Smiley fries

My daughter Sam has this talent for discovering interesting food that I wouldn’t even give a second glance. When we were at the grocery one time, at Rustan’s Shangri-La, she saw bags of smiley fries in the freezer section and insisted we should buy one bag. I was doubtful — I don’t even like buying branded frozen French fries.

Then Sam delivered those magic words. “Mommy, it’s bloggable!” Okay, fine, whether the smiley fries were good or tasted like cardboard, they would still make an interesting story. I told her she could pick up a bag.

We went about our shopping when a lady shopper stopped me to ask where we got the back of smiley fries. I pointed her to the freezer section, she said thanks and walked off. And Sam said smilingly, “See?” Meaning, see how attention-grabbing those smiling faces are? Yeah, they sure are. They even look better after frying when they turn from a pale cream to a light golden brown.

But pretty is one thing. How did they taste?

They smiley fries aren’t made from cut potatoes. They’re made with mashed potatoes.

And, apparently, some starch is thrown in to help them retain their shape during frying. So, the texture is like fried mashed potatoes and starch. Not like real cut potatoes. But not bad at all.

It’s the texture that was surprisingly good. They don’t even need deep frying. Shallow pan frying is fine. Just make sure to flip the smiley fries over once the undersides turn brown and crisp. What you don’t want to do is to microwave them as they turn chewy rather than crispy.

How much did the smiley fries cost? Over 300 pesos, if I remember correctly. But it was a huge bag — so huge that we had to rearrange everything in the freezer. It’s been weeks since we bought them and we still have a container of smiley fries in the freezer. Oh, yes, they keep very well in the freezer.

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The Author

Hello, my name is Connie Veneracion. I cook, I shoot, I write. But I don't do the laundry. I don't like housekeeping very much either... (more about me)

14 Responses

  1. Food Jaunts says:

    The place I used to work served these exact fries with all the kids meals. I think they taste like the “hash browns” we used to get at school lunches. They’re pretty tasty.

  2. housekeeper says:

    What is the brand, Ms. Connie? They used to serve those in some schools here in the US. You described the texture so well, but somehow, I can’t get the “hash brown-ish” texture out of my mind.

  3. Lois says:

    they look kind of creepy to me… that mocking look… Hahaha!

  4. Connie says:

    Food Jaunts, these are smoother inside than hash browns.

    housekeeper, I don’t think they had a brand. They came in a transparent plastic bag with a small square label with instructions on how to cook them. :)

    Lois, aliens come to mind hehehe

  5. these sounds like Tater Tots. I might be wrong though.

  6. melisa says:

    …where we got the back of smiley fries — bag po yata… my son saw the photo on this entry and he was like, mommy bili ka rin nyan… :) sana may ganyan dito sa pampanga…

  7. Giselle abrea says:

    Ms. Connie, these are my kids homecooked fries,,, in the US they are marketed as SMILES by MC CAIN not Tater Tots,, my kids did not like that one so i ended up eating them,,,

  8. Giselle abrea says:

    Brands in the US are Mc Cains,, they are called Smiles,, theses are the only fries my kids will eat at home… I kind of like them myself…

  9. Sam says:

    Hi. We have the same, exactly the same ones here in dubai. I think the brand name is mc cain :)

  10. gigi says:

    yummy!!! they are called smileys over here. and they are great oven baked too.. i think it is greased already. yummy paired with baked beans and sausages or bacon or fish fingers xx and bread and butter on the side and lotsa tomato catsup ;-)

  11. curiousGirl says:

    mmm.. sarap.. potatoes are my weakness talaga. I know different ways of cooking them just to have variety.
    P300/bag? okay na cguro basta malaki bag. Lalo na kung iisipin mo yung effort pag ikaw mismo gagawa. I make potato pancakes like this, although obviously, hinde siya smiley face.

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