Western European ethnic group -the French (they shares French culture, French language, generation ancestry and identify themselves with France), and the people who identified with the Western Europe’s federal state, ‘Kingdom of Belgium’ -the Belgians——both the French and Belgians claim the invention or origin of ‘French Fries. Jo Gérard, Belgian journalist claims that potatoes were deep-fried by the natives of Namur, Andenne, and Dinant —— these Meuse valley dwellers’ customary cuisine was small fried-fish, but as the river froze in Winter and fishing became difficult- they cut potatoes in fish shape and fried them to eat —— but, he could not produce that 1781’s family manuscript to back his claim about potatoes being deep-fried prior to 1680. Also this claim has neither historical fact as till 1735 the region had not witnessed the arrival of potatoes, nor the economical background to have large quantity of fat for deep frying potatoes.


The preliminary written references of fries are found in Latin America (a group of countries where Spanish, French, or Portuguese is spoken primarily) —— Francisco Núñez de Pineda y Bascuñán -a Chilean writer and soldier in his work of 1673, ‘Cautiverio feliz’, said that in 1629 during his stay at Fort Nativity (fort founded by Alonso de Ribera y Zambrano -a Spanish soldier and twice Spanish Royal Governor of Chile) “fried and stewed potatoes”, were served in dinner by Mapuche women. One theory says that, during World War I, Belgians were catering to British soldiers -Belgians served them chips, later on when American and Canadian soldiers took over the western front, Belgians served them too these chips———and since, the Belgian Army was speaking French, the word ‘French’ got coalesced with the food.

“French Fried Potatoes – Cut new potatoes in thin slices, put them in boiling fat, and a little salt; fry both sides to a light golden brown colour; drain.” -Cookery for Maids of All Work by E. Warren’s work of 1856. Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States (1801 to 1809) had “potatoes served in the French manner” at the White House dinner in 1802.

The credit of successfully commercialising frozen french fries goes to the U. S. firm ‘J. R. Simplot Company’, popularly known as Simplot———Simplot, formed in the year 1929 (legally incorporated in the year 1955) by 20-year-old John Richard Simplot. While, McCain Foods -a Canadian multinational company is also one of the largest producers of frozen french fries affirms itself as “the French Fry capital of the world” —— McCain hosts ‘Potato World’ -a museum about potato.

Today, french fry is always at the top of the menu of McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s -the fast food chains of America.


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