At Serious Eats, we have a little repository of links we call "The Link Garden." During the course of the day, when someone, anyone, on the SE staff sees something good to blog about but doesn't have time to do it, they "seed" the Link Garden with it. This musing on sweet potato fries by Houston food writer Robb Walsh was one of the seeds planted yesterday, and I volunteered enthusiastically to "water" it.
You see, I hate sweet-potato fries.
"What? You hate sweet potatoes?" Erin asked in follow-up when my comment appeared in the Link Garden.
"No, I like sweet potatoes—and will likely be eating them on the 27th. I hate sweet-potato fries."
It's like this—have you ever heard of palate fatigue? Wine lovers experience it, and über fancy-pants chef Thomas Keller serves small plates at his restaurants French Laundry and Per Se in order to avoid it. Says Keller, "With any food we start with the impact of flavor. The more you have the less you taste."
It's like the law of diminishing returns. But in your mouth.
See, I will grudgingly admit that sweet-potato fries are tasty—for about three fries into the basket. After that, palate fatigue sets in. Maybe because the tubers are so sweet. I don't know.
Offsetting any initial (and marginal) tastiness, however, are these facts:
After you've had your fun you're left with a honkin' basket of these things because, for some reason, they're always served in gigantic portions. (See photo, above.)
Add to that the fact that nobody seems to know how to properly fry these things. They're always, always super greasy. (See photo, above.)
And they're always burnt. (See photo, above.)
And they're never crisp. (That's not evident in the photo above, but, trust me, those sweet-potato fries up there are limp and soggy.)
To recap, a basket of sweet-potato fries is too much of a greasy, flavorless, burnt, flaccid thing.