PEI

Celebrating fries with the works: P.E.I. Potato Board kicks off summer campaign

Fries with the works are on the menu for a new promotion by the P.E.I. Potato Board. The board wants Islanders to tell them what makes fries with the works a classic Island dish and where to find it.

'Quebec has poutine and Prince Edward Island has fries with the works'

Richard Shea says the gravy gives the flavour to the fries with the works at O'Shea's. (Submitted by Richard Shea)

Fries with the works are on the menu for a new promotion by the P.E.I. Potato Board. 

The board wants Islanders to tell them what makes fries with the works a classic Island dish and where to find it.

"Fries with the works is unique to Prince Edward Island and we just want to establish that," said Kendra Mills, marketing director for the P.E.I. Potato Board.

"Quebec has poutine and Prince Edward Island has fries with the works."

Local Island fries are the base for fries with the works at O'Shea's Pub and Eatery in Kinkora, P.E.I., in the heart of P.E.I. potato country. (Submitted by Richard Shea)

The classic

The Potato Board defines the classic Fries with the Works as P.E.I. french fries, gravy, ground hamburger and peas. 

"There's lots of different variations but we want to find what is classic," said Mills.

The Board is also looking for ideas on variations.

"Does it include cheese, are there other things that can be added to it?"

Richard Shea says fries with the works starts with local P.E.I. beef. (Submitted by Richard Shea)

On a map

Once the survey is complete, the Board will be putting together a list of places to find fries with the works.

"We do plan to do a map so that people who visit P.E.I. know exactly where to go for this uniquely Island dish," said Mills.

"Mostly fries with the works is served in rural places, like dairy bars, diners and places like that and that fits really well with who we are as an industry."

At O'Shea's, they put the beef on the fries, just before the final step. (Submitted by Richard Shea)

There is even a rumour that the dish was originally developed for a potato worker in western P.E.I.

"I don't know if it gets more Island than that," said Mills.

When asked about the caloric count of fries with the works, Mills points to the "versatility" of potatoes.

"You can have them in their healthy form, you can have them as a treat, and this is one that is a treat."

Poutine popularity

The campaign is designed to be fun, says Mills, and also boost the profile of the P.E.I. version of poutine.

"With the popularity of poutine in the last number of years, the lines may be blurred a little bit and that's okay," said Mills.

Clam chowder poutine is another variation on the theme, available at the Calgary Stampede. (Calgary Stampede)

"Poutine has exploded over North America and there's whole restaurants and chains dedicated to it now."

"It's the french fries version of nachos now and you can put anything on top of french fries."

Smoked meat poutine is one of the many varieties of the popular food. (Simon Charland/CBC)

Mashed potatoes too

Richard Shea, at O'Shea's Pub & Eatery in Kinkora, P.E.I. has been serving fries with the works since the restaurant opened in 2004.

"Ours is made with local potatoes, local meat, our in house, made from scratch, gravy and covered with some fresh peas," said Shea.

"That puts the flavour on top, for sure."

The restaurant also offers a version of fries with the works with mashed potatoes.

"So you can have it either way, and you can have it topped with blended ADL cheese."

O'Shea's makes a version with mashed potatoes that also has meat, gravy and peas on top. (Submitted by Richard Shea)

Shea predicts the Potato Board's campaign will boost interest in fries with the works.

"I think it's great," said Shea.

"We have a lot of hard working potato farmers here on P.E.I. that need the support and the more we can put out the door and help them out and help our beef farmers, it's all good."

And the campaign may even inspire a few new toppings at O'Shea's.

"I can see it expanding and I can see us maybe having optional products to put on it as well."

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