French Fries: A Brief History Of The Popular Food

By Anthony K

Do you take time to trace the origin of your favorite foods and recipes? Well, most people don’t do that, so we’re not here to judge you. However, we have to admit that it is pretty interesting to learn about how our favorite foods came to be.

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For instance, do you know how French fries were invented? Legends and historical evidence point out that the popular deep-fried potato product may have originated outside France. Below is a quick look at the delicacy’s origin and evolution.

French fries in France

French fries are a delicacy, considering the name and French legends. The sources claim that street vendors of the 18th century sold potato spears on the Pont Neuf. The food rose to popularity and would spread across Europe and Beyond.

Antoine-Augustine Parmentier, a French Army pharmacist, introduced potatoes to French cuisine through various stunts in later years. He would host expensive dinners where potatoes were served in up to 20 courses to guests like Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.

French fries in Belgium

The Belgium story attributes the origin of French fries to Namur city when river Meuse froze in the 1680 winter season and limiting access to fish. Residents cut potatoes to resemble fish and deep-fried them giving birth to the Belgian fries.

French fries in America

Thomas Jefferson drew inspiration from Antoine-Augustine Parmentier’s to serve fries at the White House during his time as president. Jefferson’s handwritten recipe for potatoes deep-fried while raw in small cuttings would later inspire the invention of American chips.

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French fries have undergone various changes informed by the eating culture and preferences of people taking up the recipe. World events like the Great War created a niche for delicious, affordable, and easy-to-prepare food like fries.