).

Speaking of the Giants, it'll be VERY interesting to see what kind of food
they will serve at the new Pacific Bell Park starting in April. I HOPE it
will be top-quality food, though, especially since PacBell Park will be
literally very close to downtown and you know how picky eaters some San
Franciscans are.

============================

From: Martha Hughes 
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 07:14:22 -0800
--------
Raymond Chuang wrote:
> Speaking of the Giants, it'll be VERY interesting to see what kind of food
> they will serve at the new Pacific Bell Park starting in April. I HOPE it
> will be top-quality food, though, especially since PacBell Park will be
> literally very close to downtown and you know how picky eaters some San
> Franciscans are.

The food better be good, considering how expensive tix to the new park are.
I think the cheapest seats are $12!!!

============================

From: hartmans[at]mediaone.net (Kay Hartman)
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 05:02:36 GMT
--------
One thing that has happened is that restaurants try to make their
fries appear more healthy.  Give it up.  Deep fried potatoes can't be
healthy no matter what.  In the good ol' days, McDonalds and many
restaurants fried their potatoes in beef fat.  Those were potatoes
that were heavenly.  Canola oil just doesn't cut it.

There's still one restaurant in Los Angeles that fries the potatoes in
beef fat but it is a pricey place.  And there's one in Portland OR
that fries their potatoes in duck fat.  They're pricey too.  If you're
going to do it, do it.

============================

From: Mugwump 
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 02:50:04 -0500
--------
Yea, verily didst Kay Hartman sayeth to the populace of Usenet:

> One thing that has happened is that restaurants try to make their
> fries appear more healthy.  Give it up.  Deep fried potatoes can't be
> healthy no matter what.  In the good ol' days, McDonalds and many
> restaurants fried their potatoes in beef fat.  Those were potatoes
> that were heavenly.  Canola oil just doesn't cut it.

Even though I avoid fried foods for the most part these days, when I *do* 
deep-fry something, I use good old-fashioned lard.

============================

From: notbob 
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 05:50:19 GMT
--------
....gone to flash freezers, every one.
When will they ever learn.......


heh heh
I saw two different brands of old fashioned french fry press/cutter at
Lechter's the other day.  Do your own.

============================

From: Mugwump 
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 02:47:39 -0500
--------
>  But for the most part, I'm noticing they
> always seem to be "coated" with something, or they have *no* flavor, or they
> are grainy inside instead of fluffy. Is this a new thing? 

I think that Hardee's and Burger King are buying their frozen fries from 
the same vendor; they both have that weird-tasting "stay crunchy" 
outside. When it comes to take-out fries, McDonald's fries are still the 
best, if you're lucky enough to get 'em cooked right.

============================

From: ekitchennews[at]aol.com (Ekitchennews)
Date: 22 Dec 1999 11:32:57 GMT
--------
> they both have that weird-tasting "stay crunchy" 
>outside. 

The stay crunchy fry is sprayed with a compound to keep the fries crunchy
longer under the heat lamp. I call them teflon fries. Yuck!  It cuts down on
food costs, at the expense of the consumers. I don't buy french fries at any of
the fast food places and I long for the days of McDonald lard fries. Yes, we
should eat healthy but small quantities of foods we think taste great, don't
hurt. The key is moderation.

============================

From: Stan Horwitz 
Date: 22 Dec 1999 14:09:50 GMT
--------
My french fry intake dropped considerably for two reasons. First, I 
usually cannot justify eating such a high calarie, high fat, high carb 
food these days. Secondly, I know of only two places where I can buy
good french fries anywhere near where I live.

The first place (and best) is "Curly's Fries" which is on the boardwalk
in Wildwood, NJ. The other place is just called "Frites" which is a
Belgian frites shop that opened up a few months ago on South Street
in Philadelphia. Both places serve superb french fries, but I still
only get them as an ocassional treat if I am in the area.

============================

From: Fudge 
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 09:47:38 -0500
--------
A gentlemman who stated he was a French Fry expert swore the best fries were
cooked in pure peanut oil. The potatoes were a special, organic high starch
type like Kennebec or Sebago and kept in a controlled environment with low
humidity to slowly dehydrate them. Sounds expensive but very good.

Farmer John

============================

From: Christiane 
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 17:11:10 GMT
--------
I wondered when the word lard would show up.  The best fries I ever had
were my  mom's and she only used animal lard, deep fried the suckers
twice, patted them dry and salted them with the finer popcorn salt.  It
was always a real treat when they were served.  I was at a local
restaurant and they had awesome fries.  The waitress told us that one of
their secrets was a little sugar in the oil.

============================

From: angelique[at]angeliqueandfriends.com (Angelique)
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 20:07:01 GMT
--------
> I still like the ones my
>mom and I make....twice fried, golden and crisp. 

What does "twice fried" mean?

============================

From: jan 
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 17:29:32 -0500
--------
Out of the fast food hamburger joints, my favorite
is still McDonalds.   My real favorite fries are 
at Nathan's.  A Nathan's hot dog and fries...
ymmmmmmmm.

