What’s in a name? Apparently, quite a lot, if you’re a fry. We call them French Fries, but they’re actually from Belgium. The British say “chips”, but what exactly is a chip, and is it any different from a fry? And also, what are the Canadians doing with those cheese curds? Find out how fries are done all over the world, and where you can treat yourself to these tasty snacks.
1. Fries – America
These are the ones you’re probably most familiar with. You know, the ones you order online whenever you feel midnight hunger pangs. Probably the most versatile form of fries (and food, for that matter), you can get them in all shapes and sizes – think waffle fries, crinkle-cut fries, curly fries… the list goes on. They also go great with pretty much every dip on Earth. It’s no surprise this dish is such a culinary chameleon, considering it’s won the hearts of so many around the world.
When we said they can go with every dip on the planet, we meant it. At Loof, your favourite American treat goes Singaporean with their Chilli Crab Cheese Fries. Spicy, crispy, and cheesy, it’s a wonderful upgrade to your run-of-the-mill hot potato.
2. Frites – Belgium/The Netherlands
The Frite turned the humble potato into an addictive worldwide phenomenon so you can be sure it’s ridiculously good. However, it isn’t enough to just chuck potatoes into hot oil. You need to meet certain conditions to achieve Frite status. First, the type of potato – only soft Belgian Bintjes potatoes will do. They’re thick-cut, about twice or three times as wide as their skinny American cousins. Most importantly, Frites have to be double fried, preferably in fat instead of oil. If you tick all these boxes, you get a true blue Frite, soft and light on the inside, but with the most satisfying crunch on the outside.
If you want a frite done right, then you’ve got to have it from Martin Zwerts. This famous restaurant chain is beloved all over Europe for their authentic traditional frites, and it’s just arrived in Singapore earlier this year.
Find it at 3 Lorong Liput, #B1-07, Holland Piazza, Singapore 277725.
Click here for more information on Martin Zwerts.
3. Chips – Britain
Ah, the mysterious side of Fish & Chips. Contrary to popular belief, there is a difference (besides spelling) between chips and fries, though it’s a rather small one. Chips can only ever be thick and chunky. If you call long, spindly fries or worse, curly fries “chips”, you might earn the wrath of Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay, and other chip-loving Brits. Also, they’re not only served with fried fish! The British love to smother their chips in sauces like gravy or curry to make it a tastier, heartier snack.
Grab the most authentic Fish & Chips in Singapore at Smith’s! We’re talking crispy batter, tender, moist fish, and of course, a generous serving of classic thick-cut chips tossed with vinegar and salt.
Find it at 271 Bukit Timah Road, #01-02 Balmoral Plaza, Singapore 259708.
Click here for more information on Smith’s Authentic British Fish and Chips
4. Poutine – Canada
Crisp fries covered in fresh cheese curds and drenched in homemade gravy. It may sound like a literal hot mess, but don’t knock it till you try it! Canadians all over the country adore this greasy, bracing dish, and it’s not hard to see why. The fries and gravy gradually melt the cheese curds, so the flavours of the ingredients slowly blend together more and more as you eat. Piping hot and substantial, it’s perfect for warming you up from the inside during cold winter nights. As a bonus, it’s also a national favourite for getting rid of post-party hangovers.
The Westin’s Cook & Brew is run by a Canadian chef, so of course there’ll be poutine. Affectionately called the Poutine “Eh”, it’s an absolute must-try, featuring fresh cheese curds, cider gravy, and pulled pork.
5. Patatas Bravas – Spain
What started as a cheap tapas to go with beers and drinks is now a ubiquitous bar snack much of Spain can’t go without. Potatoes cut into large, irregular chunks are pan-fried in oil until they get crispy and golden. Serve with mayonnaise and spicy Bravas sauce, made using garlic, paprika, tomatoes, and chilli, for a spicy, carby, and satisfying snack, just what you need for a night of drinking.
Itching for a Spanish fiesta? Visit Sabio Tapas Bar for a lively ambience, great drinks, and Spain’s quintessential bar snack, the Patatas Bravas.
6. Pommes Frites – France
Most of us see fries as a fast and casual snack, but not the French. As lovers of all things fancy, their fries are about as posh as a potato can get. The pomme frite is thin and double-fried, so you definitely won’t get soggy fries in France. Also, they’re eaten not with burgers in small cafes and bars, but appear as Steak Frites (steak and fries) and Moules Frites (steamed mussels and fries) in classy Parisian brasseries. The French don’t use oil either – they use duck fat, so the fries get that extra kick of flavour.
For some quality steak and fries, look no further than L’Entrecote The Steak & Fries Bistro. The meat is melt-in-your-mouth tender, the sauces are to die for, and the fries are done to crispy, golden perfection.
7. Pan-fried potatoes with onion – Russia
When in Russia, eat fries for breakfast. We’re serious – fries in Russia and the Slavic countries actually look less like junk food and more like a wholesome breakfast. Potatoes, cut into strips, are pan-fried with onions and garlic until they turn golden-brown. Then, you can add anything you want into them. Some common options include dill, eggs and mushrooms. The end result is filling and nutritious, definitely something we would give to kids.
Unfortunately, it seems Russian fries haven’t reached Singapore shores yet. If you really love the idea of fries for breakfast (who doesn’t?), you can try making your own!