When it comes to Belgium, thoughts of heavenly chocolates and exquisite beers immediately come to mind. However, there's an unsung culinary hero that often goes unnoticed—the Belgian Fries!
Renowned worldwide, these fries are considered among the best, and their fascinating history dates back to 1681. Legend has it that during an exceptionally bitter winter in the province of Namour, back in the 16th century, when frozen rivers left the locals unable to fish, they ingeniously turned to potatoes.
Slicing them into the shape of fish sticks, they embarked on a culinary adventure that forever transformed the culinary landscape.
Deep-frying the potatoes not only preserved vital calories for the harsh winter but also birthed the irresistible Belgian Fries. And thus, a legendary tradition was born! What sets Belgian Fries apart from their counterparts across the globe? Let's delve into the secrets behind their unparalleled taste:
The Potato's Secret: It all starts with the unique potatoes grown in this region. Unlike their waterlogged counterparts from elsewhere, these potatoes boast a lower water content, making them perfect for frying. The result? Flawlessly crispy fries that are unrivaled in texture and flavor.
The Art of Double-Frying: Crafting authentic Belgian Fries requires a meticulous process. First, the potato slices take a plunge into the bubbling oil at a temperature of 130 degrees for approximately six minutes. Then, they're given a well-deserved rest for ten minutes, allowing the flavors to harmonize. Finally, it's time for the grand finale—another round of frying, this time at 170 degrees until the fries attain a glorious golden crust. The result is a harmonious marriage of a tantalizingly crunchy exterior and a heavenly, tender interior.
The Golden Touch: While most fries are cooked in vegetable oil, the Belgians embrace a tradition rooted in indulgence. Animal fat is the secret ingredient that imparts an irresistible richness to the fries, elevating their flavor to new heights. Prepare your taste buds for an extraordinary culinary experience!
Strolling through the charming Belgian cities and quaint villages, one cannot escape the tantalizing aroma that emanates from the ubiquitous "friteries" lining the streets. These humble establishments lure both locals and curious travellers with the promise of extraordinary fries, served alongside an array of exquisite sauces.
One of our recommendations to savour the belgian fries is the franchise Frites Atelier, with restaurants in Brussels, Ghent and Antwerp.
So, dear traveler, if you find yourself amidst the enchanting wonders of Belgium, don't miss the opportunity to savour the real deal—the Belgian Fries! Embark on a gastronomic journey through history, where every golden bite takes you back to the frosty winters of centuries past. Unveil the secrets of this beloved culinary treasure and immerse yourself in the irresistible flavours that have captivated hearts around the world. Bon appétit!