Patates frites are like what Statesians call french fries or UKsians call chips - big fried chunks of potatoes. But so much more.

Nearly a perfect food, bought hot in a paper cone with mayonnaise from a street vendor. I first tried them in Amsterdam, on an early April day - the cone was overflowing, and i was skeptical of mayonnaise on fries. But this was no Hellman's (or other mass-produced) variety. This was the real deal, "homemade", thick, rich, a little tangy - the potatoes were soft and crispy and salted, peeking over the edge of the warm greasy crinkling wrapper. I was the happiest little sober americaine on that strasse.

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