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A 1781 Note Says French Fries Were To Be Cut Into The Shape Of Fish

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fry day

Each year on July 13, many people will participate in National French Fry Day by enjoying one of the many varieties of the classic food.

  • The expression “French Fried Potatoes” first occurs in print in English in the 1856 work Cookery for Maids of All Work by E. Warren.
  • The story of their creation can be found in a family manuscript dated 1781, which reveals that potatoes were originally cut into the shape of fish and served in lieu of the fish normally caught in a series of small villages in Belgium.It seems the river had frozen over and the fish they normally caught and fried were unable to be caught.
  • It is believed by some that the term “French” was introduced to the potatoes when the American soldiers arrived in Belgium during World War I and consequently tasted Belgian fries.  It is suggested that they called them “French” as it was the official language of the Belgian Army at that time.
  • Leaving the potato skin on French fries actually leaves in important vitamins that are lost if the skins are peeled away.
  • The first occurrence of French fries in America may have been at a diplomatic dinner hosted by Thomas Jefferson.
  • Between the 1850s and 1930s, French fries were known more illustratively as “French fried potatoes” in America.  Around the 1930s, everybody dropped the “potatoes” on the end and just called them French fries.
  • Leaving the potato skin on French fries actually leaves in important vitamins that are lost if the skins are peeled away.
  • The slang term for potato, “spud”, comes from the spade-like tool that is used to harvest the potatoes.
  • Americans eat more than 16 pounds of French fries every year, which comes to over 2 million tons!
  • Belgium consumes more fried potatoes per capita than any other country—some 165 pounds a person annually, according to 2010 statistics. By contrast, the average American eats 48 pounds of all varieties of potato over the course of a year
  • McDonald’s uses about 7% of the potatoes grown in the United States for its French fries. They sell more than 1/3 of all the French fries sold in restaurants in the U.S. each year.
  • To burn off the calories in a medium order of McDonald’s French fries, you would need to do: 58 minutes of cycling, 90 minutes of bowling or 47 minutes of high impact aerobics.
  • McCain Foods is the world’s largest producer of frozen fries, those cooked in factories and then reheated in restaurants and homes. One in three fries in the world comes from McCain.

Sources:

National Day Calendar

Days of the Year

Foodimentary

Mobile-Cuisine

Mental Floss

 

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An experienced TV News manager, Mark Young is highly regarded as one of the most well respected and trusted media leaders in Florida. In over 40 years in the broadcast industry, Mark has managed news operations in small and large markets throughout the United States. As Broward Bureau Manager for CBS4 News, Mark was responsible for all news developments throughout Broward and Palm Beach Counties. Mark now oversees the daily publication of two online news sites “South Florida Reporter” and “Southwest Florida Reporter.”