If you’re just checking in, we are participating in Alexia Foods’ “Reinvent a Classic” challenge that allows 25 bloggers to submit an idea for a new French fry flavor. Amir and I will need to submit our final sweet potato flavor idea to the Alexia Foods team by July 20, which is creeping up pretty quickly. We’re both crazy busy with work, traveling and other projects right now, so we’ve found the best way to do it is to split up the recipes and work on them individually for a bit. We’ll reconvene and test them all together before choosing one to submit. We’ve affectionately titled the Sweet, Herby, Smokey and Spicy. Here’s an update on the testing so far!
Team Sweet and Spicy
Amir’s on a little city hopping tour from Texas to Illinois and finally North Carolina. In his final pit stop, he whipped up the Sweet version for two really good friends. He wanted to see how the taste differed by using a dried form of one ingredient rather than the fresh one. He switched up the key sweet ingredient by trying it in extract form versus the powder. This batch was missing the same amount of flavorful, aromatic and visual appeal. I happened to be at Target one day and stumbled upon another sweet extract that might be fun to try for his Sweet recipe. The first thing I did was text Amir to let him know, and he was definitely excited to get back and give it a go. He has a really good idea for a marinade with these fries that makes me giddy to no end. It involves two luscious ingredients that will add a well-rounded depth to the flavor. That depth will come in the form of fat, and it will be good. Next up…retesting the Spicy sweet potato fries.
Team Smokey and Herby
I spent the last week running around Los Angeles and Orange County with family, and I only had one night to whip up a batch of both sweet potato flavors. I grabbed all of the ingredients from my house and rushed over to my parents’ hotel to attempt this feat in their room. This would be an adapted version for them to taste the flavors, as I already knew there was no oven available to use. That’s why these potatoes are cubed instead of julienned. After squeezing two over-sized pots onto the world’s tiniest burners, scorching the life out of said pots and then having to finish off the taters in the microwave, the samples were done! This was indeed a comedy show of epic proportions, but two out of three preferred Herby over Smokey. I believe the Herby flavor is 100% right on, so I haven’t done any tweaking on that recipe. This time, I decided to use two new ingredients to bring on the smokey flavor we want. I was light-handed with one of those new ingredients as it can be very overwhelming, but I think I could toss in a bit more next time.
In addition to making our own, it’s been nice to taste the versions created by Alexia Foods themselves. Call it research if you will. It’s the summertime though, and honestly, baking sweet potato fries is a little killer. Should we try frying our next batches? That’s always an idea and perhaps an excuse to invest in a mini deep fryer. Do you prefer your fries baked or fried?
Check out the Alexia Foods Facebook page or follow the bloggers chatting about the process under the #AlexiaFoods hashtag.
The Alexia Foods team is providing compensation for our time and products needed to participate in this challenge.