Lots of stories and scandals about French fries, but in France they just call them fries.
Were they actually invented in France?
It is true that fried potatoes had become a staple of French cuisine on the streets of Paris pretty commonly by the 19th century.
It is true that the French used both shallow and deep fat frying, but they may not have been the first to do it.
It is true that in the US, well-to-do people would prepare a thin sliced shallow fried salted potato called “fried potatoes in the style of the French,” but I guess that was too lengthy.
It is true that potatoes originated from South America, so therefore the first potato in Europe would have most likely been in Spain brought back by Spanish explorers.
There is talk of the Spanish frying potatoes as far back as the 18th century – did they in fact introduce this to France?
Then there’s the whole thing about how the British call them chips, which is confusing to North Americans because what we call chips they call crisps and so on. They also call underwear shorts, but that’s a whole other issue!
Either way try these out, they are delicious.
Baking is a little healthier than frying, too. I wouldn’t ever season a potato before deep-frying but when you do it before baking, then they come out crispier and also the seasoning sticks better.
Garlic and Parmesan Fries (baked!)Recipe by Chef Duff
- 2-3 russet potatoes, scrubbed and washed
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic (preferably from Quebec or Ontario), peeled and minced
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- Flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Slice the potatoes into sticks and place them in a bowl filled with hot water. Let sit for 10 minutes. Drain and dry.
- In the meantime, in a large bowl, mix the olive oil, chopped garlic and oregano. Add the potato sticks.
- Season with salt and pepper, and mix well so that the potatoes are covered with the mix. Lay the potatoes flat on the baking tray. (Make sure they are well spread out.)
- Bake until the potatoes start to brown, approximately 20 minutes. Using a spatula, turn the potatoes and continue cooking for approximately 10 minutes, or until the fries are baked and brown. Then add the grated Parmesan. Mix gently and bake for another 5 minutes.
- Serve the fries as soon as they are out of the oven. Garnish with parsley.