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Jan 22, 2010 01:47 PM

What makes "hand cut" fries so special?

You see it all the time on menus and what-not ... "hand cut fries"

Is there a taste difference between hand cut and machine cut fries?

Certainly, there may be a cosmetic difference, but is there a difference in taste?

Assuming I start with the same Idaho spud, will the fries I make with that spud that are hand cut actually taste better than if I used, say, some sort of mechanical contraption to make the fries?

If there is no taste difference, then there's got to be some sort of reason to advertise and make specific mention of the fact that the fries you are ordering, and the ones they are making for you, have been sliced by hand, right? Right??

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  1. I think there's an image that unless it's hand cut, you get frozen Ore-Ida potatoes masquerading as high class french fries.

    1. I think hand cut implies that the french fries have more recently been a potato -- when your options are 1. hand cut, 2. machine cut in the kitchen, or 3. machine cut in factory, most restaurants have probably opted for 1 or 3.

      1. Hand cut fries are always taste better because of the qi imparted by hand onto the fries. If no qi is transferred, then the fries would be functionally indistinguishable from machine-cut fries to everyone except for the marketing department. :-)

        1. Hand cut fries are preferred because they are cut fresh instead of being frozen. The method of being cut isn't isn't as important them being cut the same day, and then being double fried when ordered.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Kelli2006

            Well, couldn't you machine cut the fries the same day, then double fry them as well?

            Would fries cut by machine at the time of order be somehow inferior to fries cut by hand at the time order?

            1. re: ipsedixit

              Yes, you definitely could. Ive never seen anyone cut shoestrings or frites by hand w/ a knife.

              I like pikawicca's terminology.

              1. re: Kelli2006

                Restaurant fries, if not frozen, but made in house, are virtually always machine cut,
                mostly by a manual machine and a human hand. Hence, hand-cut. Frozen fries are more consistent, with less labor and waste, more cost effective. Hand-cut fries are a menu marketing tool with more waste and labor. I've had good and bad of both. It's a crap shoot.

          2. I think a better terminology would be "house-cut" to distinguish the product from pre-cut, frozen fries.