When it comes to the tastiest French fries on the planet, everyone seems to have an opinion. It’s a time consuming decision to find your favorite, because no two restaurants seem to have the same recipe. So National French Fry Day on July 13 is a great opportunity to take the time to sample some golden-brown potato slices. Estimates say Americans eat around 20 to 30 pounds per person per year. That seems like a lot, but when you think about all the ways you can eat fries, it adds up quickly. They’re easy to gobble down, whether they’re straight out of a fast food French fry container or whether you’re an expert at making fries at home. Add in all of the different condiments, and these simple potatoes become even more popular.
Note: French fries do have a nutritional stigma attached to them due to high caloric and fat content. But it’s tough to say no to a hot batch — even the ones that are at the bottom of the bag.
National French Fry Day - Survey Results
NATIONALTODAY.COM FRENCH FRY SURVEY
(survey of 1,000 Americans)
AMERICA’S ULTIMATE RANKING OF FAST FOOD FRIES
#1: McDonalds (35%)
#2: Chick-fil-A (13%)
#3: Five Guys (12%)
#4: Wendys (11%)
#5: Arbys (11%)
#6: Burger King (7%)
#7: In n Out (4%)
#8: Sonic (3%)
#9: Shake Shack (3%)
#10: Carls Jr. (2%)
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE STYLE OF FRIES?
#1: Regular (21%)
#2: Curly (20%)
#3: Steak-cut (14%)
#4: Crinkle (13%)
#5: Waffle (13%)
#6: Wedges (7%)
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE CONDIMENT TO PUT ON FRIES?
#1: Ketchup (55%)
#2: Ranch (15%)
#3: Cheese sauce (8%)
#4: Barbecue sauce (7%)
#5: Mayo (4%)
FRIES DIPPED IN MILKSHAKES, YES OR NO?
#1: No, that’s gross (33%)
#2: Yes, I love it (21%)
National French Fry Day timeline
McDonalds is born!
The first McDonald's opens in San Bernardino, California, selling hamburgers, sodas, milkshakes, and French fries.
French Fries hit America
Recipe for "French Fried Potatoes" included in "Cookery for Maids of All Work" by E. Warren.
Ye Olde French Fries are served
Thomas Jefferson serves "potatoes served in the French manner" at a White House dinner.
National French Fry Day Activities
Try them with a new condiment
Although Americans usually eat their French fries with ketchup, consider experiencing another culture’s condiment on National French Fry Day. Folks in Great Britain eat fries with malt and vinegar. You’d use melted butter and sugar on your fries in Vietnam. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find a new favorite.
Try a new seasoning with your fries
Most people cook their French fries in salt, and leave it at that. But you can sprinkle all kinds of seasonings on French fries, giving them a unique taste. Some people like to use a Cajun seasoning with fries, for example. Find the right seasoning, and, as blasphemous as it sounds, you might even decide to skip dunking them in ketchup.
Consider making your own fries at home
It’s going to be tough to outdo your favorite restaurant’s French fries, but you can use National French Fry Day as an excuse to try to make some fries at home. This can be a messy process, especially the frying step, but you can try a few different variations and seasonings this way. And even if you don’t succeed, you’ll have a much greater appreciation for the fry cook at your favorite local restaurant.
Why We Love National French Fry Day
Some restaurants provide free French fries
The best way to find some free French fries on National French Fry Day is to follow the social media accounts of restaurants. A few different places offer free fries with a meal purchase or by using a digital coupon. We’re not sure people need an excuse to eat more, but free certainly works.
French fries go great with almost anything
Sure, the pairing of French fries and hamburgers is ingrained in the American diet. But fries taste great with many different kinds of food, including sandwiches, steak, and even eggs. And although most people will dip their French fries in ketchup, you’ll find people also dipping fries in plenty of other condiments, including ranch-flavored salad dressing, mustard, and even milkshakes. Heck, as strange as it sounds, some people even eat them plain.
There are so many variations
The thin French fry sticks, often called shoestring fries, that are popular with fast food restaurants are the most common type of fry variation, but you can’t stop there. There are waffle fries, steak fries, curly fries, crinkle-cut fries, home fries, and wedge fries. We wouldn’t recommend trying every variation on National French Fry Day, but we won’t discourage those of you who like a challenge.