France and Belgium lock horns over who invented 'French' fries
Proud Belgians have hit back after a leading French newspaper claimed that frites â" the world-famous chips served with Belgiumâs national dish of mussels â" were invented in France.
Le Figaro printed the story under the headline âNo, French fries are not Belgianâ on Wednesday, which was particularly provocative because August 1 is also the International Day of the Belgian Frites.
Historian Pierre Leclercq insisted that modern day frites was first served on the streets of Paris to theatre-goers in the revolutionary era. Cookbooks date the recipe to 1855, he said.
Frites are though to have been fried in Belgium since the 17th Century. Legend has it that American soldiers serving in World War One incorrectly named Belgian frites âFrench friesâ and the name stuck.
Mr Leclerq said, âHowever the Belgians do not like it, the fries of today are fund amentally Parisian.â
Frites are taken extremely seriously in Belgium, where long queues regularly snake from the 4,500 fry shops or frietkoten that dot the countryâs squares and cobbled streets.
Bernard LefÃ¨vre is the president of Navefri-Unafri, the national association for frietkoten.
âWe are used to the French looking down on us,â he told The Telegraph, âBelgium is always considered the little brother. They mock us but they do it with sympathy.âSource: Google News France | Netizen 24 France