Do you know who made the French Fries? Take a guess, it’s not the French nor the Americans, it is the Belgians. Yes, you had seen it right, despite its name it’s not French. This humble dish has been traced back to Belgium where it was believed that potatoes were being fried in the late-1600s. It was said that villagers residing in Meuse Valley near the border of France ate small fried fish they caught in the river as a staple in their diet. During winter this was not possible as the river is in a frozen state, so in replacement to fish they turned to the humble root crop, the potato as an alternative and they have been slicing and frying it much in the same way they prepared the small fish, and that’s how it all started.
The name French Fries was the Americans responsibility, it was believed that American soldiers stationed in Belgium was introduced to this dish during World War I. Since the official language where the American soldiers was stationed was French, the American soldiers named it like what we call it today. The name stayed like that for decades and it never was changed, eventually crediting it to the wrong country.
This perhaps is the most popular dish eaten nearly by everyone, regardless of race or religion, it is safe to be consumed by all. Add to that the simple deliciousness such as this dish, it’s not easy to get hooked up. Crispy outer with mushy insides, it is the prefect comfort meal. There are few varieties as well so regardless where you go, they almost look and taste similar, the only difference is the thickness of cut and the different sauces that it is dipped into. Americans like it in ketchup, French like it in Mayonnaise, British like it in Vinegar, Canadians like it in gravy and in Philippines we like it with powdered flavourings such as cheese and sour cream and chives. For me I like dipping it in soft serve ice cream, and if you find that weird, give it a shot.
While fries may look simple to make, it’s quite easy to mess it up that is why if you plan to make it at home make sure of our pointers below, so you get the most out of that humble spud.
Peel and rinse the potatoes, then cut them into sticks preferably 3/4 cm in width or same width as of a pencil.
Place in a large bowl with cold water then cover. Put in the refrigerator and let it soak for at least 3 hours to a maximum of 12 hours.
Just before cooking, drain water and dry the potatoes using a paper towel, this should be fully dried to avoid spattering and get maximum crunch.
Fry the potatoes in a 150C preheated oil on a fryer for 4 minutes, do this in batches to avoid sudden temperature drop. Drain fully once done, place in a wide plate, pat it with paper towel to absorb the extra grease and put in the freezer to let it cool.
Increase fryer heat to 200C, then fry it again for the second time until golden and crisp. Remove from fryer, drain, place in serving platters, sprinkle some sea salt or chicken salt then serve with your favourite dip.