Why French Fries Aren't French But We Label Them As So

Why French Fries Aren't French But We Label Them As So

Sarah Rae Smith
Sep 28, 2010

There isn't much to question when faced with a delicious plate of homemade French fries, usually there's just eating to be done! We all know that French fries aren't really French, so why do we call them as such? Do you know?

In America, we call most forms of sliced potato which is then cooked by almost any method... a French fry. Other parts of the world, most notably Europe, the term French fry is used only to describe the thinly sliced style of fries (think McDonalds vs. Red Robin... yum). The thicker cut fries (or as some may know them as steak fries) are typically called chips, which are pan fried in a skillet like the photo above.

In French, 'frite' is used to denote the process of deep frying a food, but in America when we say 'fried' it can mean anything from pan frying to sautéing or even full out deep frying. So by adding the word French before our fry it denotes what type of fried potato product we're actually talking about. Skinny and deep fried vs. fat and pan fried.

Who knew the potato was so complicated? All we know is that they're extra tasty! If all this talk of crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside potatoes has given you a hankering, try out one of these recipes and make some tonight!
Good Eats: How To Make Perfect French Fries
Blogging Bon App├ętit: All About French Fries
Looking Good: Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Skip the Tortilla and Pass the Fries: Carne Asada Fries

Reference: Wikipedia
(Image: Flickr member stevebott & joyosity both licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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