Potato parties, which started in Japan and spread to South Korea, are definitely a thing. Groups of young people order large amounts of french fries and eat them. And bam, you have a potato party! Kids in China just turned these parties into a game. A player versus player, potato-eating battle, if you will.
Earlier this month, Zhao Yong (a pseudonym!) uploaded some photos to a Chinese social networking site. The photos depicted five trays worth of French fries for five french fry challengers.
Zhao and his five friends apparently purchased fifty bags of fries from what looks like Kentucky Fried Chicken in Wenzhou (you can tell it's KFC by the packaging and the fact that they are drinking Pepsi). The goal was to see which of the five could finish their fries.
"We didn't spend that much money," said Zhao. "The point was relieve stress and pressure."
Online in China, there's been speculation about how much all the fries cost. It's unclear if they ordered medium or large fries. If they ordered medium, then the fifty bags cost the equivalent of US$64. If they ordered large, then they cost around $72. That's way less than the $250 spent at a recent potato party in South Korea.
One of the five fry eaters, Zhang Fan (likewise, pseudonym) said they saw photos of potato parties online and decided to have one themselves, adding a game element.
"We've looked into other challenges these days, in our lives where we don't have control, we can change our attitudes by trying something different," said another one of the five.
Yang Jianhua, a research director at the Zhejiang Academy of Social Science says that this type of make shift recreation is good for young people. "It's a harmless activity," says Yang. "These youth have found a way to get together and have fun."
But, surely, with this fry battle even making the TV news in China, these fast food combatants are ready for their next potato battle? "I don't think I'll have any more French fries in 2013," said Dong Cheng (pseudonym), one of the five, with a sigh. He's young. Give him a few days.