Today is a good day.
Because people have become “health conscious” you might not have realized that today is National French Fries Day. Why do french fries deserve a day? For the same reason that trees, mustaches, boobs and your mom deserve days—days can tend to suck without a little frivolous celebration and validation that certain things can be fun. And what is more fun than french fries?
In honor of the starchy sticks I will give a brief history: Fries were first made in 17th-century Belgium to supplement fried fish. Everyone loved them. They then toured globally under various pseudonyms, i.e. pommes frites, patatas fritas, chips and freedom fries. They met chili and melted cheese. They made people fat. And now they have a day.
Congratulations french fries, you’ve made it.
Unfortunately, I am not the most qualified to discuss the goodness of fries because for the past five years I’ve been too concerned with the unhealthiness of them; more than seven fries and I’m nauseated for at least two days.
And not to dampen the day, but fries—and the potato in general—were recently deemed to be the unhealthiest of foods as determined by some study. But this is the thing about fries—they’re so good hardly anyone cares.
I believe the term carpe diem was invented solely for the indulgence of cheese fries, which is the exception to my french fry resistance. In certain minimally inhabited areas of the country where Walmart and Sonic are the cool-kid hang out spots, there exists a gas station called Sheetz which has a “beer cave,” a security guard and the world’s greatest cheese fries.
Sheetz’s recipe is refined and delicate: microwaved fries toped with bright orange nacho cheese from a bag. Heaven.
But I’ve also recently made another exception to my discipline in french fry avoidance and that is for disco fries. I’ll say it again, disco fries. These are the grandaddy of all things deep fried and dripping with trans fat. They are cheese fries with a side of gravy. Seriously.
And even though plain french fries are sometimes in the scope of my ire I will say they have a lot going for them. They’re salty, crunchy and sometimes soggy (my favorite). If euphoria had a smell it would be french fries. Screw baseball—french fries are America’s favorite pastime.
So don’t let July 13th pass without indulging in the goodness. At the very least I think Americans should apologize to fries for dragging them into a nationality debate with their “freedom fries.” French or not, fries are no place for talking politics—they’re for dipping into mayonnaise, ketchup, milkshakes and our hearts.