But No Fries

I visited a market
full of foods they freshly grow.
I passed by fruits and vegetables
to search for what I know.
But no fries.

They took me to a restaurant
with tablecloths and candles.
Had frilly drinks and fine desserts
and cups with tiny handles.
But no fries.

They sent me on a cruise ship,
there was every dish invented.
A banquet of exotic food
so lavishly presented.
But no fries.

A meal is not a meal
without the crispy golden spuds.
All the nifty cakes and doodads,
they just might as well be mud.
A menu's not a menu
without french fries on the list,
and it seems an awful silly thing
that someone could have missed.
So take me somewhere fancy
where the chef can use a fryer.
I'll pay a lot of money
and I'll wear my best attire,
IF they have fries.


-B.C. Byron

I seem to have a ton of poems about food. I do like french fries, but unlike the kid in this poem I’m actually not at all a picky eater. In fact, I’m known as The Finisher in my family because I’ll try, and finish, almost any food (I have a whole poem about that in my first book). One of my favorite things to do is try out new and exotic foods. If there are strange things on a restaurant menu, I’ll ditch the fries and go for the adventure. This love of experimenting with my taste buds has served me well in my travels. In so many places, foods that are everyday fare can seem downright loopy to a first-time visitor. I’ve tried sea urchin, water buffalo dumplings, pickled everythings, fish heads, acorn jelly, vegetables with names I can’t pronounce, spiky fruits that smelled like gym socks, sweet cheeses, things that looked like cheese but weren’t, and even a live octopus (well, still moving anyway). I survived all this and more, and came to realize in the process that the world has far more variety than I had imagined. I can’t say that I enjoyed every one of these dishes, but I CAN say that I enjoyed the experience each and every time. Eat fearlessly, my friends. You’ll be better for it. And don’t worry, you can always get a side of fries to go with your silk worm larvae. Every country has french fries somewhere nearby.

If you’re wondering where I found all the exciting foods mentioned above, I’ve been to Korea, China, Singapore, and Mexico. I also make a habit of trying new restaurants in my own home city whenever I can. The places I’ve been are also where I found my favorite dishes, not just oddities – kimchi stew, heodduk (a kind of fried cinnamon sugar cake), and sweetcorn ice cream just to name a few. Bread pudding is also something that’s much tastier than it sounds.