Freedom-Fried Brains

Prepare yourselves -- there's a new political correctness on the horizon, and it concerns our food.

We've probably all heard by now that North Carolina restaurateur Neal Rowland, angry about France's passive stance on our aggression, renamed French fries in his Cubbie's eatery as "freedom fries." Media-savvy colleagues, who took due note of the publicity he received as a result, followed suit by dumping French wine out in the streets. But as if it weren't dumb enough to think that you can deep-fry a concept and make believe that the French wine industry is really going to suffer because some hicks have poured Beaujolais Nouveau into the gutters -- where it should be poured, mind you, given its quality -- others actually think this nonsense is a good idea.

Capitol Hill, for instance, led by Republican Bob Ney of Ohio, is now serving freedom fries in three cafeterias of the U.S. House of Representatives building. Given the collective intelligence there, however, perhaps that's not so much of a surprise. A bit more astonishing, especially if you consider the tongue-in-cheek branding of the chain, is that 200-plus Fuddruckers restaurants will be official purveyor of the freedom fry. PRNewswire reported that the chain's president, Bryce King, believes that "Every guest who steps up to a counter at their local Fuddruckers and says 'Give me Freedom Fries,' shows their true support for those who guard our most important freedoms, especially the freedom from fear."

More like freedom from free speech, if you ask me. How long before some nut case interprets that statement a little too strictly, overhears a fellow patron order French fries, and decides that said customer isn't a patriotic citizen, with fisticuffs shortly to come thereafter? The funny thing is that the point is moot. French fries, which originated in Belgium, are so called, the Food Lover's Companion notes, "because the potatoes are 'frenched' -- cut into lengthwise strips."

Still a ban on French fries, ignorant or otherwise, will naturally be followed by interdictions on any comestible that has to do with Germany and Russia (along with the North Koreans and Chinese). Not that sauerkraut -- er, make that liberty cabbage -- will be that greatly missed. Fortunately there's a way to prevent violence on the home front. Simply put on some temporary PC-speak, and hope that the idiocy will soon be over. Until then, consult the handy guide below for help in enjoying -- or serving -- a patriotically intentioned meal.


French fries

French dip

French bread

French onion soup gratinée

French dressing

French press pot

Chinese long beans

Yeung chow fried rice

German chocolate cake



German potato salad


Freedom fries

Freebie dip

Free to Be You and Me bread

Free will topped with American cheese

Free Willie oil-and-vinegar

Free-floating coffee grinds

Bunker busters

Shock and Awe shrapnel

Let them eat cake


MOAB (Meat on a Bun)



Kim chee

Korean barbecue

Wiener schnitzel

Vodka martini


Black Russian

White Russian

Russian dressing

Hold the mayonnaise

I was just following orders



Hum Vee

Rotisserie of evil

Saddam Hussein with a side of sons

Non-compliance cocktail

Liberated eggs from pro-choice sturgeon

Black Hawk

Black Hawk with a parachute

Emancipation sauce

Mayo -- don't do it

May I take your order?


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Jen Karetnick is an award-winning dining critic, food-travel writer, and author of the books Ice Cube Tray Recipes, Mango, and The 500 Hidden Secrets of Miami.
Contact: Jen Karetnick