Janine Davis

Janine Davis

Middays Weekdays 10:00AM-3:00PM

July is the month we celebrate National French Fry Day, so it makes sense to take time to celebrate those skinny fried white potatoes. We honor the ‘French fry’ and its origin!

It may come as a surprise, but the ‘French fry’ really isn’t French at all. According to Nationaltoday.com, it was the Belgium people who started frying fries. At least that is what Belgium historians believe and they are sticking to their story.

While we may not know its true origin, we do know ‘French fries’ came on the scene in the 1700s. But it took an entire century before potatoes would be accepted as food. The term ‘French fries’ refers to how the fries are prepared. They are deep-fried slices or strips of potatoes.

And Americans seem to have no issue consuming them. It’s estimated Americans eat some 30 pounds of French fries per person each year. Though they can be a good source of carbohydrates, French fries are high in calories and fat. Just 10 fries have 214 calories. (Source: USDA)

Even though people from Belgium say they invented the French fry, it’s the French who should take credit for making ‘fries’ so popular. Since the mid-1700s, the French were known for frying foods and selling them in public on street carts called ‘frites.’

And just how did the French fries get in America? Well, there are two versions of that story. The more popular and accepted one is that Thomas Jefferson brought the dish to the United States. While he was serving time as an ambassador, Jefferson spent a lot of time in France and would serve “potatoes like the French” at a White House dinner in 1802.

The other theory is that World War I soldiers stationed in Belgium liked the finger food the locals would serve called ‘pommes frites’ and took the idea back with them. Not long after, French fries would take off and become mainstream in the U.S.

Its’ popularity continues. These are some of the spots in the Carolinas serving up the best French fries. I had intern Mariah give us her top 10.

Mariah Mitchell, a Communications Arts student at Johnson C. Smith University contributed to this article.

  • Arby's

    This may come as a surprise to some, but in first place is the most unique fry on the list. These fries have a beautiful golden-brown color with the perfect crispy texture. These fries are always fresh and are extremely filling even with just the small. There is a loaded option for those of us who like to take it up a notch. These fries are 250 calories and cost the amount of $1.69.

  • McDonald's

    Second place is Americas favorite fast-food restaurant Mc’Donald’s. I asked some friends and family and in the top 3 every single time was McDonald’s. This fast-food restaurant’s prices have gone up since I was younger and right now the small fry will set you back a little over a buck, but has  230 calories. Now do I prefer my fries from McDonald’s — I want them made-to-order fresh with salt. Now if you are feeling like you deserve a special treat, order a vanilla ice-cream or Oreo McFlurry for dipping your fries for that salty/sweet combination.

  • Chick-fil-a

    This fry is ranked here for a couple of reasons. First, because it is unique. It’s not your traditional straight fry, it has waffles. It has levels to it, and you can expect to be full faster because it is more potato. Secondly, because of the variety of sauces you must choose from to change the flavor of your fry. Personally, I am a Ranch girl. This fry is a little more on the pricey side for fast food starting at $2.45 and 320 calories.

  • Wendy's

    This is the fry  that has been through the most. From. It’s changed variations a couple times. An honorary mention to the breakfast fry and the baked potatoes. Currently they are back on the natural cut wave. You can also dip this fry in a frosty to get that satisfying sweet and salty combination. This small fry is $1.69 and 340 calories.

  • Popeye's

    This fry that does not need any sauce or any enhancements! If you like a well-seasoned fry, this is the fry for you. This fry is one in which you can just hit the drive-thru, order a fry and lemonade and be satisfied. Popeye’s fries will set you back 268 calories.

  • Checkers/Rally's

    These fries are good and cheap. And I mean that in the most respectful way. At 6th place, Checkers also known as Rally’s in Cleveland has some rather odd items on its menu. And in Cleveland, I hear Checkers is the only thing open past 11pm. These Fries are 390 calories and $1.49 for the value size.

  • Bojangles

    This fast-food spot is a Southern thing. You won’t likely seem them up north. Anyone who has had Bojangles fries, understand the seasoning that comes on them. It is tasty, but if you’re not used to the flavor it can be a little overpowering. These fries are thicker than most, which is why the sauce comes in handy. These fries have 215 calories and cost $1.49.



  • Burger King

    These fries are in 8th place for a reason. In my opinion, they are good with a meal but not as enjoyable  by themselves. A small fry from Burger King will cost you $1.39 and 207 calories. Shout out to the chicken fries; they actually taste better than the French fries.

  • Shake Shack

    These fries are the most expensive fries on the list and rank with the most categories. Not only is it low on flavor, but these fries are basic. They aren’t many options to dress up the fry, and it will cost you — almost $3 bucks. And it has 470 calories.

  • Cookout

    Lastly, the Cookout fries. I’d have to say they are the most basic and unfavorable fries on the list. In college, these fries are classified as the ‘hangover fries’. After a party night, you just want some sort of  substance to fill you up. They are the perfect “go-to”. Cookout fries are 350 calories and are at the best price on the list at 99cents.

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