(North American English
, or french-fried
are thin strips of deep-fried potato
Americans often refer to any elongated pieces of fried potatoes as
, while in other parts of the world, long slices of
potatoes are sometimes called fries
to contrast them with
the thickly cut strips, which are often referred to as
. French fries are known as frites
in many parts of Europe, and have names that
mean "french potatoes" in others (Icelandic Franskar kartöflur
Oven baked fries
The phrase means potatoes fried in the French sense of the verb "to
cook", which can mean either sautéing
or deep-grease frying
. While its
unambiguously means deep-frying, frites
being its past participle
used with a plural (not singular,
but plural) feminine substantive
as in pommes de terre frites
at a White House
dinner in 1802 served "potatoes served in the French manner".
In the early 20th century, the term "French fried" was being used
for foods such as onion rings
, apart from potatoes.
The verb "to french", though not attested until after "French fried
potatoes" had appeared, can refer to "julienning
" of vegetables as is acknowledged by
some dictionaries, while others only refer to trimming the meat off
of chops. In the UK,
"Frenched" lamb chops (particularly for serving as a "rack of
lamb") have the majority of the fat removed together with a small
piece of fatty meat from between the ends of the chop bones,
leaving mainly only the meat forming the "eye" of the chop
historian Jo Gerard recounts that potatoes were fried in 1680 in
the Spanish Netherlands, in the
area of "the Meuse valley
between Dinant and Liège,
Belgium. The poor inhabitants of this region
allegedly had the custom of accompanying their meals with small
fried fish, but when the river was frozen and they were unable to fish, they
cut potatoes lengthwise and fried them in oil to accompany their meals."
A Belgian legend claims that the term "French" was introduced when
British or American soldiers arrived in Belgium during World War I
, and consequently tasted Belgian
fries. They supposedly called them "French", as it was the official
language of the Belgian Army
at that time.
Whether or not Belgians invented them, "Frieten" became the
and a substantial part of
several national dishes.
In France, fried potatoes are called "pommes de terres
, "pommes frites"
or more simply (and
Recipes for fried potatoes in French cookbooks date to Menon's
Les soupers de la cour
(1755). Eating potatoes was
promoted in France by Parmentier
, but he did not
mention fried potatoes in particular.
Americans attribute the dish to France and offer as
evidence a notation by U.S.
President Thomas Jefferson.
"Pommes de terre frites à cru, en petites tranches"
("Potatoes deep-fried while raw, in small cuttings") in a
manuscript in Thomas Jefferson's hand (circa 1801-1809) and the
almost certainly comes from his French
, Honoré Julien.
In addition, from 1813 on, recipes for what can be described as
french fries, occur in popular American cookbooks
. By the late 1850s, one of these mentions
the term "French fried potatoes".
that the dish was invented in Spain, the first
European country in which the potato appeared via the New World colonies, and
assumes the first appearance to have been as an accompaniment to
fish dishes in Galicia, from which
it spread to the rest of the country and further to the Spanish
Netherlands, which became Belgium more than a century
Paul Ilegems, curator of the Friet-museum in
Antwerp, Belgium, believes
that Saint Teresa of Ávila
fried the first chips, referring also to the tradition of frying in Mediterranean cuisine.
(Feb 25 2007 found archived as "Nieuw boek van frietprofessor Paul Ilegems over frietkotcultuur" 20051213.3133206672696574)
chip fried in Britain was
apparently on the site of Oldham's Tommyfield
Market in 1860. In Scotland, chips were first sold in Dundee, "...in
the 1870s, that glory of British gastronomy – the chip – was first sold by Belgian
immigrant Edward De Gernier in the
United States influence
the thicker cut British style of fried potato (known as chips) was
already a popular dish in most Commonwealth countries, the thin
style of french fries has been popularized worldwide in part by
fast food chains.
French fry production at a restaurant
with thermostatic temperature control.
In the 2000s
Pre-made french fries have been available for home cooking since
the 1970s, usually having been pre-fried (or sometimes baked),
frozen and placed in a sealed plastic bag.
Later varieties of french fries include those which have been
battered and breaded, and many U.S. fast food and casual-food
chains have turned to dusting with kashi
, and flavors coating for crispier
fries with particular tastes. Results with batterings and
breadings, followed by microwaving
have not achieved widespread critical acceptance. Oven
frying delivers a dish different from the
traditionally fried item.
