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French fries are an American food staple. Despite the name, French fries actually originated in Belgium. However, like most things, America made French fries great. Let’s take a look at some of the best cuts of fries that are out there today.
Tater tots are basically a drug, but since they are not technically cut straight from a potato, they do not qualify for the following ranking.
I just can’t get behind potato wedges. There’s too much potato and not enough flavor. The crunchy/soft ratio is poor. I basically feel like I’m eating mashed potatoes that taste like carpet. Wedges are going to sit at the bottom of the list because they taste like bottom.
Where you can find good ones: idk, KFC?
Steak fries are soft. Literally. Stemming off of how I feel about wedges, steak fries follow suit. The crunchy/soft ratio is bad. Steak fries are rarely crispy, and biting into a fresh steak fry can be more dangerous than biting into a Hot Pocket. You might as well just eat molten lava instead. Steak fries are overrated, end of story. You have to have a lot of seasoning to enjoy these.
Where you can find good ones: Red Robin
I don’t know how I feel about shoestring fries. They also have a poor crunchy/soft ratio, albeit on the crunchy side instead. One thing that really sucks about shoestring fries is that they are impossible to eat. There’s a million fries in one serving, and it’ll be an hour or two before you finish your whole helping. However, there are some good shoestring fries out there.
Where you can find good ones: Steak ‘n’ Shake
Straight cut fries are in a large, general category with many sub-categories. There are thinner straight cut fries that you may find at McDonalds or Burger King, and then there are straight cut fries like boardwalk fries and many other restaurant fries. Straight cut has a pretty good crunchy/soft ratio and packs a decent flavor.
Where you can find good ones: Pretty much any fast food restaurant
Cracking into this list through a differentiation strategy are curly fries. Curly fries are very unique in both their shape and eating experience. The shape creates the potential for some sogginess, so the crunchy/soft ratio takes a little bit of a hit here. Curly fries are usually seasoned more than normal fries, which packs a flavor punch that pushes them into this list.
Where you can find good ones: Arby’s
Although fairly similar to straight cut, natural cut fries are a step above. Natural cut fries still have the skin on them, which for some reason (whether literally or psychologically) makes them taste better. Natural cut are usually covered in sea salt and just have great flavor. The crunchy/soft ratio is great and the natural potato skin also adds a spin factor to the ratio. Great French fry here.
Where you can find good ones: Five Guys
Waffle fries are an American symbol. They’re easy to eat and they look great. Waffle fries have all kinds of positive factors. Natural holes for cooldown purposes, skin for flavor, ridges that catch salt and seasoning, and you scan scoop any sauce or cover them with cheese (my favorite). I almost put waffle fries in the #1 spot, but I had to give the crown to a classic.
Where you can find good ones: Chick-Fil-A
A true original and classic. Crinkle cut fries are an American staple. There are many reasons why they take the top ranking for me. The crunchy/soft ratio is perfect. The ridges on crinkle cut fries catch salt perfectly and distribute all interior heat evenly. Crinkle cut fries take the trophy.
Where you can find good ones: Raising Cane’s .
Image via Shutterstock