More About National French Fry Day 🍟

Estimates say Americans eat around 30 pounds of French fries per person each year. That seems like a lot, but when you think about all the ways you can eat fries, it adds up quickly. They’re easy to gobble down, whether they’re straight out of a fast-food French-fry container or whether you’re an expert at making fries at home. Add in all of the different condiments, and these simple potatoes become even more popular. The term ‘French fries’ refers to deep-fried slices or strips of potatoes. While the precise origins are unknown, the item hit the culinary scene sometime in the 1700s. It had taken an entire century for potatoes to become widely accepted as food, arriving in Europe in the 1600s. Like most iconic foods, the French fry has an interesting folk story about how it was created. Belgians call dibs on the origins of French fries, claiming it to be an invention of their people. According to a manuscript by Joseph Gerard, the residents of the Meuse Valley, located near Dinant in Belgium, consumed a lot of fish, since they lived near the river. During winters, when the rivers would freeze and fishing would become difficult, the idea to slice potatoes like fish fillets and fry them in hot fat was born. But all credit does go to the French for popularizing frying foods and selling them in public on street carts called ‘frites,’ in the mid-1700s. Eventually, potatoes were cut in all sorts of shapes and fried. As to how French fries arrived in America, there are two versions of that story, too. The more popular and accepted fact is that Thomas Jefferson brought the dish to the U.S.A. While serving time as an ambassador, Jefferson spent a lot of time in France and went on to serve “potatoes served in the French manner” at a White House dinner in 1802. The other theory is that World War I soldiers who were stationed around Dinant in Belgium took a liking to the local finger food known as ‘pommes frites’ and took the idea back with them. This is when French fries really took off and became mainstream in the U.S. NATIONAL FREN

Date & Time

July 13, 2022

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