There are variants such as "thick-cut fries", "steak fries",
"shoestring fries", "jojo fries", "crinkle fries", and "curly
fries". They can also be coated with breading
include garlic powder
, onion powder
, black pepper, paprika
, and salt to create "seasoned fries", or cut
thickly with the skin left on to create potato wedges
, or without the skin to create
"steak fries", essentially the American equivalent of the British
"chip". Sometimes, french fries are cooked in the oven as a final
step in the preparation (having been coated with oil during
preparation at the factory
): these are often
sold frozen and are called "oven fries" or "oven chips". Some
restaurants in the southern and northeastern United States,
particularly New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, and Louisiana
offer french fries made from sweet potatoes instead of traditional
In France, the thick-cut fries are called "Pommes
or simply "pommes frites"
10 mm; thinner variants are "pommes allumettes"
(matchstick potatoes), ±7 mm, and "pommes pailles"
(potato straws), 3-4 mm (roughly ⅜, ¼ and ⅛ inch
respectively). The two-bath technique is standard (Bocuse).
" are not typical french fried potatoes, but actually
obtained by quarter turning the
potato before each next slide over a grater
and deep-frying just once.
Ceustermans, a Belgian chef patented
"steppegras" ("prairie grass"), his variety of extremely
thin-cut French fried potatoes developed in 1968 while working in
name refers to a dish including its particular sauce, and to his
Australia, the United Kingdom, and
Ireland, the term
"French fries" was made popular by American fast food franchises
setting up restaurants and serving narrow-cut (shoestring)
fries. Traditional "chips" in the United Kingdom and Ireland are usually cut much thicker, typically between ⅜
and ½ inches (9.5-13 mm) square in cross-section and cooked
twice, making them less crunchy on the outside and fluffier on the inside.
is lower, they have a
lower fat content. Chips are part of the popular take-away dish
fish and chips
. In Australia, the UK,
Ireland, and New
Zealand, few towns are without a chip shop (colloquial, a
In an interview, Burger King president Donald Smith said that his
chain's fries are sprayed with a sugar solution shortly before
being packaged and shipped to individual outlets. The sugar
in the cooking fat,
producing the golden color customers expect. Without it, the fries
would be nearly the same color outside as inside: pasty yellow.
Smith believes that McDonald's also sugar-coats its fries.
McDonalds was assumed to fry their fries for a total time of about
15 to 20 minutes, and with fries fried at least twice. The fries
appear to contain beef tallow, or shortening.
Curly fries (unseasoned)
Curly fries are a kind of french fry characterized by their unique
-like shape. They are
generally made from whole potatoes that are cut using a specialised
spiral slicer. They are also typically characterized by the
presence of additional seasonings (which give the fries a more
orange appearance when compared to the more yellow appearance of
standard fries), although this is not always the case.
Sometimes they are packaged for preparation at home, often in
frozen packs. In the US they can also be found at a number of
restaurants and fast food
, where they are most often served with
cups of dipping cheese; although other condiments, such as ketchup,
fry sauce, or sweet chili sauce and sour cream, may be served with
French fries are almost always salted just after cooking. They are
then served with a variety of condiments, notably ketchup
, curry ketchup
(mildly hot mix of the former), hot or chili
, tartar sauce
, feta cheese
sauce, fry sauce
, barbecue sauce
, brown sauce
(especially malt vinegar), lemon
, pickled cucumber
, very small pickled onions
, or honey
Besides being a popular snack in themselves, french fried potatoes
as a side dish
to specific food
or an integral part of a named dish often typify a
Algeria, grilled Merguez:
Australia and New Zealand, chips are accompanied by either tomato sauce (ketchup), BBQ sauce or gravy.
mussels: mosselen-friet (Dutch) or moules-frites (French), a popular summer dish when the
mussels arrive, typically from Zeeland. Also biefstuk-friet or
bifteck-frites (which may be served with beef or horse
steak), with plainly seasoned fries or served with a Belgian sauce,
and usually a simple salad. A quick and
inexpensive traditional meal is a deep fried egg on top of a plate
of chips. A Belgian tradition is putting mayonnaise on fries,
although a typical frietkot will offer
dozens of other sauces including ketchup.
