Thin, crisp, and oh-so indulgent, there is nothing quite as addictive as French fries. The deep-fried potato fritters have caught the fancy of foodies for centuries, across continents, and have established themselves as the best sidekick to so many dishes. On its own too, French fries could be quite a snack to munch on. Smeared in Ketchup, mayonnaise, or an array of sauces and dips, French-fries make for our most favorite go-to snack in times good, bad, and ugly. True, there is a lot of credit due to the person who came up with the ingenious idea to fry the potatoes in such a way, but if you have been crediting a certain Frenchmen for the crispy goodness, you may want to read its twisted history.
The Belgian Contribution
Several historians claim that what we enjoy today as French fries, may not be a French creation but a Belgian one. According to them, it was in Belgium where potatoes were being fried in the late-1600. Belgian villagers use to slice their fish thin, fry them, and eat them as a snack. But in winter months when the river would freeze, it would get difficult for the villagers to fish. What started as an alternative paved the way for the creation of our beloved French fries?
The villagers near river Muese turned to the tuber and sliced and fried it pretty much the same way as they would fry their fish, and thus the earliest version of French Fries were born. During World War 1 when American soldiers chanced upon the fried delicacy, then immediately fell in love with it. Since the dominant language of southern Belgium is French, they dubbed them as “French” fries and the name stayed.
The French Connection
There is a set of Historians who claim that French fries are indeed French. First sold by street vendors on Paris’s Pont Neuf in the 1780s, the thin potato fritters were one of the most sold items before the outbreak of the French revolution.
How did the Americans add to the confusion?
According to the manuscript by President Thomas Jefferson written in the early 19th century- he talks about Pommes de terre frites en petites tranches” (“Potatoes deep-fried while raw, in small slices”). Historians claim that the recipe came from a French chef, Honoré Julien. And by the 1850s, the recipe became one of the mainstays in the popular American cookbooks as ‘French Fried Potatoes’.
For the Love of French Fries
French fries are a common side dish to burgers, fried chicken, grilled steak, and fried fish. In Belgium, people often team their fries with cooked mussels or with a fried egg on top. Fish ‘n’ chips are one of America’s favorite style of having them. In the Middle-East, French fries find their place in the pita bread with other fillings to make a wholesome snack. Poutine is a famous dish hailing from Canada and America consisting of French fries and cheese curds, topped with lip-smacking brown gravy.
In Pakistan from our shopping partner with chatni to burger companion, Toddler’s first bite to Grandpa’s choice, French fries always stand by our side. I being a foodie love these golden strips in all forms and shapes. Currently, French fries cover a variety of flavors ranging from Waffle Fries to Belgian Fries, Tater Tots to Cottage Fries, Garlic Fries to Cheese Fries, Standard Cuts to Crinkle Cut, Chili Cheese Fries to Sweet Potato Fries.
What are you waiting for? Give your taste buds a treat with the deliciousness of these golden strips and let us know the new variants.