While you may think of French fries as a simple side dish, the evolution of the fry has been a long (and tasty) road. There was a time when potatoes were only enjoyed by the people of South America. Potatoes were introduced to Europe in the 1500s after Spanish conquistadors returned from explorations in Peru. However, their popularity (and necessity) did not begin to grow until population booms across Europe several centuries later. Today, the potato is enjoyed all over the world in many forms, including the crowd favorite French fry. But with so many different preparations styles and toppings, who makes the best fry? Follow us around the world and decide for yourself!
Although not the originator of the fry, France is an obvious destination to enjoy some pommes frites. In this country of famously inventive cuisine, you’ll find that fries are commonly served with rémoulade and other unique dipping sauces.
You can savor French frites during Normandy and the D-Day Beaches.
Belgium and The Netherlands
Believed to be the birthplace of the fried potato, Belgians consider “frites” to be much more than a simple side dish. Here, you’ll find fries piled high in a paper cone and covered in sauces. Fries in the Netherlands are served in a similar manner, but crowned with a signature dollop of spicy mayonnaise.
Sample these delicious fry toppings for yourself on Essential Holland: Tulips in Spring.
The Canadians take their fries to another level. In the late 1950s, a chef in Quebec piled cheese curds on top of a plate of fries after a diner requested it, and the concept of poutine was born. A few years later, another Canadian restaurant added hot gravy to the mix “to keep the fries hot” and presto! Fry heaven.
Try poutine for yourself; join us on Canadian Rail Adventure & The Rockies.
Similar to their sense of humor, the Brits prefer their fries on the sharper side. Britain’s “chips” are commonly served with malt vinegar and salt for a slightly more tart spin on the classic fry.
Channel your inner Brit and enjoy these delicious chips on Hidden Gems of the British Isles & Ireland.
While you may not think of American French fries as anything special, the United States certainly thinks outside the box when it comes to fried potatoes. Chili cheese fries, spicy fries, curly fries; there’s no end to many ways we enjoy this scrumptious staple.
You can explore the vast fry world of the United States during America’s Treasures: The U.S. National Parks.
Did you know?
Of course, potatoes are much more to the culinary world than just fries. Countries from across the world use them as rich bases for many traditional dishes. In fact, the biggest potato-producing countries are actually China and India. Potatoes play a particularly large role in the cuisines of Ireland and Peru (where potatoes are believed to originate from); these countries harvest over 2,000 varieties of potato each!
Experience how Peruvian locals use potatoes in their cuisine when you join us on Exploring the Treasures of Peru.