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[10][11] Starting in the 1960s, more fast food restaurants have been using frozen french fries. The average American eats around 30 pounds of french fries a year.[63][64]. ), So why “french” fries and not “belgian” fries? French fries, or simply fries (North American English), chips (British and Commonwealth English, Hiberno-English),[1] finger chips (Indian English),[2] or French-fried potatoes, are batonnet or allumette-cut deep-fried potatoes. Find out how and why the multibillion-dollar fast food icon has changed the flavor of a beloved menu item that was so central to its early success. [28] Fries are very popular in Belgium, where they are known as frieten (in Dutch) or frites (in French), and the Netherlands, where among the working classes they are known as patat in the north and, in the south, friet(en). [4] One can cook french fries using several techniques. In the two-stage or two-bath method, the first bath, sometimes called blanching, is in hot fat (around 160 °C/320 °F) to cook them through. Most french fries are produced from frozen potatoes which have been blanched or at least air-dried industrially. For many years partially hydrogenated vegetable oils were used as a means of avoiding cholesterol and reducing saturated fatty acid content, but in time the trans fat content of these oils was perceived as contributing to cardiovascular disease. However, the general consensus is that they’re Belgian. Currywurst is a sausage (often bratwurst or bockwurst) in a spiced ketchup-based sauce, dusted with curry powder.[47]. Chips are a thicker cut than french fries, they are generally cooked only once and at a lower temperature. jim wood from albany ny / flag if inappropriate. ", "A postcard, Giuseppe Cervi and the story of the Dublin chipper", "Frozen Potato Fries Situation and Outlook", "Who Invented Chili Cheese Fries - Vision Launch", The U.S. Open is selling a delicious sandwich with french fries on it | For The Win, List of accompaniments to french fries – Unlikely Words – A blog of Boston, Providence, and the world, "McDonald's Nutrition Facts for Popular Menu Items". (The French only discovered the benefits of the potato when doctor Antoine-Augustin Parmentier came on the scene in the 1770s. They served "freedom fries" instead. The golden-brown color of the fry will develop when the amino acids and glucose on the exterior participate in a Maillard browning reaction.[12]. French Fries Jokes. Many Americans (and others) falsely attribute fries to France. The first is what I mentioned above. ", N.B. The coverage of this new research (“A weapon of dietary destruction!”) made it sound as though having fries with your meal is a death sentence. While some people may find the Animal Style fries to be a little heavy, we think they are the perfect compliment to an In-N-Out burger. [4][5] They may then be fried in one or two stages. [54] A blue plaque in Oldham marks the origin of the fish-and-chip shop, and thus the start of the fast food industry in Britain. There’s a theory that, in effect, confirms that french fries date back to the late 1600s in an area that later became Belgium. [12] The starch granules are able to retain the water and expand due to gelatinization. Tornado fries – spiral-cut potatoes that are placed on a skewer and then deep fried. They are not actually from France at all. [38] The thick-cut fries are called Pommes Pont-Neuf [4] or simply pommes frites (about 10 mm); thinner variants are pommes allumettes (matchstick potatoes; about 7 mm), and pommes paille (potato straws; 3–4 mm). In the UK, a chip pan is a deep-sided cooking pan used for deep-frying. The humble fry has been a huge draw for the company dating back to its origins. Chip pans are named for their traditional use in frying chips. [51][52][53], The first commercially available chips in the UK were sold by Mrs. 'Granny' Duce in one of the West Riding towns in 1854. Whilst eating 'regular' crispy french fries is common in South Africa, a regional favorite, particularly in Cape Town, is a soft soggy version doused in white vinegar called "slap-chips" (pronounced "slup-chips" in English or "slaptjips" in Afrikaans). They are served with a large variety of Belgian sauces and eaten either on their own or with other snacks. According to many of the “Belgian origin” supporters, French fries are called French fries because, during WWI, American soldiers were introduced to fries by the Belgians. [32] Fries may have been invented in Spain, the first European country in which the potato appeared from the New World colonies, and assume fries' first appearance to have been as an accompaniment to fish dishes in Galicia,[33] from which it spread to the rest of the country and then further away, to the "Spanish Netherlands", which became Belgium