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History of French Fries - Are They Truly French? - Let's Find Out

French Fries, which we usually prefer eating with our main meals, are one of the most popular options among sides. But the question arises, Are French Fries truly French? To find out that,

let's dive deep into the history of french fries and know the story of their existence. But before that, let’s know what actually french fries are.

What are French Fries?

French fries, or just fries, are one of the most popular side dishes in the world. Flavoured dips, mayonnaise, ketchup, and vinegar often accompany them. The vinegar sounds weird? Yepp, it is. French fries are also tossed with 1-2 tbsp vinegar and salt after they are fried to give them a tangy taste, and people do like that.

French fries are deep-fried potatoes of disputed origin from Belgium and France. They are prepared by cutting potatoes into even strips, drying them, and frying them, usually in a deep fryer. Pre-cut, blanched, and frozen russet potatoes are popular for baking in a regular or convection oven. One can also cook them in an air fryer, a small convection oven marketed specifically for frying food such as potatoes. This method can give the potatoes a crispy texture without adding oil.

French fries are served hot, soft, or crispy and are generally eaten as part of lunch or dinner or by themselves as a snack, and they commonly appear on the menus of diners, fast food restaurants, pubs, and bars. French fries are a popular side dish typically salted and served with various condiments such as ketchup, vinegar, mayonnaise, tomato sauce, or other local specialities. One can also top them more heavily in poutine or chilli cheese fries. French fries can also be made from sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes. A healthier variant, oven fries, uses less or no oil. They are typically baked in the oven to achieve a crispy texture.

Origin of French Fries

Though the name and popularity of French fries confuse people for it being French. The origins can be found in Belgium, where historians claim potatoes were fried in the late-1600s.

According to Belgian lore, poor villagers living in Meuse Valley would often eat small fried fish they caught in the river. During the winter months, fishing would become an impossible task when the river froze and forced villagers to find other food sources.

This was when the villagers turned to the root plant, potatoes, slicing and frying them just like they prepared fish. American soldiers were first introduced to the fries while stationed in Belgium during World War I.

The French fries’ American connection

Some historians have claimed that this recipe came from the French chef Honoré Julien. According to an early 19th-century manuscript written by then-US President Thomas Jefferson, he talks about a dish called ‘Pommes de Terre Frites en Petite's tranches’ (Potatoes deep-fried while raw, in small slices). By the 1850s, this recipe gained so much popularity that it became a mainstay in several American cookbooks such as ‘French Fried Potatoes.’

How many flavours of Fries have you tried yet?

There are a variety of flavours of French fries that one must taste. Some of them are:

  • Plain fries, which are salted and served with ketchup or other dipping sauces

  • Garlic fries, which are sprinkled with minced garlic and parsley before serving

  • Cajun fries are seasoned with a blend of spices that typically includes cayenne pepper, paprika, and garlic powder

  • Chilli cheese fries, which are topped with chilli and shredded cheese

  • Truffle fries, which are drizzled with truffle oil and often served with grated Parmesan cheese

  • Curry fries, which are seasoned with curry powder and cumin

  • Buffalo fries, which are coated in buffalo wing sauce and often served with blue cheese dressing

  • Parmesan fries, which are sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese and parsley

  • Poutine fries, topped with gravy and cheese curds, are originally from Canada.

In conclusion, French fries are a beloved and classic food you can enjoy in various ways. They are high in fat and salt, making them pleasurable to eat and providing a comforting and familiar taste. Additionally, with such wide varieties of French fries, there is a flavour and texture to suit every taste. Whether you prefer thin and crispy shoestring fries, thick and soft steak fries, or even sweet potato fries, you will surely find a variety that will delight your taste buds. Try different types of fries to explore new flavours and textures; you may discover your new favourite. Don’t forget to try OG Fries and Truffle fries from BBurger. Tell us in the comments which flavours of french fries you have tried and liked.

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