The Best French Fries in America: Why We Love Them

french friesWho makes the best French fries in America? Well there's no ONE answer to that question. But Travel + Leisure magazine has pulled together a list of the top 25 fry dishes from around the country. Chances are good there's an amazing fry somewhere near you. Click through their slideshow to see if one of your favorites is listed.

What were their "Best" fries criteria, though? There are so many different kinds of fries now, I'm amazed they were able to narrow down the list to just 25. They quote fry "expert" and blogger Glenn Walker, who says, "The best fries are made from fresh-cut potatoes and double-fried, which adds crispness." But that's just how you make the best fries. What about the eaters -- how do you know when you're eating a PERFECT French fry? Here's what I think are the five secrets to French fry genius.


1. Crispness. I think this is one of the most important qualities of a fry. It should be crisp, not limp, and there should be some substance to that crunch.

2. Potato taste. You know what's missing from a lot of French fries? The taste of potato! I love all kinds of mix-ins and flavorings (ooh, especially the champagne-coated fries at Denver's Bistro Vendôme, or the Cajun spices in Five Guys fries). But still, underneath everything, you should still be able to taste fresh potato.

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3. Cooked just right. Not burned. Not underdone. It's kind of obvious, I know, and yet still so easy to get wrong.

4. Soft on the inside. I like fries that are almost fluffy on the inside. Isn't it sad when you bite into a French fry and the potato inside is still kind of half-cooked and slimy?

5. Magic fairy dust. You can meet all of the above criteria, but the BEST French fries just have something special about them -- something you can't even describe, but that makes you inexplicably happy. You just know it when you taste it.

What do you think makes a perfect French fry?


Image via Brett Jordan/Flickr

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