Everybody talks about fresh cut fries like they’re a good thing but in reality, almost always, they are just okay. Ya, if you get them seconds out of the fryer when they are still soft and piping hot then they’re fine but that is rarely what happens. Or, what if you’re like me and want to chow down on my fried chicken sandwich first and save the fries for dessert? By then my fresh cut fries have cooled which means the insides have dried out and the outside have taken on the consistency of paper.
The one place in the Bay Area that this doesn’t happen is at The Barn in Half Moon Bay. Their fresh cut fries are actually perfect. I have observed these fries being made for a while now and I think these are the special extra steps they take to ensure that the fries are crisp on the outside, but never dry on the inside and super flavorful—even after sitting around for a while.
I think the most important thing that The Barn does is brine their fries. Yes, brine, like you would a turkey to fill it up with salty moisture before cooking the hell out of it. Same goes for the fries. They brine them over night in salty water which is why they stay moist and flavorful after they sit around for a while because they’ve been filled up with extra moisture that the hot frying temp can’t suck out.
The other important thing that I think they do is double fry, first on low and then on high. I looked it up and double frying ensures that the outside of the fry is sealed up so no more moisture escapes and then the second, high heat frying crisps up the outside perfectly.
When they are delivered to you in a giant helping they are lightly golden brown and salted with super fine salt which I think is a really over looked aspect of french fry making. But their secret weapon, what holds them so far apart than any other fry, is they add a tiny bit of sugar to their salt mix. Gasp! Does that sound gross? It’s not. It’s just a little tickle of sweetness on the tongue that cuts through the salt and keeps you digging in for more. In fact, sugar is such a background addition that it took me half a dozen experiences to realize that the addictive element was sugar.
So that’s my analysis. I have included helpful step by step illustrations to explore the steps a bit more in depth. Now get out there and enjoy these perfect fries for yourself!
3068 N Cabrillo Hwy (Hwy1)
Half Moon Bay, CA