Potatoes have been harvested and the piles are humongous. I'm talkin' the size of a house in some fields. The kids have been amazed by these piles popping up at the corners of fields all around us.
Where are all those potatoes headed? Into the form of Belgian frites of course!
Here are some fun Frites Facts....
- Belgian Frites are made with Belgian Bintje potatoes
- They get their special flavor and texture because they are fried twice, often in beef fat, but in some places you can select the form of oil that the frites are fried in.
- There are more than 4000 frietkots throughout Belgium.
- There is a selection of over 50 dipping sauces to choose from for dipping frites
- Belgians consume an average of 165 pounds of friend potatoes per person per year
- Despite the language and culture differences between Flanders and Wallonia, Belgian frites remain a specialty that unites Belgium.
- Research shows Belgium's 6.5 million Dutch-speakers and 4 million Francophones average a weekly visit to one of their country's 5,000 or so fry shops and shacks.
Why "Frittes"? They aren’t French!
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.