Today July 13th is National French Fries Day! The origins of the world-famous fries are not too clear and the debate is ongoing. Are fries really French? Belgium? Or even American? Well, the history of the infamous fries is confusing and each country can actually claim part ownership for they all contributed to the making of the French Fries.
In France potatoes or les patates or pommes de terre were a common poor man’s staple food and were sold on the streets as fried potato slices before the Revolution. It was a man called Antoine-Augustin Parmentier who made the potato famous with the dish Hachi-Parmentier which he named after himself. Meanwhile, in Belgium, the potato or pommes-frites were already being fried as of 1600s, and in America it is said that Thomas Jefferson talked about thin fried potato slices or French fried potatoes when he had his chef Honoré Julien prepare them in the 1800s.
In any event, the French have made ’em their own. My favorite ways to enjoy fries are steak frites, poulet frites, moules frites, merguez frites or even a simple cornet de frites which is a bunch of fries in a paper cone container sold on street corners in France.
Vive les frites!
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