French fries in belgium
For many, fragrant sticks of fried potatoes in oil are their favorite treat. And Belgium is exactly the country where it is best to enjoy its indescribable taste.
Belgium – homeland of french fries
The Belgians are absolutely sure and sincerely indignant that French fries appeared for the first time precisely when their national dish is called French Fries – French fries. Residents even found an explanation for this fact: they say the wrong name appeared due to the fault of American soldiers. While in the Belgian Wallonia during World War I and tasting french fries, they heard French and mistakenly “attributed” the delicacy to the wrong kitchen.
In Belgium, there is a legend about the appearance of your favorite national dish. It says that in the old days in the country they loved to fry fish caught in oil. But in winter it was impossible to go fishing on a frozen river. And then savvy locals came up with to put potato sticks in boiling oil. The result was amazing, and the recipe quickly spread throughout.
The Belgians themselves came up with their name for the French fries – “frit”. It owes its appearance to the surname of a local entrepreneur, Frite, who was the first to prepare and sell fried potato slices. It happened in 1861.
In Belgium, fries are cooked in a special way
Crispy crust, and under it friable flesh melting in the mouth – such perfection is prepared according to a special recipe. One of the secrets is that peeled tubers are cut rather thickly. The strips should not be longer than 10 cm. For frying, not just vegetable oil is taken, but fat – most often beef. Therefore, the taste of the dish resembles a unique grandmother’s potato with greaves.
Where to eat tasty and cheap in Brussels
But the main “focus” is the technology of frying. The process is carried out in two approaches. First, the slices are dipped in less heated fat and well-fried inside. This is followed by an intermediate stage, when the extracted cubes cool. And finally, a hotter treatment is performed, during which a crispy appetizing crust appears. Interestingly, from 1 kg of peeled potatoes in the end we get only about 500 grams of fries.
Cooking potatoes in a professional kitchen
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In Belgium, potatoes cooked in a special way are traditionally supplemented with mayonnaise or ketchup. However, any other delicious sauce is also welcome – there are about 30 recipes! The most daring gourmets can even try a combination of 5-10 different dressings.
Belgians are so fond of frits that they even came up with a mitraillette sandwich with them. Potato slices, fried meat, fresh vegetables and sauce are put in half a baguette. Today it is perhaps the most popular street food in Brussels.
In Belgium, fries are a matter of national pride
As you probably already understood, Belgians love fries. It is not surprising that in the country there are about 2 thousand fritters and fritcots – this is the name of the institution where frits are prepared and served. Per capita, this number is even greater than that of McDonald’s restaurants in the United States.
But the Belgians would not be Belgians if they had not come up with something else extraordinary. Every year on February 17, the country celebrates French Fries Day, and in the late autumn and early winter, the Fritkot festival is widely celebrated for a whole week! During such events, there are many contests, for example, for the best packaging design for frits or voting for the most delicious potatoes. The atmosphere reigns indescribable!
Friterium in Belgium
In 2008, the Belgians officially “immortalized” their passion for french fries – opened a museum dedicated to him in Bruges, which is the only such institution in the world. Here you can get acquainted with the history of the emergence and distribution of the dish, watch an interesting video about its preparation, see a collection of old deep-fat fryers, paintings and other exhibits, and most importantly – taste the famous delicacy in a cafe (for a fee). Entrance ticket costs 7 € for adults and 5 € – for children (from 6 to 11 years).
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Where to try french fries in Brussels
Once in the capital of Belgium, delicious potatoes can be tasted literally everywhere. But the best criteria in Brussels are:
Maison Antoine at Place Jourdan. Three generations of the same family lead their successful business here. French fries and Mitraiet sandwiches are specialties of the fritheria.
Fritland on Rue Henri Maus. This place offers excellent Belgian potatoes. The dish is so in demand that the line for it almost never ends.
Friterie Tabora on Rue de Tabora. Here, too, the queue is not ruled out, but it moves quite quickly. The portions in this place are offered very voluminous, food is allowed to take with you.