The Unique Fry Substitute You Can Get At Burger King Japan

Hamburgers and french fries simply go together. Like peanut butter and jelly, bread and butter, and Bert and Ernie — some things were made to be enjoyed as a pair. Your left shoe wouldn't be the same without your right, and burgers aren't as enjoyable without a side of salted potato sticks. 

Americans love their crispy spuds in every french fry cut, so much so that the average citizen eats roughly 29 pounds' worth each year, per National Geographic. And this potato-based love affair is not limited to the 50 states. According to Grit, the U.S. Potato Board has stated that Japan imports more American frozen fries than any other nation, and this demand has increased four times in the past decade. They go on to say that Hong Kong's fry consumption has tripled in the past 10 years and that South Korea's has grown a whopping 400% in a mere five years. Yes, it seems that fast food consumers around the world crave french fries. And yet, Burger King Japan will soon be offering a new side with its burgers. You'll likely be surprised by what it is.    

This new offering was sparked by Japan's potato woes

Yes, according to SoraNews24, Japanese Burger King locations will be able to forgo the traditional french fry side and opt, instead, for the Daitai Potato Set, otherwise known as the "Sorta Potato Set." Starting May 16, customers at these locations can get a bag of Baby Star Dodekai Ramen — salty, crispy pieces of dried ramen noodles that aim to mimic the experience of eating fries — with their burger and drink of choice.

In case you're wondering, this move hasn't been prompted by a decrease in Japan's appreciation for the french fry. According to The Washington Post, Japan, among other countries, has been experiencing a potato shortage due to ongoing supply issues, which prompted the country's McDonald's locations to halt sales of medium and large fries earlier this year. SoraNews24 clarifies that Burger King Japan hasn't mentioned temporarily removing fries from the menu, but it's giving customers a viable alternative as a way to cope with the volatile potato supply. As an incentive, the chain is even offering an "I support the King" sticker with every ramen noodle combo purchase. Who knows? If this catches on, perhaps this new side will spread to other nations, and the "burger and fries" tradition will be dethroned by the "burger and ramen."