French Fries are one of the most popular dishes in France, but French and Belgians claim paternity, who is right ?
The French fries officially arrived in France in 1749
French and Belgians claim the paternity of the fries, this emblematic dish whose origins plunge into the popular culture of the two countries. But to know its origin, you have to go back several centuries. And remember that the potato did not take root on the European continent. It was the Spanish conquistadors who brought it back from South America in the 16th century. The French fries officially arrived in France in 1749 by the French agronomist De Combles who published for the first time a recipe for fried potatoes from raw slices. At the end of the 18th century, the famous Parisian apothecary Antoine Parmentier, a great lover of potatoes and fervent defender of the tuber, had various potato-based dishes prepared, including beignets, during his demonstration dinners for the big names in the world.
Born in the Parisian street
Although there are no documents to confirm this, we know from reliable sources that at the beginning of the 19th century, fry vendors sold fried potatoes in the streets of Paris, particularly in the Pont-Neuf district and boulevard du Temple, where a lot of plays were performed. This is where all the popular vaudeville theaters were concentrated. This detail is important, because it is in working-class circles in the capital that the fried potato becomes an identity food. The Parisian therefore identifies the Parisian diet with the fried potato, therefore with that of the people. The fries would therefore be born in the Parisian street, in the hands of the fried food sellers. And they are the ones who made the fried potato the popular emblematic Parisian dish of the 19th century before this fries were exported to Belgium. During the 20th century, the fried potato deserted the streets of Paris even as it reached Belgium. And has established itself in Belgium as the national dish. The Belgians therefore naturally believed that the fried potato was of Belgian origin ».