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20 Truths About French Fries

National French Fry Day is the only fake internet holiday I can get behind

07.13.17

Sometimes, in the age of avocado toast and unicorn Frappuccinos, where I can’t tell a Whole Foods reality from a Whole Foods parody anymore and sushi — the ’90s most exotic cuisine — is considered basic, I begin to fear that we’ve lost our culinary priorities. What happened to fish sticks, you know? Remember when pizza was sleepover food and not fodder for memes? Do kids eat PB&J anymore? Do people still bond over tacos? Do people chew and swallow their Instagram meals or are these photogenic treats secretly holograms?

It is the french fry, during these trying times, that calms me down. The french fry is universal and unwavering; as cool a move (order fries and a martini on a date, I dare you) as it is safe; as classic as it is exciting and as delicious as it is fried. Because of this, I honor the french fry, despite my general aversion for bullshit Internet holidays. In honor of National French Fry Day, 20 truths about about the most grounding of foods.

1. The question should never be, “Should we get french fries,” but always, “How many orders of french fries do we need?”

2. When in doubt, you need more.

3. For every soggy french-fry lover, there is a friend who will eat your french fry crispies.

4. French fries have a longer germ-blocking floor life than your standard edibles with ten-second-rules. It’s the grease.

5. French fries are a wholly acceptable meal replacement.

6. Although, you should know that in their company, it’s considered rude to think of fries as “replacements.” Fries are a meal.

7. They are also a burger and burrito condiment.

8. If you balked at number 7, we have a saying in the old country called, “Don’t knock it until you try it because it’s life-changing.”

9. Speaking of condiments, there is no wrong condiment for your french fry, no matter if it’s ketchup, mayo, sweet-and-sour sauce or Frosty. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

10. That said, malt vinegar on steak-cut fries is a bold move that must always be respected.

11. “A basket to share for the table” is not enough. You need to get your own.

12. Hash browns, breakfast potatoes, potato latkes, baked potatoes and mashed potatoes are not french fries. As such, there is nothing excessive or unnecessary about ordering a side of fries in addition to the starch already on your plate.

13. Similarly, sweet potatoes are also exempt from any sort of french-fry quota. If there’s a choice between sweet potato fries and french fries, get both.

14. You don’t have to be hungry to eat or order fries.

15. Waffle fries and ranch are an underrated combination.

16. Old Bay spice is nice; truffle oil is the big leagues.

17. French fries will never give you bad breath!

18. French fries will never get stuck in your teeth.

19. French fries will never make it home if you drive with them within an arm’s-distance of your lap.

20. You will never regret eating a french fry. In a world full of uncertainties, you can be sure this is your best decision.

Want fries in NYC? We photographed these fried delights from Jack’s Wife Freda, by Chloe, SoHo Park, Delicatessen, Balthazar, Lafayette and Mother’s Ruin.

Photos by Edith Young.

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  • Hayley

    I want to get up from my desk and scream YES at the top of my lungs while vigorously fist punching the air.

    • Amelia Diamond

      i hope you do!

  • Andrea Raymer

    I literally just ordered a salad for lunch and now I’m starting to regret that decision

    • Amelia Diamond

      not 2 l8 for a snack

  • Meg S

    Wendy’s fries + salt + frosty = win. I think I’m going to eat french fries for lunch. The radio station I’m listening to at work keeps talking about french fries, and now this. I’ve got french fry brain.

  • #17 is a LIE! There’s this late night spot in chicago called Estelle’s that has the most amazing Garlic Parmesan french fries. They will give you bad breath, but fries before guys, as they say.

    • Jessica

      Fries before guys.

      Brilliant. This is my new life motto.

  • Erica

    i have a pb&j sandwich for lunch today!!! i decided to bring it back into my life and OH MAN, no regrets.

    also, now i want french fries.

    • gracesface

      foods I also brought back into my life w/ no regrets: EGGO WAFFLESSSS.

  • Sam Hill

    French fries + coleslaw is a game changer. I grew up with this combo and I have now converted several friends. Perfect with a beer.

  • Abby

    Anybody else not all that into french fries? If I’m going to bother eating them, I need them really thin and crisp and extra salty.

    • I eat them once or twice a year, after having decided that “now would be a good moment to eat fries”, it usually does not matter what they are like and afterwards I am happy and satisfied for months. I did grow up with them so maybe I have already had enough in this life 🙂

  • My favourite french fry is the McDonald’s one. Always and forever.

