They’re salty, crunchy, delicious. You can dip ’em. Eat them plain. Put them on a sandwich. A hamburger isn’t a hamburger without them by its side. You guessed right. They’re French fries! Or frites, if you wanna get all European about it. And we do — especially when we realized that there was a good pun in there!

All this week on Food Republic, like sailors coming ashore to run amok during an annual Fleet Week, frites will dominate our usual food-obsessed conversation. We’ll go back to the 15th century to trace the fry’s origin story. We’ll explore potato alternatives in fries. We’ll debate the merits of tater tots and other variations on fried potatoes. For our Canadian friends, we’ll celebrate a certain fry-related dish that’s become a national treasure. We even have some hard news: a special investigation into the black market for fryer oil. And for those who want to up their home fries game — well, not “home fries,” but fries made at home — there’ll be recipes every damn day.

For too long the French fry has been relegated to sidekick status. It’s time to think more deeply about what for many of us has been the longest-running favorite food in the repertoire. It’s time to, as David Foster Wallace might have put it, consider the French fry. It’s time, friends, to celebrate French fries. So pour yourself a cup of ketchup or mayonnaise or vinegar and get ready to dip into Frites Week!