Who invented French Fries?

The origins of French fries are a subject of debate, and there are competing claims about who invented them. The popular belief is that they originated in France, but there are other theories as well. Here are some of the main contenders:

  1. France: One theory suggests that French fries were indeed invented in France. It's believed that they were first made in the late 17th century by French chef François-Louis Bracq, who was cooking for the French army. However, this claim is contested.
  2. Belgium: Actually it was the Belgians, not the French, who first came up with frites. They were first made in the late 17th century by local villagers in the Meuse Valley, who fried small strips of potatoes as a substitute for fish when the river was frozen.
  3. Spain: Some culinary historians propose that the Spanish were the first to fry potatoes. Spanish explorers and conquistadors are said to have encountered the potato in the New World, and it's possible that they brought the cooking method back to Europe.

Regardless of their exact origin, French fries became widely popular in Western Europe and eventually made their way to the United States, where they became an iconic part of American fast food culture. Today, they are enjoyed all over the world in various forms and with a wide array of toppings and seasonings. Aside from debating whether to top them with ketchup or mayonnaise (a debate onto itself), they also add fuel to the fire with other sauces too such as curried mayonnaises, andalousie sauce, and countless other combinations. See www.frites.be for more info.