How French are French Fries – The Debate of the Fries

Whether or not the French fry is French, despite its name, is an extended debatable theory. The French fry origins are from Belgium. Of course, the French would love to assert that they were the first to make French fries and add it to their list of gastronomic specialties. Regrettably, for the French, it is complicated to claim the ownership of this food product bearing the name ‘French.’ Two questions always surround the debate about the origins of the crispy goodness.

  • Who made French Fries?
  • Why are they known as French fries?

As per local Belgian wisdom, the poor villagers in Meuse Valley ate small fried fish available in the local river. In the winter, the river froze, making fishing impossible and this compelled the villagers to look for other sources of food. This was the time the villagers switched over to the root plant which helped with the grand entry of potatoes. They sliced and fried it in the same way that they prepared their fish. This was the first steps of French fries that came into existence.

American soldiers were presented with French fries when based in Belgium during World War I. The official language of the Belgian army was French, and the soldiers named them ‘French’s Fries.’ Thus, the name stuck, and now even after decades, the credit goes to the wrong country. French fries are a popular side, and when it comes to dipping, they are relished with ketchup, vinegar, mayonnaise, etc. In Belgium, people preferred eating French fries with a fried egg on top or with cooked mussels. The UK is well-known for its chips and fish. In the Middle East, the fries are eaten wrapped in pita bread with chicken, and in France, it is served with grilled steak. Who introduced these golden strips of goodness is not known precisely. However, among several theories, it is accepted that The Belgians or the French invented the French fry.

Facts:

  1. Regardless of if the Belgians invented French fry or not, today, they are consumed the most in Europe.
  2. The finger chips are known by two different terminologies, based on their thick and thin cuts. The thick ones are chips, and the thin ones are fries. In North America also, it is called French fries.
  3. The French fries of Burger King is sprayed with a sugar solution before being packaged or shipped to franchise locations. This is the reason it has a golden color as a result of sugar caramelization.
  4. McDonald’s fry their fries twice, and this process takes around 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Belgians are known to be the world’s connoisseurs serving French fries with an egg topping. They place a raw egg cracked over the French fries as soon as the chips are pulled from the fryer. This heat cooks the egg, but the yoke runs dipping off of the fries.
  6. The favorite condiments to dip the French fries vary with each country. Americans use ketchup to dip, in some parts of Europe, mayonnaise is used, the British take malt vinegar to dip the fries, and the French eat the fries straight.