Change the word french fries to belgian fries

Change the word french fries to belgian fries

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ayoub elyaakoubi started this petition to national Dictionary and

French fries have nothing to do with France – as many Belgians will attest. Why we do mistakenly refer to them as French fries? Where did Belgian fries come from?

Fries form half of one of the top Belgian foods along with a pot of mussels – known as moules frites. They’re a national Belgian symbol with political punch.

If you say the word potato, the Irish Potato Famine of 1845, and the origination of tubers in South America come to mind. But chop them up, drop them in simmering oil, add a touch of salt, and you’ve got Belgian fries. So where exactly is the French fries origin?

Indeed, you will make no mistake about the French fries origin once you visit Belgium. Fries permeate into every pore of Belgian culture from pop art and comic strips to music and advertising. You will find frites stalls (frietkot) across Belgium. They’re certain to ensure the economic return on Belgian potatoes (bintjes) for eons to come.

 

The ‘chip’ or ‘French fry’ has gone a long way in putting Belgium on the map – culinary or otherwise – even if they are called ‘patates kizartmasi‘ in an Istanbul Café, ‘gamza teekim‘ on the streets of Seoul or ranskalaiset perunat sitting on a bench in Helsinki.

Often mistaken as French in origin, the word ‘french’ became synonymous with frites due to the fact that, in old English, to ‘french’ was to ‘cut lengthwise’. Hence, the French fry.

“We modest Belgians don’t mind the French claim. We know that fries are God’s gift to our people,” exclaims a website completely dedicated to the art form of Belgian fries making.

You wouldn’t be the only one to mistake the French fries origin. ‘Fry ban targets wrong country’ went a Reuters headline at the height of the French product boycott in the US following its stance against the Iraqi conflict.

“The chip is essentially regarded in Belgium as a culture, social strata and gender bridge: soul food,” says Paul Ilegems, curator of the Belgium Chip Museum on the second floor of Frietkot Max on Antwerp’s Groenplaats.

“What would Belgium be without chips?” he asks in the pages of “Het Belgisch Frietenbook, “Just a grayish zone, an insignificant stain on the globe, deprived of any personality.”

A bit harsh perhaps but it’s obviously clear that frites are serious stuff in Belgium.

“Belgium is beer, cartoons, mussels, chips and the Royal family,” a frietkot (frite stall) owner sums up.

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