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The French Fries Museum Is In Belgium Where Fries Originated


National French Fry Day on July 13th recognizes a staple food on menus across the country. It comes in so many different cuts and styles, there’s a favorite for everyone to enjoy!

  • French fries, also known as chips, fries, finger chips or French-fried potatoes, are batons of deep-fried potatoes. No matter what we call them, they’re common fixtures at fast-food restaurants and are loved by adults and kids alike!
  • A wide selection of condiments such as ketchup, ranch dressing, vinegar, mayonnaise, honey mustard, cheese, and many more compliment French fries. As a healthier alternative, sweet potatoes also make delicious fries and accompany many dishes on menus around the country. Other varieties are baked and come in unusual shapes such as curls, waffles, crinkle, or tornado cut.
  • The expression “French Fried Potatoes” first occurs in print in English in the 1856 work Cookery for Maids of All Work by E. Warren.
  • French Fries are one of many foods whose name is most misleading, as the origins of this fat fried food seem to be in Belgium. 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. Since French was the official language of the Belgian Army at that time, it is possible the American soldiers began calling the fried potatoes “French” fries.
  • In England these are referred to as “chips”
  • Though French fries were invented in Europe, the potatoes, from which they are made, originated in the Americas and were imported.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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 (though the USDA reports that fries play a major role in making potatoes the country’s most popular vegetable).
  • The French Fries Museum known as Friet Museum. It is located in Belgium
  • The eating methods also differ significantly all over the world. For example, Vietnamese sprinkle sugar on fries and serve them with soft butter, Americans use ketchup, mayonnaise is popular in Belgium, malt vinegar and salt is popular in Britain.
  • 37% of all women who eat French fries prefer to have their fries look perfect. Men are less picky with only 25% of men going for perfect looking fries.


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