Food News

Beth Swanson, the French Fry Fairy, Speaks

There's not much more universally appealing to the palate than French fries. This is the genius of blogger Beth Swanson's site French Fry Fairy. Glance at her posts and the tummy grumbles. From the longest fries in the world to apple fries with Fluff, there's nowhere Swanson won't go to show you the fries. We recently spoke with the fairy herself and learned a little bit about the tastiest savory treat in the world.

Name: Beth Swanson

Blogging Since: July 2009

Day job: Freelance writer

Hometown: Apple Valley, Minnesota

Reason for blogging: For fun. She was at the Clevelander with a friend one day and decided to just start ordering fries everywhere she went.

New Times: Is the French Fry Fairy your only gig?

Beth Swanson: No, only French fries.

Do people ever stop you on the street and ask you fry advice?

Not often, but I've had a couple people stop me, "Oh, you're the fry girl."

How far would you travel for a really good fry?

I don't know, a couple hundred miles maybe.

How far have you traveled for a good French fry?

A couple cities over maybe. I've traveled everywhere, but like whenever I travel, I just try to get French fries when I'm there. I've never gone to New York specifically to get French fries.

Yeah, that would be crazy.


Do you like them best plain or with mayo or ketchup? Does it depend on the fry? Like do certain fries taste better with certain things, like McDonald's fries with their sweet and sour sauce? How do you feel about sauces?

Well, I think sometimes the fry is just OK by itself, like even in Asia de Cuba, they have those mojito fries, and I think those are really good without anything on them. But then like places like Pomme Frites in New York City, they have all of those dipping sauces and I love dipping sauce. But if they're just normal French fries, I like them with mayonnaise.

What are the best things to fry potatoes in?

Peanut oil.

Peanut oil is the best? How do you feel about like duck fat fries?

Well, I know that people really like duck fat fries, but I'm a vegetarian, so I don't like duck fat fries. But I know that people really have an affinity for duck fat fries.

Have you ever met a fry you didn't like?

I've met lots of fries I didn't like. When they're cold or you know if they're soggy. I think a lot of times just when them come out cold, freezer French fries. It's kind of miserable.

Do you ever get sick of eating fries?

Yeah, a lot (laughs).

I can imagine! Are you normally a food writer?

Oddly enough I write about health and nutrition. [Swanson also briefly wrote for New Times last year.] In the organic world, and when I had a real job, I worked as a marketing manager for a bunch of category leaders in the organic industry. So, I really enjoy writing about health and nutrition just French fries are kind of my vice.

What are your other favorite foods besides French fries?

I really like Thai food, any kind of red curry, I really like. I really like pineapple, pineapple anything. I like cupcakes.

Where do you plan on going with the French Fry Fairy?

We're just having a contest. I just think fun little things. It's not anything I ever think I'm going to make money off of. It's just something I really like to do for fun because it makes me laugh.

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Liz Tracy has written for publications such as the New York Times, the Atlantic, Refinery29, W, Glamour, and, of course, Miami New Times. She was New Times Broward-Palm Beach's music editor for three years. Now she plays one mean monster with her 2-year-old son and obsessively watches British mysteries.
Contact: Liz Tracy