The History of French Fries in ‘Star Trek’ on National French Fry Day

French fries on 'Star Trek: Picard'

ViacomCBS French fries and peppermint ice cream as seen in the "Star Trek: Picard" episode, "Broken Pieces."

July 13, 2022, is National French Fry Day in the United States. Many restaurants, according to Today.com, the Today Show’s site, are celebrating by offering free fries, among them McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, Hardee’s, Sonic, Fatburger, Elevation Burger, and Charleys. And, so tasty and timeless are the fried and salted pieces of potato, that they’ve managed to be included in several iterations of “Star Trek,” including “Enterprise,” “Short Treks,” “Discovery,” “Lower Decks,” and “Picard.”

The “Star Trek” wiki site Memory Alpha maintains a running list of mentions and appearances of French fries across the franchise. Some of the appearances occur in our present, in the 21st century, but a few of them take place — or will take place — deep in the future, in the 22nd, 23rd, and 24th centuries. Below are the French fry references, according to Memory Alpha:

“T’Pol and Captain Jonathan Archer time traveled back to October 2004, they visited a Burgerland restaurant for a meal. Anything they sold could be made into a combo by adding fries and a soft drink. When Loomis was being held in captivity, he ordered the fries, and offered some to T’Pol, as they were one of the few things that did not contain meat.” (ENT: “Carpenter Street”)

T’Pol & Archer Dined at Burgerland in ‘Carpenter Street” 

Burgerland

ParamountBurgerland served up French fries in the “Star Trek: Enterprise” episode, Carpenter Street.”

“In August of 2151, one of the dishes in the serving case of the mess hall aboard Enterprise NX-01 consisted of french fries and sandwiches.” (ENT: “Fortunate Son”)

“Chef planned to serve french fries with Argelian cole slaw and grilled alpine surprise on August 21st, 2152.” (ENT: “Singularity”)

“A side of french fries accompanying a hamburger, hot dog or fried chicken was among multiple dishes that, in 2153, Tarquin served Human Starfleet Ensign Hoshi Sato, while she was on his planet.” (ENT: “Exile”)

“In the late 2250s, a french fry was one of the many food items vomited out by food synthesizers when Me Hani Ika Hali Ka Po and Sylvia Tilly were in the mess hall aboard the USS Discovery.” (ST: “Runaway”)

“In an alternate timeline of the mirror universe in 2255 created by the Guardian of Forever in 3189, Michael Burnham was provided french fries, tomato and egg white in the ISS Discovery brig.” (DIS: “Terra Firma, Part 2”)

Michael Burnham Was Treated to Eggs, Tomatoes & French Fries While in the Brig

French fries in 'Star Trek: Discovery'

ViacomCBSFrench fries as seen in the “Star Trek: Discovery” episode, “Terra Firma.”


“In 2257, Una Chin-Riley ordered french fries along with a cheeseburger with habanero sauce from a food synthesizer aboard Discovery.” (DIS: “An Obol for Charon”)

“In 2381, Lieutenant Shaxs ordered French fries from the replicator at the bar on the USS Cerritos. He also ordered a hot dog with spicy kiwi flavored ketchup.” (LD: “We’ll Always Have Tom Paris”)

“In 2399, Cristóbal Rios got Soji Asha some french fries and peppermint ice cream from a replicator aboard La Sirena, which she admitted that she liked. Jana also liked french fries and peppermint ice cream, and would dip the former in the latter.” (PIC: “Broken Pieces”)

On September 3, 2021, “Star Trek: Picard” producer and showrunner Terry Matalas shared a tweet that read: “Picard’s Replicator… who’s hungry?” and included a close-up photograph of the illuminated screen on Picard’s replicator and an emoji of a man raising his had. Among the options the replicator could offer Picard were Atlantic Salmon, Diced Tomatoes, Atlantic Cod, Garlic, Fingerling Potatoes, Peppermint Ice Cream, and… French Fries. Matalas’s tweet was posted long after the episode “Broken Pieces” aired, which, according to Memory Alpha, happened on March 12, 2021.

‘Picard’ Producer Matalas Tweeted about Jean-Luc’s Replicator, Which Could Whip Up… French Fries. 


French fries have been in the news lately, on Earth, in the here and now. In addition to all of the coverage devoted to National French Fry Day in such outlets as USA Today, People Magazine, Thrillist, NBC Los Angeles, Parade, and NBC New York, The Washington Post published a story on July 10, 2022, with the following headline: “Russia’s alternative to McDonald’s facing french fry shortage.” The story noted that, “The recently opened Russian alternative to McDonald’s — which left the country in May over Russia’s war in Ukraine — is both a fast-food chain and a currency in Moscow’s propaganda campaigns. In a shortage wrought with symbolism, Vkusno i Tochka, which translates as ‘Tasty and that’s it,’ is limiting the sale of fries this summer because it is unable to source enough potatoes, the company told Russian state news agency Tass Friday. The Russian franchise said it is running low on the menu’s country-style potatoes, its thicker-cut cousin of the Americanized french fry, because of supply chain disruptions in part caused by war and Western sanctions.”

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