    Charmaine Ng
    Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • Helen

    Amelia I just got home from day drinking (it’s my day off, don’t judge) and now I NEED fries

  • I need French fries like I need air to breathe. But I am currently on a diet so obviously I am suffocating!

    http://www.shessobright.com

  • nicolacash

    garlic herb fries with a sauce trio of chipotle mayo, pesto mayo, & ketchup though <333

  • Sheila T.

    waffle fries styled as nachos have ruined tortilla chips for me

  • Matt Little

    I once dated a guy who literally only ate french fries and waffles (but NEVER waffle fries) – the above is honestly a summary of 80% of our second date conversation.

    • Nikelle

      never waffle fries is silly was there a third

  • Ma

    Fries + Paprika = <3
    Fries + Sunday (as in Mc Donald's ice cream) = <3

  • tmm16

    “When in doubt, you need more.”

    I generally feel this way about everything in my life. French fries, alcohol, clothes, you know.

  • Heather Stewart

    This was borderline poetic

  • Sarah

    Amen!

  • Mun

    Go french fries! My pregnancy has given me a good amount of potato cravings so I’m just going to take advantage of that seeing that my ‘growth’ is inevitable 😉

    • Basil

      So selfless! Making sure baby gets the nutrients they need. I salute you

  • Ine

    As entertaining as this may be, it’s all a lie! Fries aren’t French, they’re Belgian and they need to be pre-fried and fried a second time after that to be at their tastiest (fyi). All fries that are called French should be offended (not that I don’t like the French, they’re the best at building iron towers, wear breton stripes and making haute couture, but they don’t do fries like Belgians do). Spread the word people! Free the fry of the French! (alliterations are key here, and yes, I am Belgian)

    • Jana

      You go girl! (yes, I am Belgian too)

  • Elizabeth

    Just read this and now going to Wendys

  • Dana

    I took my son to get a burger after a bad doctors appt. he ordered his burger, I ordered fries and a shake. The woman taking the order asked if that was it and I told her Amelia said it’s ok to have fries for my meal. She was like “okaaaaaay”.

  • Saskia

    This list has cement my belief to have chosen the most universal life rules:
    1. Just don’t be sh*t
    2. No fry left behind

  • Madison Grace

    #11 AMEN SISTAS. I always feel sorry for the one guy that orders a basket of fries, because we ALL KNOW that they’re not gonna stay down his end of the table for long. Literally we need a basket each

    mads xx

    my blog: http://www.bymybedside.com

  • M. Catastrophe

    Belgian fries, you mean! When in Brussels, go to Maison Antoine, at Place Jourdan. Also the favourite of European political elites. (You can google for Frau Merkel having there her frites).

  • Erik Stephen

    This is the type of truth we need in these trying times… thank you, truly from my heart.

  • ValiantlyVarnished

    I co-sign ALL of this. I had fries literally everyday last week. I have no shame about it. I was living my best life.

  • Maureen Krezel French

    1. PBJ is on the rise once again. and 2. French Fries are the greatest thing ever to happen to a potato.

  • DarthVadersCats

    I relate so much to this especially using fries as a condiment.

    When I was a mid teen I hung out with older people a lot so I’d get French fries at a meal, they’d laugh at me, it would ARRIVE FIRST AND THE ENTIRE TABLE WOULD ‘SHARE’ it because I was too polite to A. eat it all by myself and b. Let it get all sogged up.

    I’m still mad.

  • Jamie

    Amelia – I love you! Fries are life ~ the best fries I ever had in my life were at a little craft brewery in Sun Valley Idaho. Idahoans take their fries very seriously. These were skin-on golden brown crispy outside, soft inside, and you are right, one basket for the table was not enough, we ordered another, and would’ve kept going had it not been for our cursed dinner reservations… Thanks Amelia!

  • Mon Valdés

    Potatoes are just the best. (I honestly believe mashed potatoes are the glue of the world) and fries are just amazing, they go well with absolutely anything – ketchup, bbq sauce, hot sauce, buffalo sauce, mustard, mayo, ice cream… you name it!

  • lil can

    at work, was hungry, now hungrier

  • Kathleen Cook

    This article has just given me soooo….much……life. Thank you, from someone who had always thought potatoes should be it’s own special food group. Yes, I said it! 😉