Canada, gravy and cheese curds:
France, grilled steak:
steak-frites. In North of France, the Américain
(American sandwich) is very popular and its consumption spreads in
the entire country. In this sandwich, the French Fries are placed
into a large piece of baguette, usually a
third or half of it, cut in its length. A merguez, fried sausage or fried meat patty placed on
top. Sauce is added. Usually, in the end, the baguette is pressed
Germany, sausage with curry-flavored
ketchup or ketchup covered with curry powder: Currywurst. The sausage is sometimes
chopped into bite-sized chunks. Another popular way of serving
fries is with mayonnaise and ketchup together. This is called
Pommes rot-weiß or Pommes-Schranke
Hungary, Wiener Schnitzel
or other roasted meat served with green salad, as a regular Sunday
- In the Middle East, French fries are
served in pita bread with breaded chicken or falafel, along with cucumber and tomato, and
condiments such as hummus, tahini, or tzatziki.
Chile, chips are served with fried eggs, fried onions,
and a steak in a national dish called "Bistec a lo Pobre" (Poor
Netherlands, kroket and frikandel are
the most accompaniments.
Norway, Finland, and Sweden, kebab, hamburgers, and sausages.
Portugal, chips are served along with dry rice (arroz
seco), a usual combination, that is not the complete dish,
that can include grilled chicken (Piri-Piri chicken), espetada, omelette or eggs,
beef (prego no prato), and several other dishes and
Spain, fried eggs: huevos
fritos con patatas.
Kingdom, chips are a popular staple. "Chip shop" (or
"chippies") commonly serve several dishes with chips such
as cod ("fish and
chips") and battered sausage.
British cafes, on the other hand, serve
more traditional fare, such as fried eggs (double egg and chips). Sometimes served with a
British full breakfast.
States, hamburgers: Burger and
fries, and chili and melted American cheese: Chili cheese
- In South Africa, "slap chips" are
served with a peri-peri or sweet chilli sauce with different
strengths of hotness.
Fries cooking in oil.
French fries can contain a large amount of fat
) or oils
from frying. Some researchers have suggested that
the high temperatures used for frying such dishes may have results
harmful to health (see acrylamides
the United States about ¼ of vegetables
consumed are prepared as french fries and are proposed to
contribute to widespread obesity
french fries in beef tallow
, or other animal fats adds saturated fat to the
diet. Replacing animal fats with tropical oils such as palm oil
simply substitutes one saturated fat for
another. Replacing animal fats with partially hydrogenated oil
but adds trans fat
, which has been shown to both raise
HDL cholesterol. Canola
oil could also be
used, but beef lard is generally more popular, especially amongst
fast food outlets that use communal oil baths. The picture on the
right shows French Fries being cooked on a gas
for fast oil temperature re-gain and better heat
control.Many restaurants now advertise their use of unsaturated
oils. Five Guys
, for example, advertises
their fries are prepared in peanut oil.
Peter Stringfellow, the
well-known owner of Stringfellows nightclub in London, took
exception to McCain Foods' use
of the name "Stringfellows" for a brand of long thin french fries
and took them to court.
He lost the case (Stringfellows
v McCain Food (GB) Ltd (1994)
) on the basis that there was no
connection in the public mind between the two uses of the name, and
therefore McCain's product would not have caused the nightclub to
lose any sales.
In New Zealand in 1995 some branches of the local fast food chain
took to calling their French
Fries", in opposition to the French
resumption of nuclear testing in the South Pacific.
In early 2003 some members of the United States Congress
fries to be renamed "freedom fries
the restaurant of the House of
in response to France's opposition to the
proposed invasion of Iraq. By 2006 the menu at the House restaurant
had reverted to calling them french fries. It was rumored that some
restaurants in Ireland renamed "French Fries" to "Box Fries".
2004, the United States Department of
Agriculture, with the advisement of a federal district judge
Texas, classified batter-coated french fries as a
vegetable under the Perishable Agricultural
Although this was primarily done for
trade reasons – french fries do not meet the standard to be listed
as a "processed food
" – it received
significant media attention partially due to the documentary
Super Size Me
- Bocuse, Paul. La Cuisine du marché, Paris, 1992.