Friday is National French Fry Day, and that could prompt some to ask, “did the fried potatoes really originate in France?”
The answer to that questions, is, well, slightly unclear. There is some innuendo out there that the “French” fry could actually have come from Belgium!
According to www.todayifoundout.com, Belgium people are believed to have started deep frying potatoes in a fashion similar to how they deep-fried fish, sometime in the 1600s.
When fishing became difficult, potatoes were turned to as a diet staple, where they were cut into thin, long slices and deep-fried, the website reports.
Then there is the French side of the debate. According to the website, potatoes were banned in the mid-16th century, because they were thought to have caused leprosy.
But in the mid-1600s, caution was tossed to the wind, and French people began to gobble up the popular starch.
As early as 1795, the website states the French, too, were frying up the sliced potatoes and making them into what we recognize as the modern French fry.
Curiously enough, President Thomas Jefferson may have influenced the crispy spuds being labeled as French in origin.
According to the website, in 1802, our third president requested the White House chef prepare “potatoes served in the French style,” which he described as “deep-fried, while raw, in small cuttings.”
Wherever they truly hail from, French Fries are indeed a staple in today’s society, as well as in the American diet.
The fried "chips" as they are called in Europe, come in all shapes and sizes; curly, skinny, thick steak fry-cut, crinkle-cut, restaurant style, and countless more many of us have yet to experience.
So what makes a great French fry?
The owner of D's Haute Dogs in Winnetka, says it’s all in the preparation.
“Our fries are always hand-cut and never frozen,” said Jared Boyar, owner of D’s Haute Dogs.
“It's a 24- to 48-hour process, where we soak the potatoes in water, add a secret ingredient, and then they are patted dry, cooked and cooled,” Boyar said.
When questioned, Boyar refused to give up that secret ingredient, and Patch undersands some secrets must remain, well, a secret.
He says his restaurant goes through 500 to 700 pounds of potatoes a week.
So, in honor of National French Fry Day, D’s Haute Dogs will be offering patrons a hot dog, their beloved fries (which were nominated as best French fry in Patch’s Reader’s Choice recently) and a drink, all for $5.
Patrons can take advantage of the deal Friday from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Let Winnetka-Glencoe Patch and Wilmette-Kenilworth Patch know what you think makes a great French fry in the comment section below!