National French Fry Day
Your Guide to National French Fry Day
A holiday that’s core to our culture at Hopdoddy, National French Fry day is coming up in July and we wanted to share the history, worldwide traditions, and joy of french fries. Not only are they one of our favorite menu items, but we’re also proud to partner with an amazing supplier that has incredibly high standards for their potatoes and ensures that their facilities are environmentally-friendly. However, this holiday is in celebration of the final product, so let’s get a better understanding of what makes a fried potato a french fry.
Are french fries actually French?
They aren’t — in fact, french fries were actually most likely invented in Belgium. The commonly-accepted reason that they’re called “french” fries is that the dominant language in the southern Belgian region of the Meuse Valley (where they were found) was French.
Origins of french fries
Dating back to at least the late 1600s, the story goes that villagers in South Belgium typically ate fried fish for meals. One particularly cold winter, the River Meuse that winds through the region froze solid and the locals weren’t able to get any fish. Looking for a substitute, they cut up potatoes and fried them instead, creating what we know today.
While they were likely created several hundred years ago, American soldiers were introduced to this food when they were stationed in Belgium during World War I, dubbing them “french” fries because of the primary language of the region. However, another explanation for their name is that “frenching” is a way of cutting ingredients for cooking, so french fries simply mean “cut fries” and don’t actually refer to the country or language.
Are french fries vegan?
This is a common question, and the simple answer is (mostly) yes. At their most basic, french fries are usually vegan-friendly, however, some restaurants (like McDonald’s and Popeyes) use beef fat for frying. Several of our shareable fries at Hopdoddy usually have dairy products or non-vegan ingredients mixed in, but our classic hand-cut Chipperbec Fries are 100% vegan. In addition, your orders can always be customized to fit your dietary lifestyle, whether vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, keto, or more.
When is National French Fry Day?
National French Fry Day falls on July 13th each year, which is a Wednesday in 2022 and a Thursday in 2023.
French fries around the world
While french fries are well-known and a staple of American food, other cultures around the world also celebrate this delicious snack. While this is only a national holiday (rather than international), it’s a testament to french fries’ ubiquity and importance to people around the globe.
- America - Burgers & fries: One of the most American meals out there, this classic combination needs no introduction.
- Canada - Poutine: Arguably the most recognizable dish of our neighbors to the north, this dish combines french fries with gravy and cheese curds.
- UK - Fish & chips: Another classic international dish, fish (usually cod) and chips are about as English as it gets.
- Greece - Gyros: These delicious pita wraps usually also have french fries added to the standard meat, falafel, and vegetables.
- Kenya - Masala chips: Adopting the British use of the name “chips,” these are a spicy version of french fries that are tossed in a tomato-based masala sauce.
- Peru - Salchipapas: Popular across all of Latin America, this dish tops fries with sliced sausage, ketchup, mayo, and salsa.
- Tanzania - Chipsi mayai: Essentially an omelet with french fries in it, this is a common street food that can have vegetables, chili sauce, and more added.
- Belgium - Pommes frites with mayonnaise: Back to where they were invented, these are double-fried and often served with mayo for dipping.
How to make your own french fries
While recipes will vary and depend on your preferences, french fries are fairly easy to make at home if you have the right ingredients and equipment. We use specific chipping potatoes, but the next best option are dense russet potatoes, with waxy potatoes like fingerling and red potatoes being varieties that you want to avoid. We’d also recommend estimating 2-3 large potatoes per person to determine how much you’ll need.
- Once you have your potatoes, the first step is to slice them into strips about ½” thick
- Next, you’ll soak them in cold water to remove the starch (at least an hour, but the longer you soak them, the crispier the fries will be)
- After soaking, rinse twice with cold water and pat the potatoes dry
- Heat your oil to 300°F and fry the potatoes in batches for 5-6 minutes
- Remove each batch with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel
- Increase the oil’s temperature to 400°F and fry in batches again, this time for about 5 minutes
- Remove each batch again and place on a paper towel
- Sprinkle the fries with salt immediately
- Wait for them to cool, and you’re ready to serve your own french fries
Best seasonings & toppings for fries
Now that you’ve made your own (or bought) fries, how can you really add something special to celebrate the holiday? Obviously, at Hopdoddy we love to add unique and tasty combinations of toppings and seasonings to give them an extra kick of flavor. Here are some of our favorites that you can add to your fries and take them to the next level:
- BBQ seasoning
- Chili powder
- Garlic and parmesan
- Buffalo sauce and ranch
- Salsa and guacamole
- Marinara sauce, cheese, and pepperoni
- Truffle aioli, mayo, honey mustard, or any of our Hop Sauces
Celebrate the holiday with Hopdoddy fries
If you’re interested in really upgrading your National French Fry Day, inflation is going to be hitting Hopdoddy fries (in a good way) on Wednesday, July 13th to celebrate. All of our shareable fries will be bottomless for even more shareability (or keeping to yourself, we won’t judge). Be sure to stop by one of our locations and have your fill of fries, or grab any of our other menu items!