1. There are actual fry-tasting rooms at the McDonald’s headquarters in Illinois.
Wish I could live there, TBH.
2. And fry samples are randomly tested there from McDonald’s restaurants across America for monthly scrutiny.
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You are not allowed to wear perfume in those rooms to prevent contamination of the fries during tastings, either!
3. McDonald’s actually offered waffle fries at one point…in Canada.
They tested them out there in 2016.
4. Burger King changed its French fry recipe in 2011 for the first time since 1998.
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They “made the new fries thicker, reduced sodium and added a coating that makes them crisper and keeps them hotter longer,” according to statements at the time.
5. Thomas Jefferson was probably the first person to “bring” fries, or some version of them, to America.
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According to Mental Floss, Jefferson detailed a recipe for fried potatoes in his writing during the early 1800s.
6. And the name “French fries” actually originated in Belgium, rather than France.
According to National Geographic, American soldiers first came across this savory side dish during World War I in Belgium (where they had been frying potatoes since the 1600s) — and since the dominant language in Belgium is French, well, they supposedly thus named them “French fries.”
7. There are at least 18 “types” of French fries.
From everything like waffle and curly fries, to things like shoestring and potato tornado fries.
8. Belgians, per capita, consume a third more French fries than Americans.
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And their dip/sauce of choice is mayonnaise-based.
9. McDonald’s buys more than 3.4 billion pounds of U.S. potatoes annually for its famous golden fries.
10. And, in case you’re wondering, they mainly use the Russet Burbank variety of potato for their fries.
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They use three main suppliers for their potatoes.
11. In-N-Out cuts its French fries in their restaurants every day.
There are also TONS of ways you can “hack” In-N-Out fries, like getting cheese fries, well-done fries, or lemon-pepper fries.
12. And Five Guys cooks its fries in peanut oil.
You can also get your fries “cajun style” at Five Guys.
13. There is a French fry museum called Frietmuseum in Belgium.
14. The world’s longest curly fry was found at an Arby’s and it measured 38-inches long.
The mind-blowingly long french fry was found in Waynesville, SC by local Kim Medford.
15. The earliest known reference to French fries in English literature is in “A Tale of Two Cities.”
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Charles Dickens writes, “Husky chips of potato, fried with some reluctant drops of oil.”
16. And finally, in the United Kingdom, the word “chip” (which they say instead of French fry) can be traced back to 1769 — it originally referred to slices or chunks of fruits or vegetables preserved with salt water.
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According to Oxford Dictionaries, “Fruit chips were typically dried or otherwise preserved, while potato chips were fried. Britain retained this usage, especially when referring to fish and chips.” So, they just kept referring to fried potatoes as “chips.” And, fwiw, American-style potato chips were introduced to the UK in the 1920s. To avoid confusion with their term “chip potatoes” they were called “potato crisps” or just “crisps.”