Beyond the type of potato, fat, and salt the only other major factor in individual identity is the cut. Menus aren’t much help, typically identifying them as fries regardless of format. Modifiers in fry nomenclature do exist though they’re inconsistent. Matchstick, Belgian Cut, home, waffle, curly, and tornado fries (my new personal culinary white whale) assemble a rather freakish landscape celebrating gimmicks more than the fried potatoes true wheelhouse.
The French (big surprise) have a great naming system though it’s all in French. Pommes Frites are thick cut where pommes allumettes are matchstick sized and pommes paille are even finer. Pommes gaufrettes are like a beautiful waffle fry-potato chip hybrid. I would suggest creating a similar nomenclature for these here United States and getting our best minds on this Gaufrette-thing.
This all came to mind while working through a basket of fries at The Shack in East Sac. They opt for a thicker cut (Belgian/Pommes Frite) style fry. A close comparison would be what one might find at Red Robin. The Shack rocks a solid beer list, great cheap eats, and likely one of the best vibes of any Sacramento establishment. My preference leans towards a thinner cut fry but The Shack’s fries are consistently golden brown and have these small fissures that provide surface area for even more golden-ing. If you prefer a thick cut fry, The Shack delivers the goods in the most charming environs.