It is not only in America that fried potatoes strips have a French insinuation, but most European and Asian counties also name it French fries. In France they are called “pommes frites”, in England they are called “chips,”, and in Belgium they are called “patat”. There are ways to name this worldwide fast food staple, but all of them refer to the same thing that in fact, originated from Belgium, not France.
This tantalising golden fries derive from Belgian during a deep winter around 1700 when they didn’t have enough fish to eat. It became popular in US since World War1 when American soldier first taste it from Belgian soldier; from then on, it spread out the world rapidly.
Whatever the case, fries developed into a treasure of goodness that brings the world together. It is interesting how different cultures treat fries, from its sauce to shape. Whenever I dined with international friends, a debate on the best sauce to go with fries is expected. Toppings that go with fries are innumerable (brown gravy; cheese curds; garlic sauce; Chili Con Carne; peanut-butter) but the basic one goes to ketchup and mayonnaise. It is most noticeable that American used to have fires with ketchup whereas French and Italian insist to have fries with mayonnaise, as well as many of the European countries. To accommodate the variety of demands, a brilliant way with combining one part ketchup and two parts mayonnaise as we known as fry sauce was invented and be widely consumed from then on.
From ‘thick-cut’ to ‘shoestring’, ‘joe joes’ to’crinkle’, ‘curly’ to’waffle-cut’, fries is highly mouldable. As for Londoners, the thick-cut fries known as ‘chips’ is the most popular one, covering almost the entire London. Here’s we picked some of the best of all:
Kennedys, a famous fish and chip place offering a plentiful large-cut chips pricing only £1.80 per pack. 184-186 Goswell Road,London,EC1V 7DT
The glamorous Dinner by Heston Blumenthal on 66 Knightsbridge serves coveted triple-cooked chips. 66 Knightsbridge, Hyde Park ,London, SW1X 7LA
Specialized in fish and chip – Fryer’s Delight is a top place for a traditional choice of chip. 19 Theobalds Road, City of London WC1X 8SL
Rock and Sole Plaice, renowned by its large portion of chunky and thick chips is the one you can’t miss. 47 Endell Street, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9AJ
By Jennifer Chan