Did you think that because of its name, “French fries” were a traditional potato treat first prepared by the great chefs of France?
If you did, you would be wrong! It appears most likely this universally beloved potato dish was invented in Belgium sometime in the winter of 1680. The BBC has reported that when the fried fish lovers of Namur couldn’t find fish to fry because the river was frozen that winter, they found something else to fry – the mighty potato.
Although some of you may question the accuracy of this legend, Belgium sought to have UNESCO add the dish to Belgium’s list of cultural treasures and in 2017, achieved success!
Want to know why “French” has been added to the name? Most culinary historians attribute the addition of the term as a reference to the way it is prepared, not it’s citizenship or origins. “Frenching” describes a method of cutting food that allows all sides of an ingredient to be exposed to heat and cook evenly. For those of you that want to be sticklers for technical and political correctness, a French fry should actually be referred to as a “French fried potato.”