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Are french fries really French?

Happy National French Fry Day! We made some super tasty fries over on if you're looking for a way to celebrate. If not, you can just watch the Doodle video and tell me what your favorite dipping sauce is... Mine is "fry sauce"... a mixture of mayo, ketchup and a dash of worcestershire sauce, though vinegar is a close second.

I was going to ask when National French Fry Day started, but honestly, I'd rather find out if they are actually French. Turns out, the "french fry" is actually not french at all, it's Belgian, at least according to Albert Verdeyen, chef and co-author of Carrément Frites, which charts the history of the fry. “Americans call it a French fry,” he said, “but it’s not a French fry, it’s a Francophone fry.”

Common lore claims that the original fry was born in Namur in francophone Belgium, where the locals were particularly fond of fried fish. When the River Meuse froze over one cold winter in 1680, people fried potatoes instead of the small fish they were accustomed to, and the fry was born.

Proponents of this story claim that this Belgian town is not only the source of french fries, but indeed, of its name. During World War I American soldiers were stationed in the francophone region and, allegedly dubbed the potatoes ‘French fries’, and the common, if slightly imprecise, moniker was born.

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