In the USA, they’re known as French fries. In Australia, we call them chips (not to be confused with the thin dried potato crisps sold in cellophane packets). In France, they’re frites.
— photo (found on the web) by Rainer Zenz
I recently purchased an Actifry appliance, from the French Seb company, which makes it easy to cook frites with a minimum volume of oil: roughly a big spoonful.
I buy big fat potatoes of a kind that are specially recommended for frites (as distinct from potatoes that are ideal for baking or steaming).
Then there’s the question of peeling. I’ve found that the red device shown in the photo (apparently designed for peeling tomatoes) is ideal. Its double-edged blade swivels slightly, and glides smoothly over bumps in potatoes. In France, this kind of peeling tool is inevitably referred to by the trademark of its inventor in 1929: L’Économe, which evokes thrift and the waste of over-thick potato peels.
Next, there’s the task of transforming spuds (as we used to call them in Australia when I was a kid) into future frites. This involves the use of a device that is generally designated in US English as a French fry cutter. A few weeks ago, I was seduced by the following elegant little fry-cutter device from Amazon:
For an outlay of 27 euros, I bought their device... then tried to use it.
Amazon marketing had blatantly screwed me. Their kind of fry-cutter gadget might be fine if French fries happened to be made out of soft cheese, or boiled eggs, or ripe pears. But real potatoes cause this flimsy device to explode in mid-air… and the Amazon people surely know this perfectly well. You then have to use a pointed knife to extract the potato fragments mixed up inside the disjointed metallic structure. What an ugly Amazon mess! Yet they continue to sell such shit. Really, I’ve decided that I must get around to ceasing to buy stuff from this unfriendly corporation…
Fortunately, a local second-hand shop provided me with an ideal professional solution, for 3 or 4 times the money I had wasted at Amazon. In any case, from a size/weight viewpoint, when compared with the ridiculous Amazon toy, I certainly got more for my money.
Above all, this professional fry cutter really works!
Conclusions: I’ve solved a problem, while discovering (with displeasure) that I had been hoodwinked by Amazon into believing that their flimsy toy can cut up real-world potatoes for French fries.