No trip to a fast-food restaurant is complete without getting your fair share of French fries! These can be large or small, thick or thin, and straight or crinkly, but there’s a deep satisfaction in biting into them. We love them with or without dipping sauce although we prefer dipping them into our favorite sauce for extra flavor.
What’s your favorite kind of French fries? Perhaps, it’s the thick kind with crinkles at Zaxby’s. Perhaps, it’s the shoestring potatoes because of their extra crispiness. Whatever your choice, you can satisfy your cravings at a couple of fast-food restaurants.
There’s no doubt about it – the standard fries, or thin fries, are the most popular type because it’s easy to cook and easy to eat. The potatoes are cut about a quarter-inch thick and then deep-fried in oil once. There’s usually no need to fry the slices twice since their thickness can withstand the deep frying and retain their crispiness for several minutes.
It’s just the right size, too, for pairing with a juicy cheeseburger or with a lobster roll. We even like dunking them in soft-serve ice cream because their saltiness contrasts nicely with its sweetness.
Not everybody loves shoestring fries, also called matchsticks fries. It must be that these are sliced so thinly that there’s no starchy potato texture to them, and we love French fries because of their starchiness.
But there’s no law either that says you shouldn’t love shoestring fries! These may look like matchsticks but their flavor, when fried right, is just as appealing as their thicker and larger cousins.
There’s a certain odd appeal to crinkle-cut fries that makes them a favorite in many fast-food menus. These French fries obviously have crinkled edges made by using a machine cutter, a shape that immediately catches your attention. You will immediately notice crinkle-cut fries in a bowl of standard fries because their shape stands out.
There’s another reason crinkle-cut fries are a favorite: Their angles allow for better deep-frying and, thus, for more crispy and crunchy texture. Many of their fans also say that these fries actually hold more condiment, whether it’s regular ketchup or a special dipping sauce, better than standard fries.
These are large and thick fries so a few of them will really fill your mouth. If you’re looking for fries with the characteristic starchiness of potatoes, then wedge fries are for you. But if you’re looking for crunchiness and crispiness, then you will likely find wedge fries as too limp, perhaps even lame.
Here’s another way of looking at wedge fries: These are neither French fries nor baked potatoes and, as such, these have an identity crisis. We like our French fries to be straightforward instead of being neither here nor there.
We call cottage fries by another name – retro fries because these are popular in old-fashioned mom-and-pop diners in rural areas. These are cut into circles akin to thick coins and then deep-fried. Sometimes these fries have ridges, sometimes these are just plain.
Do we like them? Like wedge fries, the jury’s still out on this one for many reasons. Their thick-cut means that they are also hybrids of baked potatoes and French fries but with the worst quality of each one. Either you hate them or love them – and if you hate them but there’s no other choice, you’d likely just set them aside.
The close cousin to crinkly-cut fries, the curly fries are also known as Suzi-Q for reasons we don’t know. While their curly shapes grab your attention in much the same way a child’s pigtails or curly locks would, we aren’t too keen on them either. We think that French fries should be eaten with ease – no worrying about which part of the curly fries ends up in and outside our mouth, for example.
Many curly fries are also served with garlic or onion powder, perhaps cayenne or paprika powder. While we aren’t against experimentation with food, there’s nothing like the salty and starchy appeal of good old-fashioned French fries. If it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it!
French fries shaped like waffles are the best of both worlds. The lattice patterns on waffle fries make them crispy once removed from the oil and clingy once dipped into the sauce. We love them for breakfast, especially with sunny-side-up eggs, bacon, and orange juice, as well as snacks paired with a large glass of chocolate milkshake.
We also like them with just about anything, from pulled pork sandwiches to melted cheese. We even like them as is because of their right combination of starchy goodness and salty sinfulness.
While all of these types of French fries can be made at home, there’s something much more satisfying about buying them from your favorite fast-food and eating them while still hot.
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