News - July 5, 2012



French fries are a common food that you can find anywhere in the world, either as a fast food in snack bars or in restaurants.

In many Dutch cities, French fries, also known as friet or patat, are sold in a special patat shop. Every time I walk from Utrecht station to the city centre, I wonder why this patat shop is so crowded. It's just a bunch of French fries, so surely it cannot be that special? One day, out of curiosity, I went in and bought a portion of patat. When it was my turn, the waiter asked me what size I wanted and which sauce I liked. Then I looked at the type of sauces and I was completely stunned by the choices on offer. Out of confusion I just chose ketchup, which is the most familiar to me.
In Indonesia, we don't have a specialized snack bar for French fries. If we want to eat fries, normally we just go to a fast food restaurant, like McDonalds or KFC and we can order French fries, including two free sauces, chili and ketchup. But this patat shop actually has 21 types of sauces, excluding what they call frietje special and frietje oorlog - which is a combination of patat with two sauces and minced onions. It's often said that Dutch food is not very varied. But they sure are creative enough with toppings to prevent them getting bored with the same food all the time.
Milkha Leimena (Indonesia), PhD in Laboratory of Microbiology