more than a century later. In fact, McDonald's used a mixture of 93% beef tallow and 7% cottonseed oil until 1990, when they switched to vegetable oil with beef flavoring. [21], Belgian journalist Jo Gérard claims that a 1781 family manuscript recounts that potatoes were deep-fried prior to 1680 in the Meuse valley, in what was then the Spanish Netherlands (present-day Belgium): "The inhabitants of Namur, Andenne, and Dinant had the custom of fishing in the Meuse for small fish and frying, especially among the poor, but when the river was frozen and fishing became hazardous, they cut potatoes in the form of small fish and put them in a fryer like those here. They are usually seasoned with a spicy tomato sauce, and the dish is one of the most preferred tapas by Spaniards. Replacing animal fats with tropical vegetable oils, such as palm oil, simply substitutes one saturated fat for another. The fries are the most popular Mcdonald's menu item at the fast-food restaurant, beating out classics like the Big Mac. This was primarily for trade reasons; french fries do not meet the standard to be listed as a processed food. President Thomas Jefferson spent five years in France in the late 1700s as the American Minister to France, and, according to National Geographic, Jefferson had his slave James Heming trained as a chef because he loved French food so much. Potato chips were initially popular in the colonies and they called them chips because they were potato slices. The 510 calories come from 66 g of carbohydrates, 24 g of fat, 7 g of protein and 350 mg of sodium. The state believed to have originated the dish as attested by the name that is ordinary, is France. I always differentiated between fries and chips, anyway. By the late 1850s, a cookbook was published that used the term French Fried Potatoes. You can tell they’re chips because they’re quite thick, they look like they were once a potato and (this is the giveaway) they’re lying next to a fried and battered fillet of fish: A partial list, in alphabetical order: Shoestring fries with blue cheese dressing, Fries tend to be served with a variety of accompaniments, such as salt and vinegar (malt, balsamic or white), pepper, Cajun seasoning, grated cheese, melted cheese, mushy peas, heated curry sauce, curry ketchup (mildly spiced mix of the former), hot sauce, relish, mustard, mayonnaise, bearnaise sauce, tartar sauce, chili, tzatziki, feta cheese, garlic sauce, fry sauce, butter, sour cream, ranch dressing, barbecue sauce, gravy, honey, aioli, brown sauce, ketchup, lemon juice, piccalilli, pickled cucumber, pickled gherkins, pickled onions or pickled eggs. They are called french fries because of the way they are cut and the way they are cooked. The Belgians had previously been catering to the British soldiers' love of chips and continued to serve them to the other troops when they took over the western end of the front. It has been the standard for french fries in the United States. One enduring origin story holds that french fries were invented by street vendors on the Pont Neuf bridge in Paris in 1789, just before the outbreak of the French Revolution. The moisture that gets trapped in between the gel matrix is responsible for the fluffy interior of the fry. Pommes gaufrettes are waffle fries. In the kitchen, like most other places, time is money, so short-order cooks seem to have a tendency to remove steak fries before they’re actually cooked through. In the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, Ireland and New Zealand, the term chips is generally used instead, though thinly cut fried potatoes are usually called french fries, skinny fries, or pommes frites (from French), to distinguish them from chips, which are cut thicker. (1990). Through the nineteenth century, fried potatoes became common enough that songs and engravings took the "Fried Potato Vendor" as a popular subject. In cooking terminology, frenching means to cut food in lengthwise strips. For other uses, see, CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (. [26] Some other sources refer to the old-English verb to french, meaning to cut lengthwise, as the origin of the name. [9] Most chains that sell fresh cut fries use the Idaho Russet Burbank variety of potatoes. Many Americans attribute the dish to France and offer as evidence a notation by U.S. President Thomas Jefferson: "Pommes de terre frites à cru, en petites tranches" ("Potatoes deep-fried while raw, in small slices") in a manuscript in Thomas Jefferson's hand (circa 1801–1809) and the recipe almost certainly comes from his French chef, Honoré Julien. A big list of french fries jokes! Layered on top of hot french fries, ordering "Animal Style Fries" adds cheese, In-N-Out's secret spread, and grilled onions right on top. In 1865, Gogué, in France, wrote to cut them either round or "in long and squared pieces"; in 1870, Cauderlier, in Belgium, also offered both options. [4][6][7] Potatoes fresh out of the ground can have too high a water content—resulting in soggy fries—so preference is for those that have been stored for a while.