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Chips vs. fries

North American fries (or French fries) are sticks of fried potato served hot. Outside of North America, namely the U.K., Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand, these fried pieces of potato are called chips. (Side note: a chippy is a place that sells fish and chips.)

However, to North Americans chips are thin slices of potato served cold. In the United Kingdom and Ireland this food is called crisps. And in New Zealand, India, Australia, and some other parts of the English-speaking world, both hot and cold potato slices are simply chips. Sometimes there is a distinction between hot chips and cold chips.


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Examples

Organizers of an annual french fry feed in Grand Forks say they broke their own record. The event dubbed the “World’s Largest French Fry Feed” is held during the annual Potato Bowl week, which celebrates the potato industry in the Red River Valley. [Bismarck Tribune]

The takeaway – which was first opened in 1948 – uses traditional methods and a 66-year old batter recipe for its fish and chips, which cost £5.20 a portion. [The Telegraph]

While some veggies lose their nutrients when you cook them, baked kale chips retain most of the good stuff. [Cosmopolitan]

An argument over hot chips has led to a Queenstown bar worker recouping $8317 in lost wages and compensation. Nicolette Gladding was bar manager at the Glenorchy Lodge when her boss Graham Dunstan got ”quite angry” because she was going to fry up some chips for people at the bar. [Stuff NZ]

To ease the boredom of working on a crisp production line in Indiana, US, Myrtle Young began picking out those that reminded her of the shapes of famous people or animals. [BBC]

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Comments

  1. Glynn Hammond says:

    In New Zealand we use the word “chips” for all types of potato snack, be they deep fried and hot (fish and chips) or cold (salt and vinegar flavoured chips). We never use the word “crisps” at all, although we do like our chips to be crisp, not soggy.

  2. Shane Hare says:

    Fries and chips are different in the UK..

    Fries (or French fries) are skinny and long (like they serve in McDonalds or fast food joints)

    Chips are fatter larger chunks of potato – imagine the size of about 4 fries.

    This actually changes the taste and the texture of the chip, they are softer and have a different taste – and when cooked properly they are delicious. No right minded Englishman would have “fish and fries” – that would be awful!

    • In the US, we call those steak fries. I’m not sure why because steak is more commonly served with a baked potato (at least in my area). I like them on their own with salt and vinegar.

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