Good French Fries Vs. Bad French Fries: A Photo Guide
Description: These fries fall prey to an all-too-common problem amongst the “generic family restaurant” fry family (think Denny’s or Friendly’s). While they are undoubtedly golden-brown and may even have the highly-desirable crisp exterior, their lack of breading and somewhat thick cut render them, overall, a fairly bland experience.
Description: It’s a well-accepted fact in most higher academic circles that crinkle-cut fries — while perhaps appealing to children with their offbeat, whimsical shape — are a consistent disappointment. Their crisp-to-fluff ratio is nothing short of absurd, and the crinkliness only seems to add insult to injury in the face of such lackluster frydom.
Description: Isn’t it strange how such close relatives can be so profoundly different? The curly fry (sexy first cousin of the crinkle-cut) is almost always a good choice — regardless of circumstance. Even in restaurants unknown, an order of curly fries is almost always guaranteed to give you a nice crisp-to-fluff ratio, a fun shape, and a dusting of amber seasoning.
Description: And here we have what is referred to in most scientific contexts as the “Standard Fast Food Fry.” Skinny, crisp, best when served mouth-scaldingly hot — they are what many of us picture when we think of French fries. It is true that, if eaten out of their very narrow shelf life, they can take on a very cardboard-y texture, but I will give these fries the benefit of the doubt and assume they are at the peak of their youth, and are therefore delicious.
Description: What are these oversize, mushy monstrosities? Just suck it up and eat a baked potato like a real goddamn adult. Quit messing around, the clock is ticking and you are wasting precious fry hours with this nonsense.
Description: Oh, my sweet, precious baby rosemary garlic fries. Come into my mouth where everything is beautiful and nothing hurts — you will be safe here. With your crispy texture, your deliciously spicy garlic and rich, savory herbs, and your artisinal flare (as you are usually served in kitschy little paper cones), you may just represent the pinnacle of our fry possibilities. If there is a higher level of frydom attained, I have yet to encounter it.
Description: Sweet potato fries — the most hotly contested debate since “Should we declare our independence from England and lose that sweet, sweet tea hookup?” — are not my favorite thing. I admit that they have their health upsides, their own distinct flavor, and can come in as crispy and fluffy a texture as any other fry. The truth is, I just think sweet potatoes are super gross, and will therefore not touch these little mongrels. However, if you enjoy them, I can understand. They do not deserve to be written off like some other, more egregious, incarnations of the French fry.
Description: No. No no no no no, steak fries. You do not get to hang out with the other amazing little sticks of crispy potato dreams. You are in a category all your own, a sad, pitiful category of mushy starch and overcompensating dips. Look at you, you look like a sad little bowl of flaccid potato penises, and you should be ashamed of yourselves. No.
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