Admit it! You know you love it! French Fries have more fans than world’s most popular political figures, world’s most popular cars, world’s most popular movies and world’s most popular sportsmen. These lovely sticks of potatoes, fried to perfection and bathed in a golden brown hue – they are just yum. So, let us skip our ridiculous attempts of being poetic and straightaway jump to the list of 21 weird and interesting French Fries facts. Trust us when we say, ‘you will be blown away by these facts!’
Interesting French Fries Facts: 1-10
1. Let’s start with the weirdest one. French fries were not invented in France. We don’t claim that. Many people believe that. The credit is mostly given to the Kingdom of Belgium.
2. Considering that Belgium indeed gave the world it most favorite potato dish, here is the story of how it all started in that small sovereign state that is almost invisible on world map:
“Belgians kinda loved small fish captured from river. They fried them and ate them. Unfortunately, the rivers froze during winter months, cutting off the supply of fish. Belgians could barely stand the thought of not eating their favorite water creatures and ended up slicing potatoes into long slices to mimic the shape of those small fish and frying the sliced potatoes. They ate them as replacement for fish and this practice began all the way back in 1600s.”
3. Some say that the French were the ones who invented the French fries. Assuming that French were right, what is the French side of the story? Here, it is something like this:
“French really hated these bloody potatoes and held the view that they were riddled with diseases. So, people in France did not eat them. Potatoes that grew in France were all fed to animals. It once happened that a medical officer from French Army was thrown in prison as a Prisoner of War. Now as a punishment, he was forced to eat potatoes. Surprisingly, his punishment led him to make an interesting discovery! The potatoes were not riddled with diseases! Something happened and he came out of prison. Once released, he started advertising potatoes and advocated that potatoes should be eaten. It was difficult to get rid of the long-nurtured belief. However, he continued and ended up farming potatoes on his own. In late 18th century (exactly in year 1785), a terrible famine struck France. Driven by hunger and running short on food supply, they started devouring potatoes. Guess what? The veggie that was thought to be disease-riddled became a lifesaver and they loved it. That’s when they learned different uses of potatoes and learned out to fry them. The fried potatoes were sold as frites.”
4. While the argument between Belgium and France on who invented the French fries will never end, there is something more interesting. Some claim that the fries were invented in Spain. What the hell?
5. We really don’t care who invented the French fries but we surely love the fries so much that there is a whole museum dedicated to them. It is the French Fries Museum known as Friet Museum. It is located in Belgium.
6. In entire Europe, Belgium tops the list countries with high per capita French fries consumption.
7. According to legends, in 1802 Thomas Jefferson, the then President of United States returned from a tour of France and that’s when he, during a state dinner, introduced French fries.
8. According to a book on food history of Britain, French fries were introduced from France into Britain in 1870.
9. However, Brits call the French fries as chips while what is known as chips to North Americans is called as potato crisps in Britain.
10. Remember the medical office we talked about in point #3? His name was Antoine-Augustin Parmentier. There are potato dishes that are actually named after him!