The fascination with Belgian “frites”

photo-1-241Freedom fries, chips, or frites – whichever name you prefer to use – they’re Belgian! And Belgians take this responsibility very seriously. Made with Belgian Bintje potatoes, cooked twice and served in a paper cone with a side of mayonnaise, these Belgian treats embody potato perfection. A favorite place to sample our fries are at frietkots or fritures, which are outdoor vendors who sell Belgian fries. There are more than 4000 frietkots throughout Belgium and many carry a selection of over 50 dipping sauces to choose from.

Belgian Fries are part of Belgian culinary and cultural heritage. Even if they are sometimes refereed to as French Fries, there is nothing French about them. Apparently the name originated due to a linguistic misunderstanding, because in old English ‘to French’ meant ‘cut into sticks’. According to the Belgian historian Jo Gerard, chips appeared on the dining tables in Namur, French speaking Ardennes and Dinant in the latter half of the 17th century. Poorer inhabitants in these towns used to fry tiny fish. When the river froze in the winter the fish were replaced by sticks of potatoes cut to the same small size of the fish.