Pommes frites are potatoes that have been sliced into sticks or wedges and then deep fried to become crispy and golden brown on the outside, while remaining soft and warm on the inside. Referred to in the United States (US) and some other regions as “French fries,” they are a staple of many different culinary regions and have become especially popular in the US when served with hamburgers or hot dogs. Pommes frites are typically made using russet or Idaho potatoes and many modern frying methods recommend a double-frying technique.
The French term for potato is pomme de terre meaning literally “apple of the earth,” while frites means “fried,” making the name pommes frites simply mean “fried potatoes.” Potatoes are typically washed and can be peeled, though many times the peel is left on the potatoes for added texture and color. There are a number of different ways a potato can be cut before frying, though sticks, wedges, waffle cuts using a mandolin, and round slices are all fairly common. A large fryer can make the process much easier, though a pot can be used but should not be filled with oil more than half way.