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A Visual Tour Of The World’s Most Ambitious French Fries

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French fries get a bad rap. Chefs fret over whether to serve them at up-market restaurants because on one hand, they’re simple and cliche, but on the other hand, they’re f*cking delicious. Still, there is some skill to creating the perfect fry — from how you cut the potato to the technique you use to cook them. And of course, you can take the dish to even greater palate-exploding heights with the seemingly endless variations of salty, savory, umami, sweet, sour, spicy, and bitter toppings you heap on. Fine, maybe not bitter. Bitter fries sound weird.

Let’s take a visual tour of all the fries you can handle and some seriously spectacular and delicious toppings:

Plain And Simple

Often fries are good enough on their own. A little salt, maybe a spritz of lime and you’re good to go. But in those instances, one would be hard-pressed not to need a sauce for dipping. Mayo, cheese, ketchup, gravy, and egg yolks are solid choices for each fry to bathe in before being enjoyed.

Easy. Simple. Delicious.

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Hybrids

Combining two of your favorite foods into one glorious dish is a fantastic way to have the best of both worlds. Pizza fries, nacho fries, bolognese fries, cheesesteak fries, and currywurst fries are just the tip of the fried-potato-iceberg. These five fused fries are a good place to start a calorie-laden food adventure.

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#bolognesefries Yummmm

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Rich And Trendy

How much money can you spend on a plate of fries? Evidently, a lot. Even if it’s just something trendy like aged mozzarella and harissa fries, you’ll still be paying to eat the latest cool kid spices. Then you get into some serious treats that will lighten anyone’s wallet — truffle fries, caviar fries, foie gras fries, truffle and gold leaf fries! We hope whomever orders gold on their fries at least appreciates the irony of putting gold leaf on what is a classic fast food treat.

Loaded

One of the biggest trends in fries these days is straight up using them as a delicious food delivery system. Bacon and cheese, jerked chicken, fried shrimp and gravy, saucy meatballs, a pound of bacon… whatever floats your boat, just remember to pile it high. Some would argue that the fries tend to get drowned out a bit in the avalanche of flavors.

You can judge for yourself.

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Chili

You could argue this is either loaded or a fusion of two dishes. But chili cheese fries are an animal all on their own. The dish is so iconic at diners, drive ins and… well… dives, across America that it’s an oddity if it’s not on the menu. A good plate of fries covered in quality, preferably homemade, chili and topped with some sharp cheddar is the epitome of an American dish.


Poutine

North of the border, round Canada way, you’ll find a Quebecois speciality of deeply delicious proportions. Crispy fries are covered in a brown gravy and littered with supple clumps of cheese curds to create a dish any nation should be proud of — poutine. There are several variations to the dish, but the classic and holy trinity of fries, gravy, and curd is the best you could ever hope for.

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Animal Style

In-N-Out Burger loves their not-so-secret menu. The champion of that menu is “Animal Style.” The combination of fries, cheese, grilled onions, and special sauce (really just a Thousand Island at the end of the day) is a nosher’s delight. These fries are so popular that you’re seeing them pop up on menus all over the country. Why? They’re delicious. (Though In ‘N Out’s use of soybean oil rather than canola is oft argued.)

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