============================

From: chuckb[at]halcyon.com (Charles W. Bollinger M.D.)
Date: 23 Dec 1999 00:19:11 GMT
--------
>What does "twice fried" mean?

This is a technique I first saw in "Joy of Cooking".  One heats the oil 
to 375 degrees and puts in the fries.  The oil will cool rapidly.  
After about (?) 5 minutes or so you take out the "pale, limp potatoes" 
and set them aside while the oil re-heats.  When it is again 375 you 
put the fries back.  It is supposed to give them crispiness without 
crunch and burn, and I do think that it helps.  

But I've gotta say that I am going to do a batch in lard.  I've been 
meaning to do it for years, and "time's winged chariot (is) hurrying 
near".  

Besides: Dying happy is better than not dying at all. 

No, that's not it.  Wait a minute....

============================

From: garamala[at]halcyon.com (TJ)
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 17:09:57 -0800
--------
Charles W. Bollinger M.D. wrote:
> Besides: Dying happy is better than not dying at all. 
> No, that's not it.  Wait a minute....

Either this man is dead, or my watch is stopped!

I rarely fry fries, preferring to oven bake them (and they get eaten,
everyone one of the them, so I don't sweat this at all) but if I do I do
the same as for oven fries....soak in cold water for 30 minutes and then
DRY them off, then deep fry, or toss with oil and bake. I think I got this
trick from JOC. 
I fry in crisco, as have one Brit friend and one Brit roomie, both of whom
lived on homemade fish and chips, it seemed. One told me the story of
working in a fish and chip shop and John Cleese came in (this was
mid-70's). Everyone started to laugh uproariously, and his service was
actually slow because of the general crumpling of knees in the place.

============================

From: Laura Heuchan 
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 18:00:07 -0500
--------
TJ wrote:
> I rarely fry fries, preferring to oven bake them 

I've never been able to deep fry potatoes that turned out good, but do
use the JOC oven method and they turn out crispy.  I don't soak in cold
water, maybe I missed that years ago when I first started doing them
this way.  What's the benefit of soaking?  Maybe I should try this.  I
do sprinkle some chili powder on the potatoes before cooking and it
provides a mild bite.

============================

From: mzp150[at]webtv.net (Carol Panagos)
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 02:52:40 -0600 (CST)
--------
Suprise, suprise guys....butter has more cholestrol and calories than
lard!

============================

From: Saara B. Kuure 
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 12:25:27 -0800
--------
This thread prompted me to do so last night. I couldn't stand reading
about french fries any longer with having any!

I do the double-fry method too (read about it in one of Jeffrey
Steingarten's articles). He recommended horse tallow, but since I don't
live in France, I tried it in lard for the first time last night. 

I fully recommend lard! It's not as heavy and oily as vegetable
oil/shortening. I cut really thin slices, basically thick chips, and
only gave them a quick dip each time thru. Less than a minute. I don't
know the temp of the lard as I was using a cast iron pan. I drained on a
paper grocery bag and sopped up what little excess there was with a
napkin. Sprinkled with garlic seasoning salt. No ketchup required!

Considering I ate two (Yellow Finn) potatoes worth of these chips, I
don't feel icky today as I do after a small serving of fastfood fries. I
only cut off about an inch of the lard cube, and about half is left.
Guess I'll pour that into the dish of bacon grease in the fridge. :)

============================

From: notbob 
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 02:36:51 GMT
--------
Angelique wrote:
> What does "twice fried" mean?

I'm not  sure what "twice fried" means, but I know that frozen french
frys are already fried once.  The potato processing plant: sorts 'em,
peels 'em (in a mechanical/lye machine), cuts 'em, deep fry's 'em (in
oil), cools 'em, flash freezes 'em.  I know because I worked in one in
Washington years ago.  So, if you, or a fast food outlet, deep frys them
again, you could say they are "twice fried".

============================
============================

Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking
Subject: French fries - a report from the front
From: chuckb[at]halcyon.com (Charles W. Bollinger M.D.)
Date: 23 Dec 1999 18:10:46 GMT
--------
After all the talk about french fries and lard and such I could no 
longer stand it, and, promising to take a double dose of Lopid, started 
melting lard in my Fry Daddy.  And here's something not previously 
mentioned but of great importance:  A Fry Daddy can't recover quickly 
enough to cook even the batch that's in it, much less succeeding 
batches. 

I hadn't used it for some time; I bought it thinking it would be handy 
for various things, and it *is*, in a single application: beef fondue. 
 But this time I dragged it out thinking that I could do the lard in it 
and then let the lard solidify and put the whole thing into an extra 
reefer we have downstairs.  Great idea, except that the thing doesn't 
work even for french fries. 

So, we need to be reminded that deep fat frying requires that the fat 
be around 375 degrees F and should not go down to 200 when the product 
is introduced.  This requires special fryers with the coils not only on 
the bottom but up the sides, or for us mortals, a Dutch oven of cast 
iron, or a le Cruset (enameled cast iron), etc.  

I wish I could report how tasty they were, but can't.  They were ok.  
They had finally become crisp and were't nasty, but I'll chalk up the 
experience to tuition in the school of life... and cooking. 


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