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Thread: French fries

 
  1. #1
    Senior Member Frank van den Eeden's Avatar
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    Default French fries

    French fries :

    Many Americans attribute the dish to France
    — although in France they are almost exclusively thought of as Belgian —
    "French" fries are in fact Belgian, but definitive evidence for the origin is difficult to present.
    Belgian historian Jo Gerard recounts that potatoes were already fried in 1680 in the Spanish Netherlands in the area of the Meuse valley between Dinant and Liège, Belgium.
    The poor inhabitants of this region allegedly had the custom of accompanying their meals with small fried fish, but when the river was frozen and they were unable to fish, they cut potatoes lengthwise and fried them in oil to accompany their meals."

    -
    Chips : In the British Isles
    are, contrarely to the “frites” thickly cut strips of potatoes.
    They are fried only once, whereas the Belgian way of cooking “frites” is in two stages – first pre-fried at 160°C, second time fried at 180*C.
    I think chips are totally different from “frites”, but I like them just as well.
    I actually LOVE fish and chips !

    -

    What’s in a name ?

    Freedom fries

    On March 11, 2003 the cafeteria menus in the three United States House of Representatives office buildings changed the name of "french fries" to "freedom fries" in a culinary rebuke of France stemming from anger over the country's opposition to the U.S. position on Iraq.

    -
    If you’re in the neighbourhood ...
    I make THE BEST FRIES EVER !!!

    Last edited by Frank van den Eeden; 07-22-2008 at 03:22 PM.
    beste groeten - sincères salutations - kindest regards - atentamente - mit freundlichen Grüßen

  2. #2
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    Great information Frank. The term French Fries in American comes from the fact that the dish was brought to the U.S. by World War I soldiers (called doughboys, which is another story) who fought in France.

    Venders in France would set up on the roads the doughboys were marching and sell or trade fried potatoes to the hungry fighters. They were hot, fresh, and tasted great unlike the food the doughboys got in camps or from the rations they carried.

    On returning home the doughboys shared this culinary delight with their families and soon they were on America's restaurant menus as "French Fried Potatoes (now French Fries) because that's where the doughboys thought they came from. In fact, so did I until you enlightened me.

    Thank you. I am pricing airline fares now as I will go a long way for great food.

    Joel

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    Do either of you know the story behind French toast? I swear that I heard or read or something (one of those stories...) that before WWI, Americans ate the same dish and called it German toast, but due to the animosities that being on opposing sides of a war normally bring about they decided to change the nomenclature and it has stuck (even with the embarrassing "freedom fries" episode from five years ago, "French toast" was never in jeopardy of being rebranded).

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    I've read several stories about the etymology of this term including the one you cited. My personal preference is that French Toast was created by a tavern owner in Albany, New York in the 18th century named French. Ergo the name.

    I think I will take a break now. I'm getting hungry.

    Joel

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    Senior Member mvictoria's Avatar
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    Freedom Fries! you're right, I had completely forgot about that...pretty embarrasing indeed!

    BTW, I LOVE French toasts and I have not been able to prepare decent ones here in my home country, since sliced bread is not thick enough :-(

    I do have syrup and cinammon, though!

    Any tips?

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    "
    The Oxford English Dictionary cites 1660 as the year "French toast" first made an appearance, in a book called The Accomplisht Cook. That preparation, however, left out the eggs, in favor of soaking pre-toasted bread in a solution of wine, sugar, and orange juice. The Dictionary of American Food and Drink contends that the first egg-based recipe in print didn't appear until 1870; throughout the tail end of the 19th century, similar recipes appeared under the monikers "French toast," "Egg toast," "Spanish toast," and even "German toast."
    A contradictory, though highly dubious, creation myth holds that French toast owes its creation to an Albany, N.Y., innkeeper named Joseph French. Legend has it that French whipped up a batch of the golden-brown treats in 1724 and advertised them as "French toast" because he'd never learned to use an apostrophe "s."
    Another unlikely story is that French toast was always called German toast until World War I, when the change was made for patriotic reasons. Though French toast certainly gained nationwide popularity during this era, it's generally agreed that this tale of disrespecting the Kaiser via toast-renaming is apocryphal."


    History is never as fun as you want it to be, but that's why they make movies....

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    Senior Member Frank van den Eeden's Avatar
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    Default home-made French fries

    I’m not entirely joking when I say I make the best fries ever !
    In Belgium, it is quite normal to make fries at home.
    And we all try and improve the recipe (e.g. me versus my mother-in-law!).

    But, come to think of it, NONE of my English friends has a fryer at home.
    They either have take-out or the microwave-ones (= cardboard).

    How's that in your country ?
    beste groeten - sincères salutations - kindest regards - atentamente - mit freundlichen Grüßen

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    Senior Member Hebe's Avatar
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    I do them at home, but can´t say they compete with McDonald's or with yours my friend Frank (jeje) Mine are just OK
    Last edited by Hebe; 06-26-2008 at 03:14 PM.


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    Senior Member Frank van den Eeden's Avatar
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    Hebe,
    for a nice meal
    there's no place like home
    and I'm sure your fries are more than just OK !
    (Wish I could come over and try them...maybe if Joel the Detective comes up with good airline prices, who knows ?)
    ciao, so long !
    Frank.
    beste groeten - sincères salutations - kindest regards - atentamente - mit freundlichen Grüßen

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    Senior Member lauracipolla's Avatar
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    Frank, you certainly made us all hungry for french fries, or PAPAS FRITAS as we call them here (hmmmm... I made them at home, btw, and they're quite ok, though my ex-husband made them REALLY great... one reason I took long to divorce him )

    anyway, thanks for the lesson, which was indeed good. and it made me think of something else that I know probably many in the forum will know, but I'd like to hear from you, Frank... what about "French kisses"??????

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