The 13th of July is French Fries Day.
The day celebrates thin batons of potato that have been fried in a liquid fat, making them crisp on the outside, and soft on the inside.
What do you call them? “French Fries”, “French-Fried Potatoes”, or just “Fries”?
And do you think “French Fries” are the same as what the English call “Chips” as in Fish and Chips, or would you definitely put each in a different category?
Do you like your fries plain, or with a coating? With the potato peel left on, or off?
Do you like special shapes, such as waffle, curled or crinkled?
Have you ever tried Air Fries, made in a Hot Air Fryer? What do you think of them? Do you think that Air Fries and oven fries count as real French fries, absent the hot boiling oil?
What the Americans call chips are completely different from what the British call chips.
French fries actually seem to have originated in Belgium, where the art of proper French fries is practically a religious sacrament.
What do you like your French fries with?
- American style, with ketchup;
- Belgian style with mayonnaise;
- English style, with salt and malt vinegar;
- Quebec style, with gravy and cheese.
- Scottish style, with gravy or chippie sauce.
Sweet potato fries may seem to promise to be healthier, but let’s not kid ourselves: no dietitian is going them a green-light nod after they hit that hot vat of oil. But still, they are delicious!
Note: The day is variously referred to as “French Fries Day” and “French Fry Day”. But whatever you call it exactly, we’d like to wish you a “Happy Fry-Day”!
See also: French fries, Chipping potatoes, Air Fries, Chip pans, Deep-fat fryers, French Fried Shrimp Day, Greasy Foods Day, Fried Chicken Day, Chipping Potatoes, Fast Food Day, Onion Ring Day, Nugget Day
Activities for today
- Check apps for deals, either freebies, discounts, size upgrades or even bottomless fries;
- Make some fries at home: oven fries, air fries, or deep-fat fryer fries;
- If you make fries at home, try with a seasoning or dip that you haven’t tried before;
- Go out with friends for a meal and enjoy some fries.
Newspapers from 1991 to 2005 show sporadic mention of various social centres observing a “National French Fry Day” randomly at the end of February / beginning of March.
This could be the result of a campaign by the Lamb-Weston Inc. company to promote frozen French fries:
“Washington State can take pride in at least one national observance, French Fry Friday (Feb. 28) [Ed: the writer is referring to the calendar year 1992]. The day was registered with “Chase’s Annual Events” last year by an employee of Lamb-Weston Inc., makers of more than 80 frozen potato products. Vince Johnson, a marketing consultant, has inherited the responsibility of trying to explain the timing: “Some say it should be near Valentine’s Day, because the French fry is America’s most loved vegetable, and some say it should be near St. Patrick’s Day because of the importance of the potato to the Irish. So we chose a midway date, when all the Valentine candy is gone, and it’s time to build up energy to march in the St. Patrick’s Day parade.” — From Apples to Zucchini: There’s a special day to honor practically every food. Longansport, Indiana: Logansport Pharos-Tribune. 15 January 1992. Page A5, col 1.
There were print media mentions of this right away in 1991:
“French Fry Friday, Feb 22. A day dedicated to the fabulous french fry — loved by kids young and old across America. Annually the fourth Friday in February.” — Martin Brothers Cash & Carry Advertisement. Thursday, 31 January 1991. Supplement, col. 3.
In July 2007 is the first mention of a “National French Fry Day” occurring on the 13th of July.
“Menus and activities for next week are as follows. Friday: [13th July] National French Fry Day” — Senior calendar. Port Clinton, Ohio. News Herald. Saturday, 7 July 2007. Page A6, col. 2.
Johnson, Hollis. McDonald’s is giving away free fries. Here’s how to get some. New York, New York: Business Insider Magazine. 13 July 2018. Accessed July 2021 at https://www.businessinsider.com/mcdonalds-free-fries-national-french-fry-day-july-13-2018-7
Roberts, Madison. How to Get Free McDonald’s Fries and More Deals on Friday for National French Fry Day. People Magazine. 13 July 2018. Accessed July 2021 at https://people.com/food/national-french-fry-day-free-deals/
Rogers, Brittany. McDonald’s Is Giving Out FREE French Fries For An Entire Day This Week. Toronto, Canada: Narcity. 10 July 2018. Accessed July 2021 at https://www.narcity.com/news/mcdonalds-is-giving-out-free-french-fries-for-an-entire-day-this-week
Tyko, Kelly. Fry Day Friday! USA Today. 12 July 2018. Accessed July 2021 at https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/nation-now/2018/07/12/national-french-fry-day-2018-freebies-deals-dip-july-13/770217002/
Weaver, Jennifer. National French Fry Day commemorated with free fries at participating restaurants. KUTV News. 13 July 2018. Accessed July 2021 at https://kutv.com/news/local/national-french-fry-day-commemorated-with-free-fries-at-participating-restaurants