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There’s something so incredibly delicious and deeply American about a big huge pile of french fries that is smothered in cheddar cheese sauce and piled high! Whether eaten as an appetizer or as a whole meal, cheddar fries have the power to bring quite a bit of delight to any table of friends or family members. 

Now, Cheddar Fries Day is here to pay honor and respect to this simple and appetizing bit of American cuisine. 

History of National Cheddar Fries Day

National Cheddar Fries Day got its official start in 2016 by a restaurant called Snuffer’s in the state of Texas. Though no one is quite sure when this dish got its start, it was certainly created somewhere in the United States. Putting cheese on french fried potatoes to make cheddar fries, or cheese fries, may have originated around the time that the American company, Kraft, released a product called Cheez Whiz in 1953. This was a processed cheese food that made it possible to have a saucier kind of melted cheese in a jar or can.

Chili cheese fries, which are basically cheddar fries that incorporate chili as well, have a story of having been invented at a Dairy Queen restaurant in Missouri by a man named Austin Ruse. But it is known that chili cheese fries could be sourced in the frozen food section of grocery stores as early as 1975.

In today’s world, cheddar fries are served at all sorts of different locally owned restaurants as well as national chains, from fast food to diner-style to casual family dining restaurants. They might come with just cheese or chili and cheese. Or they might be “loaded” up with bacon bits, green onions and sour cream. Some of the well-known places that serve a version of cheddar fries might include Steak ‘n Shake, Wendy’s, Arby’s, Shake Shack and many others.

National Cheddar Fries Day Timeline

1600s

French Fries get their start

Deceivingly, the first fries were made in the country of Belgium, where the French language is spoken. [1]

1934

Steak ‘n Shake is first opened

Founded in Normal, Illinois, Steak ‘n Shake will eventually become an American icon for fries, specializing in cheddar cheese fries.[2]

1953

Cheez Whiz is introduced

This canned, whipped cheese by Kraft makes it easier to put cheese on just about anything! [3]

1978

Snuffer’s Restaurant & Bar serves Cheddar Fries

This Dallas diner adds cheddar fries to its menu and will eventually found National Cheddar Fries Day decades later. [4]

2016

First National Cheddar Fries Day is celebrated

Getting its start at Snuffer’s restaurant in Texas, the first National Cheddar Fries Day takes place.

How to Celebrate National Cheddar Fries Day

Get on board with all sorts of fun ways to celebrate and enjoy National Cheddar Fries Day when you participate in some these delicious and delightful activities:

Head Out for Some Cheddar Fries

Take the opportunity to celebrate National Cheddar Fries Day by ordering some up at a restaurant. Those who are near the Dallas, Texas, area might want to try out Snuffer’s Restaurant & Bar, the original restaurant where National Cheddar Fries Day was founded. In fact, Snuffer’s also claims to be one of the creators of the original “cheddar fries” and their recipe includes cheddar cheese, with the option of adding bacon, chives and jalapenos for an even more scrumptious experience.

Get Creative with Cheddar Fries

Making a version of cheddar fries or cheese fries at home is an amazing way to get creative with those culinary skills in the kitchen. Start out with some basic french fried potatoes, whether starting from frozen or fresh. Then fry them in oil or bake them in the oven.

The most important factor for cheddar fries is, obviously, the cheese, but beyond that it’s easy to make things interesting and unique in honor of Cheddar Fries Day. Try out some of these creative ideas for making cheddar fries at home: 

  • Mexican Cheese Fries. In addition to cheese sauce, pile french fries with beef taco meat, black beans, zesty jalapenos, and a delicious lime yogurt sauce.
  • Texas Cheese Fries. This copycat recipe comes from Chili’s restaurant and starts with a big batch of chili in the crockpot. Pile it on top of fries with cheese sauce, bacon, pickled jalapenos and topped off with ranch dressing.
  • Kimchi and Chorizo Fries. Tasty with a healthy kick, these loaded fries have cheese sauce, spicy chorizo, fermented kimchi and green onions.
  • Sloppy Joe Sweet Potato Cheddar Fries. Make things a bit more interesting when you use sweet potato fries instead of regular fries, and then add Sloppy Joe meat, cheddar cheese and chives. A super tasty twist on an American classic.

Learn Some Fun Facts About Cheddar and Fries

In honor of National Cheddar Fries Day, it might be fun to raise awareness and pique the interest of family members and friends by learning and sharing some unique and interesting fun facts about the elements of this dish. Have a go with some of these bits of trivia: 

  • Cheddar cheese comes in a few different interesting varieties. The most common are mild, medium, sharp and extra sharp. But there is also white cheddar, New York style, Orkney Scottish Island Cheddar, and even “red cheddar”, which is really more of a Red Leicester cheese. 

  • French fries don’t seem to have actually originated in France but in Belgium. It is believed they were called French fries because American soldiers first discovered them among the French speaking Belgians. 

  • Cheddar cheese originated in a village in Somerset, England, by the name of Cheddar. 

  • When the restaurant started the price of a portion of McDonald’s French Fries was only ten cents. 

Host a Cheddar Cheese Fries Day Party

It’s fun to get people together to celebrate this tasty and delicious treat on National Cheddar Fries Day. Perhaps host a cheddar cheese fries buffet at home as a fun way to enjoy the day. Or, celebrate the day in the breakroom at work by having coworkers bring in different fixings or other items to put on top of the cheddar fries. It’s a cool way to have lunch at work and build camaraderie as well.

Hold a National Cheddar Fries Competition

For those who want to get a bit more competitive, perhaps it would be fun to turn Cheddar Fries Day into a competition. Allow different competitors to bring their favorite recipes for cheddar fries, chili cheddar fries or loaded cheddar fries, and then host a cookoff. Let other participants be judges and declare the winner as the person whose cheddar fries get the most votes. They could win a simple prize, a certificate or just general bragging rights. Of course, since everyone gets to eat cheddar fries on National Cheddar Fries Day, it turns out that everyone wins! 

National Cheddar Fries Day FAQs

Are cheddar fries gluten free?

Yes, as long as the cheese sauce doesn’t contain gluten, cheddar fries should be gluten free.

Will cheddar cheese melt?

Cheddar cheese melts especially well when it is shredded.[1]

Are cheese fries healthy?

Cheese fries can have a lot of carbs and fat, but they can be made in ways that are healthier. [2]

Are cheese fries good?

Sure! Cheese fries are popular and liked by many, with variations including bacon, jalapeno slices, green onions and more. [3]

How to make cheddar cheese fries?

Making cheddar cheese fries is easy by piling cheese sauce on top of cooked french fries.

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