OCEAN CITY,MD-May 12th 2012 The Orignial Thrasher's French Fries on the boardwalk in Ocean City, Md. since 1929.(Photo by Judy G. Rolfe For the Washington Post)
What Are Boardwalk-Style Fries, And Who Invented Them?
By Chase Shustack
Places like Ocean City, Maryland, and the Jersey Shore are known for their extensive boardwalks, flanked by everything from souvenir shops to restaurants and hotels. Beyond all the soft pretzels, pizza, and saltwater taffy that you’ll find on the boardwalk, you may have heard of something called "boardwalk-style french fries," a boardwalk snack with a long history.
Boardwalk-style are first "blanched" (soaked) in a mix of cold water and vinegar before taking a double dip in the fryer — which helps to ensure they don’t get soggy — and being served with vinegar. This is unique from the typical fry-making process, which typically involves slicing potatoes and tossing them straight into the fryer without being blanched.
According to many, the boardwalk-style fry was born in Ocean City, Maryland, in a place called Thrasher’s French Fries. J.T. Thrasher founded the business in 1929, seeking to make the best tasting fry, and he sold it to Franklin Hastings, who moved it to its current location on the boardwalk before selling it to Charles Jenkins in 1974.