Yes, I know, why am I writing about French fries on a blog about Greece?
Fries, fried potatoes, patates, French or not, call them what you will, they are served everywhere you go in Greece. The problem is, to my taste, I want them with my meal, not with my salad, and yet, for almost 20 years, everytime I’ve ordered them as I am placing the rest of my order with the waiter, they’ve arrived … with my salad.
Now, I’m all about experiencing the ‘culture” of my adopted country, so since I don’t eat them all the time, I’m willing to let this somewhat annoying cultural habit slide. I mean, I love Greece, love Greek food, love sitting around the plateia nibbling on plates of food, sipping ouzo and chatting away with good friends … so what if I’m either eating fresh hot potatoes with my tomato-cucumber salad, or cold fried potatoes with my platter of lamb chops?
My husband, Basil, though, is not so forgiving. And since he IS the Greek, he figures he doesn’t have to be so forgiving. So for years he would patiently instruct the server that while we did want fried potatoes, we would like them served ALONG WITH our hot meat dish. But no matter how patiently he explained this, in Greek (he is, after all, born and bred Athenian), no matter how long or short of a tale of woe he gave regarding his meat AND potato fetish, those patates always landed on our table somewhere between the tzatziki and the horiatiki salad.
French fries are and will always be, considered appetizers in Greece…
If you want your French fries served with your lamb chops, your fish or whatever else your main course may be, …order them AFTER you get your meal. Seriously, don’t even hint to your server that you are thinking about a plate of freshly sliced, hot, crispy potatoes until AFTER he or she places your meat, fish or chicken on the table.
Remember, it does not matter what you do or say, if you order them before you main course, they will arrive hot and crisp, golden brown, but, alas, not with your meal.