July 13 – National French Fries Day

Posted on July 13, 2013

Potatoes were a New World food that probably got their start as human-food in Peru and Bolivia, in South America. The were brought to Europe by Spanish explorers in the 1500s. Many historians (and probably every last Belgian) will tell you that “French fries” – that is, potatoes cut into long strips and fried in oil or other fat – probably started in what is now Belgium (but was then ruled by Spain).

Tornado fries!

French fries come in a lot of variations: they can be ultra-thin “shoestring” fries, thin straight fries, curly corkscrew fries, thick wedge-like “steak fries,” waffle-cut fries, crinkle-cut fries, and even cubed “home fries.” The most unusual fry in my life (as in, I've never ever seen this!) is the Tornado Fry. For this dish, a potato is cut into one thin, continuous spiral and is served on a stick!

And they are popular all over the world!

Have you ever tried...

  • fries with mayonnaise?

    (This is a common treat in Belgium and the Netherlands.)

  • poutine—fries with fresh cheese curds and gravy?
(This is a yummy food available in   Canada, especially French Canada.)

  • Irish nachos”—fries topped with cheese, tomatoes, sour cream, and onions?

    (This dish is called “Irish nachos,” not because it is popular in Ireland, but it because people often associate the potato with Ireland, and the toppings are the same as those used on tortilla chips-based nachos.)

  • Animal Fries—fries served with melted cheese, grilled onions, and Thousand-Island dressing?
(This popular treat is served at In-and-Out.)

For more, check out “America's Most Outrageous French Fries.”

Also on this date:

Obon, or Day of the Souls, in Japan

Plan ahead:

Check out my Pinterest pages on July holidayshistorical anniversaries in July, and July birthdays.

And here are my Pinterest pages on August holidayshistorical anniversaries in August, and August birthdays.

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