A Quick Primer on the Variations of French Fries

French fries are the perfect side dish. Available in different sizes, shapes, and flavors, they go well with a variety of meals and sometimes can be the main dishes themselves. With the help of Pitco fryers and a little ingenuity and preparation, offering different variations of French fries is easier than ever. 

Exploring the Rich History of Commercial French Fries

There are a couple of reasons why French fries have become a staple side dish. First, all one needs to make them is a deep fryer and some potatoes. This simplicity means generally, customers know exactly what they’re getting, no matter where they’re ordered. 

Second, fries are an almost universal side dish. They go with sandwiches, burgers, high-end steaks, shrimp, and other meal options. In most cases, adding a handful of fries is enough to turn an a la carte item into a meal.

Historically, French fries are recognized as distinctly European since they were created in Belgium or France, depending on who you ask. However, European pomme frites often differ from the fries customers enjoy in the United. States. For example, Belgian fries are always thick-cut wedges and are usually fried twice in beef tallow.

But no matter how they’re cut or prepared, customers always love a good batch of fries, and operators can leverage their popularity to drive sales.

Beyond the Classic: Diverse French Fry Varieties for Your Menu

Modern customers are far more adventurous than in years past. For example, flavor mashups and international cuisine are more prevalent in modern foodservice businesses. So, chefs and operators have much more inspiration to draw from when flexing their creative muscles.

One example is poutine, a Canadian staple that blends French fries, gravy, and cheese curds. This dish has been making its way onto more menus in America, thanks to its delicious comfort food appeal.

Another variation is curry chips, which are found in pubs in Ireland and Britain. As the name suggests, this dish blends curry sauce and French fries (or chips, as they’re known in the United Kingdom). Chefs can also take the fries to another level by seasoning fries with other spices such as sumac, fenugreek, or Chinese 5-spice

Fry Fun Facts: Industry Insights and Trends

It’s easy to say that French fries are highly popular, but the numbers don’t lie. According to one estimate, Americans consume roughly 30 pounds of fries annually. They eat so many that nearly a quarter of all potatoes grown in the United States are used to make fries.

French fries are also a big part of vegan and gluten-free diets. With vegan options often limited in non-vegan or vegetarian restaurants, many can turn to fries as a safe option, as long as the oil used is vegetable or peanut oil and not an animal byproduct. So, operators can start catering to a more health-conscious crowd while maintaining broad appeal.

Mastering the Art: Tips for Perfect Commercial Fries

One of the reasons French fries are synonymous with fast food is that it’s relatively easy to toss a batch of frozen potatoes into a commercial fryer, and they only take a few minutes to cook.

Almost all restaurants (especially QSRs) rely on frozen fries because of their speed, consistency, and reliability. However, some operators like to make them the old-fashioned way: by hand. Hand-cut fries are extra tasty, but staff must handle every step, from choosing the right potato to using tips like blanching before frying, with care to create a perfect batch.

Whether operators use fresh or frozen potatoes, Pitco fryers deliver superior French fry results. Advanced settings like built-in filtration ensure fewer kitchen accidents. And burned fries are a thing of the past with automatic basket lifts taking control. 

Find out more about how French fries can help your restaurant, bar, school, hotel, or stadium succeed:

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Topics: Foods & Trends, French Fries