In most western countries one of the most popular fast foods is the humble French fry. These tasty, thinly cut and fried potato chips are served alongside burgers, salads, fish and a variety of other foods. They can even be purchased frozen at the local supermarket to be taken home and cooked in the comfort of your own home. So who invented these tasty morsels and are they really French? Read on to find out.
The Invention of French Fries
French Fries have a number of different names including chips and French-fried potato and are simply thinly cut pieces of potato that are deep-fried in oil. The first recorded mention of anything that resembles French fries is in Belgium in 1680. Villagers in a remote village would cut potatoes into long strips and deep-fry them to accompany their meals when the river was frozen and they could not catch fish. The term French fries was applied to this potato meal by the American soldiers when they arrived in Belgium during World War I. They called them French Fries after tasting the Belgium fries because French was their national language at the time.
There is some evidence that French Fires actually originated in France. It is believed that President Thomas Jefferson during the years 1801-1809 made a note referring to “potatoes deep-fried while raw, in small cuttings”. This is a recipe he is believed to have gotten from his French chef. In 1802 at a White House dinner “potatoes served in the French manner” were on the menu.