Dining Out

Twistix: potato with a twist

Last Wednesday, Speedy and I were in Manila to see a play. Our daughter, Alex, was the technical director and we were just as excited as she was. After the play ended, we crossed the street to the paid parking lot but we dilly-dallied. We had a dinner date with another couple, it was much too early so we decided to look around at the eateries in a newly-renovated mini-mall which our daughters frequent.

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Right in front of the mini-mall was a stall that sold potatoes. Twistix: potato with a twist! Not French fries. More like potato chips but instead of individual slices, the potato is cooked in one piece, skewered and spiraled. Speedy had seen something similar at the Cash&Carry Supermarket in Makati, he told me about it and I’ve been intrigued every since. From what I’ve read, this style of cooking potatoes has its roots in Korea where it is called Tornado Potatoes. There are Taiwanese versions too.

Anyway, at the Twistix stall, ordered two sticks. Let me show you how it goes.

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A whole unpeeled potato is skewered with an extra long bamboo stick. It is placed in a special machine…

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…which slices the potato in a spiral.

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The slicing process took only a few seconds.

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And the potato came out sliced thinly and uniformly, and still in one piece.

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Next, the slices were pulled apart.

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Evenly spaced.

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Until the slices were distributed evenly, in a near-perfect spiral, through the 24-inch long bamboo skewer.

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Then, the entire thing went into the hot oil.

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During the few minutes when the potatoes were frying, we picked out the flavors we preferred. Flavors in powder form like what are commonly used for commercial French fries. Cheese, sour cream, barbecue, pizza, tomato, sweet chili…

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The skewered potatoes were drained for a few seconds…

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… then doused with the (very artificial) flavoring. The whole thing was then placed on an open-faced box and the box went inside a plastic pouch.

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The potatoes were perfectly fried, crisp and puffed, and they were delicious. On hindsight though, I should have just opted to have mine sprinkled with plain salt. That’s how I like my potato chips anyway as the artificial flavors tend to overwhelm my taste buds.

The price? P25 (about USD0.60) for a small potato; twice as much for a large potato. That’s the small potato that you see Speedy eating. I couldn’t even finish mine.

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