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Crinkle Cut Fries

For about a year I have been drooling over the crinkle cut fries in the picture of a cheese burger and fries at the Hawaiin barbecue place in my neighborhood. Thinking these fries looked too good to be true I avoided temptation and never ordered them. I asked myself would they be like the crispy crinkle cut fries of my youth or would they be soggy limp fries of my adulthood? Yesterday, I threw caution to the wind and ordered them. They were everything I hoped for and then some. Eating the crinkle cut fries was like renewing a friendship with a long lost good friend. The experience led me to wonder how many other people like crinkle cut fries. Are they a relic of the past limited to only a few places that serve them or are there places in the world that crinkle cut fries are abundantly available?

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    Mostly Mom & Pop restaurants here serve CCF. (Southern Indiana) When properly fried it is a custom for them to snap and crunch to the tooth. (however I prefer mine to be a bit on the limp side.) I generally get a 5 pound bag at the grocery store on a monthly basis and pan fry them. Others will pan fry them from frozen so far, and bake them till crunchy.

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    1. That's what they serve at Nathans in Coney Island, and now I can buy Nathans frozen fries at my local supermarket. We love them, they're our favorite, but you're right I don't see them around so much in other places. Probably poor plate coverage or some such. The skinnier fries appear to be much more product which is important for food cost.

      4 Replies
      1. re: coll

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        coll Wrote: ""Probably poor plate coverage or some such. The skinnier fries appear to be much more product which is important for food cost.""

        My take is that they will both cover the plate rather well. I think the real reasons behind the popularity of Shoestring fries it that they are better at being a finger food. They also readily scoop into the paper bags, sleeves, or cups.

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        1. re: RShea78

          The reason I'm told most restaurants don't use steak cut fries is poor plate coverage, so I would guess the same goes for for crinkle cut. You'd have to take equal portions by weight and compare, which I have seen done. Best plate coverage is shoestring and loose cut spirals. The popularity of shoestrings is due to the large number of people growing up eating McDonalds nowadays, so that is their standard.

          1. re: coll

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            Lost me on the Steak Cut Fries when we were discussing Crinkle Cut Fries.

            Huge difference as the steak cuts are larger cut and more dense (heavy) in comparison to a crinkle cuts. Because steak cuts and potato wedges are so closely related I would indeed agree with plate coverage, but not with the shoestring vs crinkle cuts. They are not all that far off to be concerned, even though the premium shoestrings will cost slightly more.

            I do not understand the idea that McDonald's somehow invented shoestring fries? My granny was frying matchsticks and shoestrings fries before the great depression. I am positive she learned them from some other place than McDonald's.

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            1. re: RShea78

              I'm just stating what I've been told over the years by potato brokers and manufacturers, so this is just off the top of my head. Steak cuts have the least plate coverage and crinkle cuts seem to be a similar shape to me. It's the length that provides a good coverage, shoe strings are the exception because you can pile them up high no matter the length. One of the signs of a good quality fry is that they cut them longer (and also make them out of better potatoes with more solids but I won't go there right now) and the length is what's most important when considering coverage. I was just guessing about crinkle cuts as they are so stubby, but unfortunately they don't even get discussed much nowadays in the business. I've heard them referred to as "old fashioned"(in a bad way). Also FYI premium french fries cost double or triple the cheap ones, for lots of good reasons.

              I didn't say McDonalds invented shoestrings, just that they made them popular.

      2. They have them at the super popular Shake Shack in NYC, and they're crispy and meaty.

        1. I'm recalling my childhood days in the 50's, I walked home from school for my lunch, and my mother had a plate of these fries ready and waiting with a bottle of ketchup! So, Ok...potato is a vegetable and so is ketchup!! LOL! I'm hungry now....

          1. You just decided my lunch! I have a bag in the freezer. Just wish I had some beef gravy - drool!