French fries, also known as chips or fries, are a beloved food around the world. They are a staple in many fast food restaurants and are a popular side dish to accompany a variety of meals. But where did these crispy, golden potatoes come from? In this blog post, we will explore the history and origin of French fries.
The origin of French fries
The origin of French fries is a topic of much debate. Many countries claim to have invented the beloved dish, but the most widely accepted theory is that French fries originated in Belgium.
The Belgian theory
According to Belgian food historian Jo Gerard, the modern French fry was invented in the late 1700s by Belgian villagers who lived near the Meuse River. The villagers would fish for small fish in the river and fry them up as a tasty treat. However, in the winter months when the river would freeze over and fishing was not possible, they turned to slicing and frying potatoes as a substitute.
The French connection
Despite the Belgian origins of French fries, they were popularized in France during World War I. American soldiers, who were stationed in Belgium, discovered the delicious fries and brought the recipe back to the United States. The French name “pommes frites” (which translates to “fried potatoes”) is thought to have been anglicized to “French fries.”
The Americanization of French fries
French fries became a popular food in the United States after World War I, and they continue to be a staple in American cuisine. Fast food chains such as McDonald’s and Burger King have made French fries a staple in their menus, and they have become a popular side dish for burgers and hot dogs.
Variations of French fries
French fries come in many different variations around the world. In Belgium, they are often served with mayonnaise or a variety of other sauces. In the United Kingdom, they are known as “chips” and are often served with fish and chips. In the United States, French fries are typically served with ketchup, but they can also be topped with cheese, chili, or other toppings.
French fries have a rich history and have evolved over time, but the most widely accepted theory is that they originated in Belgium. They were popularized in France during World War I and have since become a beloved food around the world. Whether you call them fries, chips, or pommes frites, one thing is for sure – French fries are a delicious and timeless dish.