Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Frantic Frustration about Fries

No one responded to my earlier post in which I asked how the name Liesl was pronounced. My follow-up question was going to be about the gender of the name. I can only conclude that it's a boy's name pronounced "Lyle."

Ok, another one: disgraced author (and former Minnesota treatment center patient) James Frey. Is it James Fray or James Fry? I've been saying fry, even going so far as to correct people who said fray. I based my judgment on the precedent of Glenn Frey, the Eagles guitarist, who I'd always thought pronounced his last name 'fry.' But for every ten Steev-ens, there's always a Steff-en. Or the random large intestine for every thousand Colins. So who's right? The Frays or the Fries? I could try to watch Oprah reruns to see how the man pronounces his own name, but why subject myself to such torture? I ask you, my readers, how to say "Frey"?

And speaking of fries, I'll be writing a bit about french fries later this week. To tide my readers over till then, here's a passage from Eric Schlosser's Atlantic Monthly article "Why McDonald's Fries Taste So Good," which also appeared in his book Fast Food Nation:
The taste of McDonald's french fries played a crucial role in the chain's success -- fries are much more profitable than hamburgers -- and was long praised by customers, competitors, and even food critics. James Beard loved McDonald's fries. Their distinctive taste does not stem from the kind of potatoes that McDonald's buys, the technology that processes them, or the restaurant equipment that fries them: other chains use Russet Burbanks, buy their french fries from the same large processing companies, and have similar fryers in their restaurant kitchens. The taste of a french fry is largely determined by the cooking oil. For decades McDonald's cooked its french fries in a mixture of about seven percent cottonseed oil and 93 percent beef tallow. The mixture gave the fries their unique flavor -- and more saturated beef fat per ounce than a McDonald's hamburger.
Mmmm, beef tallow.


Blogger k said...

Liesl is pronounced like Wiesel, as in Elie Wiesel, the author. The beginning of the is slightly softer.

10:54 PM  

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