Minnesota State Fair Gets Second Kosher Option: French Fries

With less than a month before the State Fair opens its gates to more than a million visitors, one of the old favorites of the fair will now be accessible to kosher-observant Jews.

Fresh French Fries, which was picked by Gourmet Magazine as the Best French Fries in America, has been certified kosher by MSP Kosher. It’s the second stand certified by MSP Kosher, which is supervised by Beth El Synagogue Rabbi Avi Olitzky; last year, Sweet Martha’s Cookies became certified kosher.

“It turns out that for we’ve always done it the right way – I just never knew what the symbol meant,” said owner Dan Wozniak. “Forty-four years and we haven’t changed.”

Wozniak was enthused when Sweet Martha’s announced its kosher status, and Olitzky said he hoped that Fresh French Fries would be next.

“We can reach more clients than before, but I don’t think he’s thinking about the money as much as he is about the community, and having more people being able to eat the fries,” said Shauna Rosen, spokesperson for Fresh French Fries.

There are two Fresh French Fries stands at the State Fairgrounds. One is located across the street from Mighty Midway on the corner of Liggett Street and Carnes Avenue; the other located on the corner of Judson Avenue. and Underwood Street, across the street from the dairy building and haunted house.

“We’re thrilled to continue to expand kosher offerings at the Minnesota State Fair — yet another example that our fair really is the Great Minnesota Get Together,” said Olitzky who added that the fountain drinks will be certified kosher as well.

Olitzky said that, given the process that Wozniak uses, the only question about the Kashrut previously would have been with the fry oil. Wozniak said that others use oil with shortening in it, but he doesn’t – and nothing else has been in the fryers but pure vegetable oil.

All the potatoes come from Hayes Farm in Big Lake, Minn. – there are seven semi-trailers of potatoes totallying about 400,000 pounds. They also go through 3,000 gallons of oil.

The technique of making the fries are unique. Wozniak developed a proprietary process where the potatoes go up a “potato belt,” where the potatoes are washed, peeled sliced and dropped into the oil.

“The beauty of the process and so easy is because it’s a potato fried in oil. That’s it,” Olitzky said. “No batter, no middle man.”

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About Lonny Goldsmith

Lonny Goldsmith is the editor of TC Jewfolk and Director of Communications for Jewfolk Media. He's an award-winning journalist who is involved in his third Jewish community after growing up in Michigan and spending a three-year stint in Chicago. He likes to write, cook and drink really good beer. He can be reached at [email protected] or on twitter @lonny_goldsmith

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