Whatever you call them; both France and Belgium lay claim to this delicious treat.
The Belgian Theory (1781)
Even if you don’t agree with the Belgian theory, it’s undeniable that Belgian’s have perfected the fry. If you’ve ever been to Belgium, you know the truth;
“We Belgians, we have made fries a noble food, so much more than just a vegetable.” proudly claims Albert Verdeyen, chef and co-author of the book “Simply Fries”
The French theory (1789)
As for the French, supposedly the first fries were served on ‘Pont Neuf’, the oldest bridge in Paris, where street merchants began selling them just before the French Revolution in 1789. Although the French origin theory has been widely accepted and repeated – I spot a tiny problem with this story line. The Belgian’s (according to the history books) were frying potatoes almost an entire decade before the French merchants figured it out.
“French Fried Potatoes – cut new potatoes in thin slices, put them in boiling fat – add a salt, fry both sides of a light golden brown colour.”
Regardless of the “true story”, people around the world know this startchy treat by the term French Fries – with the exception of (usually all) Belgians, who are clinging to their theory.
Did You Know?
- The average American will consume almost 30 pounds of fries per year.
- Thomas Jefferson gets the credit for introducing French fries to America when he served them at a White House dinner in 1802 after reportedly requesting, “potatoes, fried in the French manner.” (Clearly we know what side he was on…)
- The U.S. eats more fries than any other country, but Belgians consume more French fries per capita. (Because eating them will prove the Belgian’s theory, I guess…)
- Ed “Cookie” Jarvis won the Nathan’s Famous World French Fry Eating Championship in 1995 by downing a total of 4.46 pounds of fries in six minutes.
- Frietmuseum in Bruges, Belgium is the first and only museum in the world dedicated to potato fries.
Who do you believe is actually is responsible for this delicious treat?
While I agree both sides have merit, the only thing I know for sure is that the glorious poutine was invented in Canada!