As if we needed an excuse to partake in the ever so decadent, crispy, salty, greasy deliciousness of french fries, July 13 has now made it our patriotic duty to do so with gusto!
Yes, today is National French Fry day and only in America will you find a full 24-hour window dedicated to fast food's most popular side dish. (I mean really, who actually gets the fruit, salad or even onion rings when they've gone ahead and blown the cals on the burger to begin with?) But how
did the french fry come to pass, and is it really French?
French fries actually originated in Belgium as early as 1680. Fried potatoes were used as a substitute for fried fish when fishing ponds were running low.The potatoes were cut and cooked in a way that would miror the appearance of the fried fish.
French fries grew in popularity in Europe as "chips' or "patate frites" depending on where you are, but they were not seen in evidence in American history until 200 years later in 1802, when Thomas Jefferson is said to have requested a dish of "potatoes cooked in the French manner," at a White House dinner that year. Looks like we have yet another item to add to our list TJ thank you's.
Since Jefferson's tableside request french fries have become an icon in Americana dining. Whether served with ketchup or mustard, gravy or guac, the french fry has adapted to every community in which it is served. It is truly a diverse dish which we honor on this most auspicious day.