Long before we got creative with fries here at Fry Madness and started mouths watering with our sweet, savory and spicy potato dishes, the potato has been a source of fried goodness across the world.
Chips, fries, frites, hot chips, wedges, or papas fritas. Whatever you call them, modernday fries will always be a worldwide favorite.
We still love the old standby salty, crispy fry with ketchup. But, whether you prefer vinegar, mayonnaise, chili, gravy, chicharones, marshmallows, chocolate sauce or whip cream on your fries, Fry Madness can’t be beat.
French Fries Across Time and Across The World – anyway you slice them, we love ‘em. Here’s what we know about the tasty, twisty, history of the modern day fry.
The Origin Story
There is still some dispute about where the french fry originated. Belgians made their claim when a family recipes for fried potatoes were found dating back to 1680. We can’t quite make sense of their explanation for why they called them “French.” When you ask the question, you get a lot of big words thrown at you like, “gastronomic hegemony.” And things get even more complicated when you realize that present-day Belgium was actually occupied by the Spanish at the time the recipes date from.
So it looks like French fries in Belgium are actually Spanish. But, potatoes don’t appear in any history books in the area until around 1735, and fat for frying was so rare and coveted that using it to fry potatoes would have been unthinkable for any respectable peasant.
So, who the heck knows? While they’re still fighting it out, just make sure that when you’re in Belgium you eat plenty of fries, from lots of different vendors, and sample all of the crazy-delicious sauces and toppings that are definitely uniquely Belgian. Here are just a few of the most popular: mammoet sauce, zigeuner sauce and Bicky dressing. When you get back, maybe you can swing by and tell us what’s in them. All of our attempts to deconstruct the recipes fell apart when our internet searches all showed up in French, and we were too lazy to hit the translate button.
Don’t Forget The Sweet Potato
Think sweet potato fries are a new addition to the culinary landscape? Wrong! They first appeared in American cuisine in the 19th century. Well before that, fried sweet potatoes known as goguma twigim, were a staple in Korea. A ridiculously tasty Indian dish made of fried sweet potatoes, called kananga phodi-tawa, has been around for a century or more. And, recently Korea has taken a page out of Belgian’s playbook, selling goguma sticks (sweet potato fries) from street carts with a variety of sauces and toppings.
A Whirlwind, Worldwide Tour
A small town in New Brunswick claims the title of the world’s french fry capital. There’s a museum dedicated to our beloved potato. Quebec, however, is our choice for the center of Canadian potato creativity. It is the place where poutine comes from. If you haven’t had this finger-licking, craving-inducing, beer-requiring, delicacy of french fries smothered with cheese curds and hot brown gravy, go get some. Just buy a ticket, get on a plane, and find the nearest poutine stand at the airport. Do it. Do it now!
We’ve never had fries in Germany before, but they are pretty popular. And, while their condiment of choice may disgust some of you, we can attest that the combination is glorious. Mayonnaise is what you’ll find Germans of all walks of life dipping their fritten in. Yum!
You just have to love the Swedes. They’re pretty creative with their fries. You can find them as snacks with ketchup or mayo. You’ll also see them served with fish, with fried sausage or schnitzel, and at fancy restaurants your steak may be accompanied by fries with a side of bearnaise for dipping. Yep, that’s right. French fries in bearnaise!
Fish and chips, right! Who doesn’t love a good, newspaper-wrapped, greasy, vinegar covered, late-night snack of fish and chips? Anyone? Anyone? We didn’t think so. It’s a universal favorite!
Have them however you want: cheese fries, chili fries, chile fries, curly, baked, waffled, wedged, triple cooked. Just have them. And, make sure to have them here at Fry Madness, where you’ll have an experience like nowhere else in the world. Our fries, toppings, and the beers that we serve with them, just can’t be matched.
All kidding aside. We love fries, and our love comes through in the food we make for you. Come by and see us. We’re literally right in the middle of Los Angeles’s Historic Corridor. You can’t miss us. Whether you are gallery hopping or on your way to a game, you’ll be glad you made Fry Madness part of your day.