The Story Behind French Fries

Ever wonder why French fries are called French fries if they aren’t even from France?

According to the history books, the people of Belgium often ate fish from the river which they sliced and fried. When the cold winter would come, the river they usually caught their fish in froze over.

Since potatoes were an abundant, hearty crop, they switched to slicing and frying those instead. Thus, this crispy fried potato was born. That still doesn’t answer the question of why they are called French fries though!

It turns out that American soldiers got their first taste of this delicious meal during World War 1 while stationed in Belgium. Since Belgium people officially spoke French, the soldier’s nicknamed them French fries. As the soldiers wrote letters home describing the French fries, the recipe caught on in the United States and spread quickly.

Unfortunately, the traditional way the Belgium people prefer to eat their French fries did not catch on at all. Would you like mussels and an egg on top of your French fries? Probably not.

In America, it’s preferred to eat French fries with dipping sauces and maybe a little chili cheese on top if someone is feeling adventurous. Most Americans are unlikely to pass up a traditional meal from the United Kingdom of fish and chips or Canadian Poutine topped with cheese curd and gravy. In the Middle East, they even wrap French fries INSIDE their pita!

While we do have the French to thank for the Statue of Liberty, it is the people of Belgium we need to thank for the beloved French fry.