ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A Rochester food tech startup is taking a different approach to french fries.
Nearly every restaurant has french fries, so there are a lot of opinions about which are the best.
“McDonald’s fries are good,” said Adwoa Ampiah-Bonney.
“I also like KFC fries,” said Miral Abdalaziz.
At the University of Rochester, a local food tech startup is helping them take a different approach to the restaurant staple.
Max Richman of Farther Farms in Rochester is bringing french fries to the university that never have to be frozen.
“This is a weekly delivery of fries to the University of Rochester, and every time I do this, I feel little bit like I am making history,” said Richman. “Because never before has it been possible to deliver french fries in the back of a Suburu.”
He has been delivering the shelf stable fries to university for three months now.
Richman says they are able to avoid keeping them frozen by cooking them a specific amount of pressure and carbon dioxide, instead of using steam and hot water.
“We want to make the supply chain more sustainable,” said Richman. “So what we try to do is take products that are traditionally frozen and refrigerated and convert them into shelf stability.”
Since they are shelf stable, Antonio Pignagrande, the senior executive chef for the U of R’s Harvest Table, is able to serve them up in half the time it would take to cook normal fries.
“Our freezer space is tight, so the less we can put in our freezers, the better,” Pignagrande said. “But also from an environmental standpoint, the less that we rely on freezer and use some of our ambient temperature storage, it’s better for the environment.”
Which comes in handy for the pop-up poutine stand the university set up, showcasing the shelf stable fries.
It attracted many curious students like Miral Abdalaziz, who sat down and gave them a taste
“I think they are pretty good,” said Abdalaziz. “They are very crispy, good texture and fresh.”
Adwoa Ampiah-Bonney also enjoyed them and was surprised they never had to be frozen.
“It shows how fresh they are, because typically, if you have to freeze them or refrigerate them, it shows that they have to be,” Ampiah-Bonney said. “And you can’t just not be frozen or refrigerated, so this is definitely fresher.”
While Farther Farms has already brought these fries to U of R and several restaurants in Rochester, including Radio Social and The Hideaway, Richman is excited about the possibilities this brings.
“What we are trying to do with shelf stable foods is what Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat did with plant based meats,” said Richman.
For more on Farther Farms, click here.