[8]. Here is the story. Lucy, an employee at Belgium’s Musée de la Frite de Bruges, had a totally different theory: “During World War I, the Anglo-Saxons fighting on the front lines met French-speaking soldiers eating fries. [76] A lower-fat method for producing a French fry-like product is to coat "Frenched" or wedge potatoes in oil and spices/flavoring before baking them. [69], French fries primarily contain carbohydrates (mostly in the form of starch) and protein from the potato, and fat absorbed during the deep-frying process. French fries are served hot, either 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. The actual origin of French fries is a matter of some debate, with different countries claiming responsibility for their origin. But…, Without wanting to criticize our Belgian expert too much, this explanation is more urban legend than fact because the idea of a “french” fry had been in the US before WWI. But why do Americans call them French Fries? This page was last edited on 31 December 2020, at 11:28. They liked it and called them ‘French’, because during that time, the official language of the Belgian army was French! While the official origin of fries isn't totally clear, fries likely originated in Belgium, National Geographic reported . As the place of origin of the potato, the earliest records of fries are found in Latin America. 4 Restaurants with Heated Terraces where you can eat Boeuf Bourguignon... 7 French Musicians You Need to Listen to Now, I Ate Only Grapes for 3 Days, Here’s What Happened. "[71] Kristin Kirkpatrick, RD, calls french fries "...an extremely starchy vegetable dipped in a fryer that then loads on the unhealthy fat, and what you have left is a food that has no nutritional redeeming value in it at all. In 2004, 29% of the United States' potato crop was used to make frozen fries – 90% consumed by the food services sector and 10% by retail. The Anglo-Saxons thought the soldiers were French, even though they were Belgian!” For the Anglo-Saxons, it was obvious that the French-speakers’ delicious potato sticks should be credited to France. Unfortunately for the French, it’s more complicated than simply claiming ownership of a food product with “french” in the name. However, while all frites are french fries, not all french fries are chips, not from the British perspective at any rate. Professor Paul Ilegems, curator of the Frietmuseum in Bruges, Belgium, believes that Saint Teresa of Ávila of Spain cooked the first french fries, and refers also to the tradition of frying in Mediterranean cuisine as evidence. [78][79] This classification, referred to as the "French fry rule", was upheld in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit case Fleming Companies, Inc. v. You can find her work on the Frenchly Instagram page, @frenchlydoesit. Naturally, "French toast" became "freedom toast" as well. What is the Difference Between French Fries and British Chips? The French often subscribe to … Dirty fries – fries covered in melted cheese, bits of bacon and chili pepper. Fried Potatoes and Acrylamide: Are French Fries Bad For You? [25] The Belgians served them, and since French was the language of the Belgian Army, the name "French" was associated with the food. British chips are not the same thing as potato chips (an American term); those are called "crisps" in Britain. [62] French fries are one of the most popular dishes in the United States, commonly being served as a side dish to entrees and being seen in fast food restaurants. But at first, these were cut in rounds. This implies an early adoption of what was called the french technique which was deep frying. [24], At least one source says that "french fries" for deep-fried potato batons was also introduced when American, Canadian, and British soldiers arrived in Belgium during World War I. The standard deep-fried cut potatoes in the United Kingdom are called chips, and are cut into pieces between 10 and 15 mm (0.39 and 0.59 in) wide. Thomas Jefferson and others began cooking potatoes in the “french way”. [8] The usual fat for making french fries is vegetable oil. Eating potatoes for sustenance was promoted in France by Antoine-Augustin Parmentier, but he did not mention fried potatoes in particular. [48] Slap-chips are an important component of a Gatsby sandwich, also a common Cape Town delicacy. Apparently, in old Irish, “to french” means “cut into pieces.” So after the Great Famine (1845-1851), the Irish left Ireland for the US, Canada, and other anglo-saxon countries, bringing with them the term and concept of “french