|Alternative names||Cheesy chips, chips and cheese|
|Course||Side Dish, Snack|
|Main ingredients||French fries, cheese|
|336 kcal (1407 kJ)|
Cheese fries or cheesy chips (latter British English) are an American fast-food dish, consisting of french fries covered in cheese with the possible addition of various other toppings. Cheese fries are generally served as a lunch- or dinner-time meal. They can be found in fast-food locations, diners, and grills all across the United States, as well as the rest of the world.
The dish originated in the United States, although its exact birthplace is still widely disputed. Cheese fries have been said to grow in popularity in the United States after canned cheese products such as Cheez Whiz hit the U.S. markets in 1952. Don A. Jenkins is said to have invented a variation of the cheese fry (the chili cheese fry), at the age of 16, in Tomball, Texas. Another report claims that a young fry cook named Austin Ruse was the first to serve this dish while working at Dairy Queen in St. Charles, MO.
A common method of making cheese fries involves pouring melted cheese onto a plate of fries:
- Place uncooked french fries (cut or frozen) onto a greased baking pan
- Bake at 450 °F (250 °C) for about 15 minutes (or until golden brown)
- In a separate bowl, mix melted cheese with preferred spices, meats, or vegetables
- Once french fries are out of the oven, pour the melted cheese onto the fries
Throughout the Southwest US, cheese fries are often covered in melted cheddar cheese, bacon bits, jalapeño slices, and chives, and served with ranch dressing. Alternately, they are also served as carne asada fries. In Philadelphia, pizza fries are topped with melted mozzarella and served with pizza sauce on the side, while "mega fries" are topped with cheddar (or sometimes Cheez Whiz) and mozzarella cheese and bacon. Usually served with a side of ranch dressing. In New York City, Long Island, and New Jersey, they are covered with American, mozzarella, or Swiss cheese, then melted. In New Jersey and certain New York City diners, Disco Fries are served with mozzarella and brown gravy. In other parts of the US, nacho cheese is often used, especially in snack stand-type settings.
Chili cheese fries are topped with chili con carne. The cheese is usually either American or cheddar. In Cincinnati, Ohio, they use their own Cincinnati chili for their chili cheese fries at the local chili restaurants. In New Mexico, they use New Mexican chile for their chili cheese fries, often adding chopped lettuce, tomato, and olives as garnish.
In Ireland, a variation called "taco fries" consists of fresh cut chips covered in sub sauce and shredded cheddar. Piled on top of the cheese are ground beef, tomato, peppers, onions, and various seasonings. In Bulgaria, a common side dish offered in most restaurants consists of French fries, topped with grated or crumbled sirene. In the Netherlands a dish named 'kapsalon' is served as fast food. This consist of fries covered with cheese, salad, and shawarma or doner kebab. It is often consumed with large amounts of garlic sauce or chili sauce.
In the United Kingdom, chips and cheese are often served in pubs. Preparation includes the pouring of cheddar sauce over chips or sprinkling cheddar over chips and then putting the dish under a grill. A variation adds beef gravy on top.
- "The Not-So-American History of Cheez Whiz". Food & Wine. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
- Zorn, Marc (2014-08-18). "Who Invented Chili Cheese Fries - Vision Launch". Vision Launch. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
- "5 to Try: Cheese fries". Commercial Appeal. Retrieved 2018-04-03.
- "Cheese Fries". Taste of Home. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
- "Chips, Cheese and Gravy Day proposed". BBC News.