There aren’t many foods that everyone agrees are awesome, but potatoes are definitely one of them. Each year, we produce a whopping 300 million metric tonnes of the tubers - that’s enough for more than a billion people to eat potato every single day. Small wonder then that we’ve come up with so many ways of cooking them.
Included as an added extra with almost every fast food order, the French fry is easily the most famous of these. Thin slices of potato, coated and cooked in boiling oil and seasoned with salt, the French fry is a favourite all over the world. But, it seems that not everyone agrees on how they should be best presented. This is what French fries look like in a few countries around the world.
Fries are an object of national pride for anyone born in Belgium. Indeed, many claim that it is Belgium and not France that gave the world this technique in the first place. Served either alongside moules marinieres or by themselves in a handy cone, Belgian fries are best enjoyed with a slathering of creamy mayo for company.
In England, chips aren’t a food - they are a way of life. Traditionally served thick cut, and steamed before hitting the fryer, British chips are served in literally hundreds of different ways. Whether covered by curry sauce or paired with a massive hunk of fried fish, no visit to Britain is complete without trying the chips.
If there’s one dish that’s really put Canada on the map, it is poutine. The perfect combination of potato, gravy and cheese curds, this comfort food classic is the ideal excuse to indulge in something almost impossibly decadent. Grab a fork, huddle up and dig in.
The quintessential example of fry cookery has to be the French pomme frite. Thin, crispy and salty, pommes frites are a perfect accompaniment for everything from steak hache to hamburgers. Small wonder that they’ve become the fast food of choice around the world.
Spicy, highly seasoned and incredibly moreish, Kenyan fries focus on the awesome potential of tandoori masala. Featuring ingredients such as cumin, garlic, lemon juice and chilli, Kenyan fries are among the most flavourful you’ll find anywhere.
Traditional Russian fries might be more tricky to eat than their global counterparts, but they’re certainly no less delicious. Traditionally pan fried alongside slivers of onion and garlic, rough cut kartofel’ fri are simultaneously rustic and seriously yummy.
7. South Africa
They might look like British chips on the surface, but South African "slap chips" have a hidden secret. Usually soaked in vinegar before being cooked, these fries are famous for their tarte, acidic kick.
Anyone who’s ever eaten tapas knows that patatas bravas are the unsung heroes of the Spanish dinner table. Coming in all shapes and sizes and served alongside tangy tomato sauce and garlic aioli, this version of potato fries works just as well by itself as it does as part of a collective.
Given that standard French fries are already so delicious, it can be difficult to persuade yourself to branch out and explore what else is on offer. As you can see from this list, that means missing out on all sorts of tasty treats. Be brave. There’s a whole world of potato waiting to be discovered.