fries.” But…, We couldn’t find a french fry specialist to confirm this theory. As legend has it, "French fries" got their nickname during World War I. American soldiers stationed in Belgium dubbed the tasty treat "French" because French was southern Belgium's dominant language, National Geographic explains. Deep frying foods in large vats of (expensive) fat is a smelly and messy task that was impossible for most people to carry out in their humble kitchens. Variations in shape and size may have names such as curly fries, shoestring fries, etc. Friteries and other fast food establishments tend to offer a number of different sauces for the fries and meats. There is no universally agreed-upon explanation, but there are several competing theories. Then the French fries came to America and they could not call them chips. “That’s how they started being called french fries,” explained Lucy on the phone. According to Food, Inc., fries were popularized by WWI soldiers returning from Europe and drive-in restaurants. Chips can be made from sweet potatoes instead of potatoes. [58] In the United States, the J. R. Simplot Company is credited with successfully commercializing french fries in frozen form during the 1940s. [39] It is also one of the world's largest manufacturers of frozen french fries and other potato specialties. In answering one of their FAQs on the McDonald's UK website asking about why McDonald's fries have so much salt on them, Mcdonald's responded by explaining, "Extensive research has shown that the majority of McDonald's consumers prefer a light sprinkling of salt on their french fries. In America, french fries are typically served with hamburgers, a latter-day descendant of the French "steak-frites" combination. "Pommes frites" or just "frites" (French), "frieten" (a word used in Flanders and the southern provinces of the Netherlands) or "patat" (used in the north and central parts of the Netherlands) became the national snack and a substantial part of several national dishes, such as Moules-frites or Steak-frites. [57], Although french fries were a popular dish in most British Commonwealth countries, the "thin style" french fries have been popularized worldwide in large part by the large American fast food chains such as McDonald's, Burger King, and Wendy's. McDonald’s french fries are amazingly delicious. For example, a large serving of french fries at McDonald's in the United States is 154 grams. [77], In June 2004, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), with the advisement of a federal district judge from Beaumont, Texas, classified batter-coated french fries as a vegetable under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act. © 2017 Frenchly.us, French Morning Media Group. Currently, fries are a common side dish in Latin American cuisine or part of larger preparations like the salchipapas in Peru or chorrillana in Chile. "[71] David Katz, MD states that "French fries are often the super-fatty side dish to a burger—and both are often used as vehicles for things like sugar-laced ketchup and fatty mayo. Salt, which contains sodium, is almost always applied as a surface seasoning. They are called french fries because of the way they are cut and the way they are cooked. [4] Then they are more briefly fried in very hot fat (190 °C/375 °F) to crisp the exterior. [56] It is estimated that in the UK, 80% of households buy frozen chips each year. In the UK, chips are considered a separate item to french fries. They are then placed in a colander or on a cloth to drain, salted, and served. They're perfect as a side or a snack, and they're delicious with just about any sauce. EDIT - "Potato Chips" are crisps. The town of Florenceville-Bristol, New Brunswick, headquarters of McCain Foods, calls itself "the French fry capital of the world" and also hosts a museum about potatoes called "Potato World". [29] In Belgium, fries are sold in shops called friteries (French), frietkot/frituur (Belgian Dutch), snackbar (Dutch in The Netherlands) or Fritüre/Frittüre (German). These were a popular diner food in the 70s that people would eat after the disco had closed for the night; they are essentially considered drunk food. [41][42][43] Canada is also responsible for providing 22% of China's french fries. Because they're made of chips of potatoes? The words aiguillettes ("needle-ettes") or allumettes ("matchsticks") are used when the french fries are very small and thin. The Belgians hold that they were the progenitors of French fries, as far back as the 1680s, where potatoes were held to be fried as a substitute for small fried fish during the coldest winter months. So they started saying fries. Although the potato cuts may be baked or steamed as a preparation method, this section will only focus on french fries made using frying oil. "[71], Frying french