Most people make the mistake of assuming that French fries come from France. As much as French people are good at making fries, French fries really didn’t originate there.
This universal dish can be traced back to Belgium. It is believed that it’s all due to a geographical error during World War I. During the war, some American soldiers were stationed in Belgium.
They thought they were in France because the people there were speaking French. When they were served with fried potatoes, they nicknamed them “French France”. So, now you know that French fries are actually Belgian and should be called as such.
The Belgian Method
Restaurants like Frite Alors that specialize in Belgian fries use what they call the Belgian method. In the Belgian method, fries are cut by hand and blanched in animal fat. Keeping the right temperature is absolutely crucial when it comes to this method.
The key to having tasty Belgian fries is to keep them neither too frozen nor too soft before frying. This has to be taken care of, or the fries wouldn’t be crispy and delicious.
Apart from that, thickness is also very important. Perfect Belgian fries are just about 0.4 inches or about one centimeter thick. Also, these fries are fried twice and are cooked in special animal oil.
Belgian Fries Recipe
If you want to cook your own Belgian fries at home, here is how you can do it.
- Potatoes (the older, the better)
- deep fryer,
- a heavy 5-inch-deep pot,
- a long-handled fried-food skimmer
- a deep-fat thermometer
- 3 to 4 cups of vegetable oil
- Heat the vegetable oil to about 325°F
- Cut the potatoes according to your choice. However, do not keep the size of the fries either too thin or too thick.
- Divide the cut potatoes into batches of cups and fry one cup at a time only.
- Fry the potatoes for only 4 to 5 minutes per batch.
- Always keep the lid closed when you are frying them in deep fat.
- Remove the fried potatoes with the help of a long-handled fried-food skimmer.
- Keep the fried potatoes at room temperature for an hour or two.
- Fry the potatoes once again at about 325°F.
Belgian fries are one of the best and most famous dishes today. Although most people mistakenly know them as French fries, they originated in Belgium.
Belgian fries are now successfully on the UNESCO list of cultural heritage and will soon gain World Heritage status. The French fries that are popular today are very different from the Belgian fries in terms of how they are cooked.