In terms of critiquing french fries, “po-tay-to, po-tah-to” doesn’t quite sum it up.
Students put their taste buds to the test to judge the best fries in town Thursday when Dixie Sun News conducted a blind taste test on the Diagonal. The test offered students four selections of french fries from higher-end burger joints located around town. Those restaurants included Smashbuger, Apollo Burger, Five Guys Burgers & Fries, and Larsen’s Frostop Drive-In.
While a clear winner won students over with its potato-skin fries, another took a harsh loss.
Out of the 60 students who participated in the taste test, only 5 percent said they favored Apollo Burger’s fries. Larsen’s Frostop Drive-In came in third with 16.5 percent. Smashburger landed in second place with 28.5 percent. As for first place, Five Guys Burgers & Fries stole most participants’ taste buds with 50 percent.
Similar to what the results illustrate, many students pointed to Smashburger’s shoe string french fries and said they’d be their second choice, due to their salty flavor and crunch. However, many favored Five Guys’ french fries because of their distinct taste and authentic appearance. Five Guys’ fries are cooked in pure peanut oil and are sliced and served with the potato skins intact.
Shawn Huff, a sophomore engineering major from St. George, chose the Five Guys serving as his favorite, saying he prefers fries with a more homemade, natural taste.
“I like the potato-looking fries because I feel like I’m eating a potato, not a processed fry,” he said.
Huff then glanced at Larsen’s crinkle-cut fries and said he didn’t favor them because they seemed more like the frozen fries one typically buys at the grocery store.
“As for the crinkle fries, I think they’re a little too processed,” he said.
Ashley Gilmour, a freshman elementary education major from Santiago, Chile, said she also favors fries of unprocessed nature, but she chose Smashburger’s fries due to their crunch factor.
“Where I come from, fries are always made fresh for you right there, and they usually don’t look like fries here,” Gilmour said. “They look just like potato chips almost…But I’ve always liked thinner, crunchier fries.”
Gilmour, like many students, said she disliked Apollo Burger’s fries due to their lack of crunchiness and bland taste. Many said they were just too “fat” and “squishy” with nothing special to make them stand out from the other choices.
However, Huff said all fries have potential to be savory, as long as they’re properly prepared.
“That’s what really matters when you’re eating a fry,” he said. “It (should) taste like (the cook) put a little bit of effort into them. (Fries) are so much better when they’re cooked right.”