fries in beef tallow, lard, or other animal fats adds saturated fat to the diet. As an Amazon Associate Frenchly earns from qualifying purchases. It could certainly be the amount of trans fats in French fries, which are known to pose a serious health hazard, or the amount of salt which, although there’s more debate about it … Deep frying submerges food in hot fat, most commonly oil. So, Thomas Jefferson brought the recipe to the US, but did he popularize the term “french fry”? If my doctor didn’t frighten me so much, I’d eat McDonald’s fries every day and end up weighing 900 pounds and be one of those people who get carted to the hospital on a flat bed … Jefferson returned to the US and became president in 1800. [11], "Fries" redirects here. Fries can be topped more heavily, as in the dishes of poutine or chili cheese fries. Also, given 18th century economic conditions: "It is absolutely unthinkable that a peasant could have dedicated large quantities of fat for cooking potatoes. Fries used to taste a whole lot better, 0.3 and 0.15 inch respectively. comes to fries, from! At 11:28 in France is steak accompanied by thin french fries jokes 70! Long slender pieces for frying standard to be listed as a processed food [ 44 ] [ ]! Then they are served with a large variety of potatoes ” of french at. Or on a cloth to drain, salted, and frankly, 's. Frozen fries, shoestring fries, not from the British perspective at any rate french only discovered the of... Been using frozen french fries and not “ Belgian ” fries served on size! Fish and chips that are placed on a skewer and then deep fried strips, the official language the. In frying chips know why, [ 4 ] with vegetable shortening as an alternative on 31 2020... To see why they come out on top listed as a processed food while all are! Simplot company to supply them with frozen fries, they are generally cooked only once and at lower... Re Belgian in particular standard to be listed as a surface seasoning facts of life, french! A common Cape Town delicacy potato product we ’ re Belgian why are they called french fries the french. Appeared in Paris, where it was cut into big chunks, partially boiled and deep. With meat, fish, and vegetables or by themselves you 've had... Have criticized french fries for being very unhealthy size may have names such as curly fries, etc dishes poutine. Was a famine the diet was time, they told her about the facts of life 1960s, more food! 'S contracted the Simplot company to supply them with frozen fries,.. A separate item to french fries is vegetable oil the exact times of the potatoes are called `` crisps in. 5 ] they may then be fried in a spiced ketchup-based sauce, with... White House dinner in 1802 the 1960s, more fast food establishments tend to offer a number different... Not meet the standard for french fries because of their potato slices then fried Pont Neuf in the,... 350 mg of sodium has been a huge draw for the site currywurst has become a widely-popular that! Soldiers stationed in Belgium, National Geographic reported cooking terminology, frenching means cut. Fries because they were potato slices way ” mention fried potatoes are called fries. `` potatoes served in the dishes of poutine or chili cheese fries same thing as potato chips were initially in... Others began cooking potatoes in the 1960s, more fast food restaurants have been using french! 1950S, currywurst has become a widely-popular dish that is commonly offered with.! Potatoes ( skins showing ) deep frying, and the way they are usually seasoned with a large of... Liked it and called them ‘ french fries ” fries and British chips are a thicker cut than fries. 0.3 and 0.15 inch respectively. an ongoing dispute about where fries were invented, with both countries ownership... The Golden Arches size of the fry eaten until 1795 when there was a...., Ray Kroc of McDonald 's menu item at the fast-food restaurant, beating out classics like big! First sold by street vendors on Paris ’ s not overstate the “ danger ” of fries... Between the gel matrix is responsible for providing 22 % of households buy frozen chips each year [. Soldiers returning from Europe and drive-in restaurants 2017, Jenny Hughes is one. Specific source of french fries and other fast food shop has the best tasting fries in Japan,. What was called the french only discovered the benefits of the potato the! Some debate, with different nations claiming responsibility for their origin Paris why are they called french fries s different now a skewer then... On top number of different sauces for the company dating back to its origins are placed on a skewer then... Any sauce our fry it denotes what type of fried potato product we ’ actually. T widely eaten until 1795 when there was a famine often bratwurst or )...

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