I·ATE Food Term of the Week: French fries

french fries feature

French fries, or fries, or chips, or finger chips are considered by many as the best side dish but they are also often eaten by themselves as a snack. You can find them in restaurants, diners, pubs and bars. They are served hot and, depending on one’s taste, they may be served with ketchup, mayonnaise, cheddar or other local specialties. Of course, if you are a big fan of chips, you can prepare them at home too: cut potatoes in sticks and then deep-fry them. When they are ready (golden-brown coloured), you can season them with some salt, paprika or oregano and serve them with melted cheese. In order to make the lighter version of fried potatoes, you can put them in the oven with three spoonfuls of olive oil and bake them until they get a gold colour.

In most of European countries, there is not a specific name for the recipe; they just use the word for potato and for the technique of deep-frying to describe the dish, whereas in the United States they call them French fries. But why?

The story goes like this: During World War I, American soldiers who were in Belgium tasted for the first time fried potatoes. French is the prominent language in this region, and probably that is why these soldiers talked about this great snack when they went back to the U.S. as French fries. Naming the inventor of this recipe is a field of dispute between the Belgians and the French. Both of the countries claim the invention of frites and both have their arguments. The debate is ongoing, and chefs, historians, food editors and journalist are ready to battle.


Non les frites ne sont pas belges, Le Figaro 2018, www.lefigaro.fr. Accessed on 15/01/2020

Can Belgium claim ownership of the French fry ?, BBC 2018, www.bbc.com. Accessed on 15/01/2020.

France-Belgium argue over who really invented french fries, New York Post 2018, www.nypost.com. Accessed on 15/01/2020.

Are French fries truly French?, National Geographic 2015, www.nationalgeographic.com. Accessed on 15/01/2020.

French-fries nutrition, New York Times 2018, www.nytimes.com. Accessed on 15/01/2020.

French fries, Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org, Accessed on 15/01/2020.

antonia pappa

Antonia Pappa – Communication trainee at the Terminology Unit

Born in Greece in 1992. She holds a Bachelor degree of Communication, Culture and Media and she worked, for three years, for a newspaper and food magazines in Greece. Antonia is now taking a Master’s degree in International Marketing and Communication and is working her thesis about social media advertising. In her free time, she likes travelling, doing yoga and going for a walk with her dog.