French fries, also known as “frites,” are a beloved and iconic food that have become a staple of cuisine all around the world. Despite their name, however, the true origin of French fries is a matter of debate.

One popular theory suggests that French fries originated in Belgium, where they were first made in the late 17th century. According to this theory, Belgian villagers would fry fish as a part of their traditional cuisine, but during the winter months when the rivers were frozen over, they would instead fry strips of potatoes as a substitute. These potato strips were dubbed “frites,” and they soon became a popular snack throughout Belgium and neighboring countries.

Another theory, however, suggests that French fries actually originated in France, where they were first made in the early 19th century. According to this theory, the French began to fry potatoes in the mid-1800s, initially as a side dish for meat or fish. The fries were typically cut in thick strips and fried in animal fat, which gave them a rich, crispy texture.

Regardless of their true origin, French fries quickly became a beloved food all around the world. They were introduced to the United States in the early 19th century, where they became a popular snack food at carnivals and fairs. Today, French fries can be found on menus in restaurants and fast food chains all around the world, and they are a ubiquitous part of modern cuisine.

In recent years, French fries have even sparked controversy due to concerns about their nutritional value and the use of unhealthy frying oils. As a result, some restaurants and food manufacturers have begun to experiment with healthier methods of cooking French fries, such as baking or air frying.

Despite their disputed origins and recent controversies, French fries remain a beloved and iconic food that have become a part of cultural and culinary traditions all around the world. Whether enjoyed as a side dish or as a snack on their own, these crispy, salty delights are sure to remain a favorite for generations to come.