French fries - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Belgian historian Jo Gerard recounts that potatoes were already fried in 1680 in the Spanish Netherlands, in the area of "the Meuse valley between Dinant and Liège, Belgium. The poor inhabitants of this region allegedly had the custom of accompanying their meals with small fried fish, but when the river was frozen and they were unable to fish, they cut potatoes lengthwise and fried them in oil to accompany their meals."
A Belgian legend claims that the term "French" was introduced when British or American soldiers arrived in Belgium during World War I, and consequently tasted Belgian fries. They supposedly called them "French", as it was the official language of the Belgian Army at that time.
Whether or not Belgians invented them, "frites"
became the national snack and a substantial part of both national dishes, making the Belgians their largest per capita consumers in Europe and their symbolic creators.