Stop Calling Them "French" (and 3 Other Things You Should Know about Fries)

by Katherine Kims.

Yesterday we came across a portrait of a Belgian man obsessed with fries. Paul Ilegems, a retired art history professor, is not your average frites lover–one might call him a fried potato intellectual; he has written four books on the subject of fries, including a volume of poetry.
Here are some important lessons we can all learn from him (and a good reporter at Reuters):
1. Stop calling them "French." The adjective, which Ilegems says originated in America, is a misnomer and, quite frankly, an insult to Belgians. "There’s no such thing as French fries. It’s ‘Belgian fries’ or ‘fries,’ but never ‘French fries,’ " one Brussels resident told Reuters. (Note: The frites stand originated in Liege, Belgium in 1838, according to Ilegems.)
2. Belgians love their fries so much, there is a vocational school that will train future frites vendors in their proper preparation. The program is 12 months long; each prospective graduate must submit a thesis.
3. There are 11 times as many frites stands per capita in Belgium than there are McDonald’s per American in the United States. Belgians consume one third more fries than Americans do each year; that’s 165 pounds per person per year.
4. The perfect Belgian fry is made from fresh Bintje potatoes, double fried in vegetable oil or beef or duck fat, wrapped in a paper cone, salted, and served with aioli and a fork.
In conclusion, if someone could please find, translate, and gift to the Internet some of that French fry poetry, we’d be very happy… Read More>>


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