Tornado fries, also called spiral fries. Photo courtesy DaphneLLC.Wordpress.com.
Home Fries or Cottage Fries: A potato dish made by pan-frying sliced potatoes that have been par-cooked by boiling or other technique, then pan-fried in butter or oil—not deep fried. When diced green and red bell peppers are added, and optional chopped onions, they are called Potatoes O’Brien. They dish was created at John’s restaurant in Manhattan in the early 1900s.
Julienne Fries: A popular width for French fried potatoes: 1/8 inch × 1/8 inch × 2 inches.
Jojo Fries: A regional term for potato wedges.
Matchstick Fries: The popular term for julienne fries.
Newfie Fries: A dish originating in Newfoundland: fries, dressing (turkey stuffing made with summer savory) and gravy. One variation adds ground beef or hot dogs and cheese.
Oven Fries: “Fries” that are baked in the oven instead of fried.
Patatje Oorlog: A Dutch dish of fries with eight or more sauces—anything from chopped raw onion and relishes to mayonnaise and peanut sauce. Some establishments provide up to 40 different condiment variations. Patatje oorlong is Dutch for “French fries war.”
Potato Wedges: Fries made from large, wedge-shaped chunks of potato, often unpeeled. Regional terms include jojos and tater babies. The wedges can be baked instead of fried. Popular condiments include barbecue sauce, brown sauce, gravy, ketchup, mayonnaise, ranch dressing, sour cream and sweet chili sauce.
Poutine: A Canadian dish from rural Quebec that tops French fries with fresh cheese curds (sometimes grated cheese), covered with hot gravy. Disco fries, from New England, are a variation.
Seasoned Fries: French fries coated with spices. Black pepper, garlic powder, chili flakes, onion powder and paprika are popular, but you can make curry fries, basil-dill fries or whatever you find appealing.
Shoestring Fries: Another term for julienne fries, the thinnest cut.
Steak Fries: These are thicker-cut fries—baton or wider—often cooked with the skin on. They can be fried or coated with spices and baked.
Sweet Potato Fries: Made from sweet potatoes, typically in the julienne or shoestring cut.
Texas Fries or Texas-Style Fries: Steak fries with the skin on.
Tornado Fries: A shape invented by the Tornado Fries company and copied by others. They are made from a single potato cut with a gadget into a one-piece spiral, which is fried on 18- or 26-inch skewers. Sometimes they are wrapped around a foot-long hot dog.
Tots or Tater Tots: Small cylinders made from deep-fried, grated potatoes. “Tater Tots” is a trademark of Ore-Ida, which invented the little potato bites in 1953. Here’s a recipe to make your own baked tots.
Waffle Fries or Waffle Cut Fries: French fries cut with a special tool into a criss-cross pattern. In France they’re called pommes gaufrettes (gaufrette is the French word for waffle).
Wavy Fries: Another term for curly fries.
THE HISTORY OF FRIES
Potatoes originated in Peru and spread to other parts of Latin America. Fried potatoes—cooking potatoes in fat over a fire—is a practice thousands of years old.
Potatoes were “discovered” and brought back to Europe by the Spanish conquistadors—where they were uses as hog feed! The French were convinced that potatoes caused leprosy, and French Parliament banned cultivation of potatoes in 1748.
A French army medical officer named Antoine-Augustine Parmentier was forced to eat potatoes as a POW, and discovered their culinary potential. Through his efforts, in 1772, the Paris Faculty of Medicine finally proclaimed that potatoes were edible for humans—though it took a famine in 1785 for the French to start eating them in earnest.
In 1802, Thomas Jefferson’s White House chef, Honoré Julien, a Frenchman, served “potatoes served in the French manner” at a state dinner. The potatoes were “deep-fried while raw, in small cuttings.” French fries had arrived. By the early 20th century, the term “French fried,” meaning “deep-fried,” was being used for other foods as well (onion rings and zucchini sticks, anyone?)
MAKE YOUR OWN SIGNATURE FRENCH FRIES RECIPE
TYPES OF POTATOES & POTATO DISHES