Of all the things in the world to dispute, Belgium and France still haggle over which country invented French fries (fried potato sticks).
From the Belgian standpoint, the popularity of the term "French fries" is explained as a "French gastronomic hegemony" into which the cuisine of Belgium was assimilated because of a lack of understanding coupled with a shared language and geographic proximity between the two countries. Belgian journalist Jo Gérard claims that a 1781 family manuscript recounts that potatoes were deep-fried prior to 1680 in the Meuse valley, in what was then the Spanish Netherlands (present-day Belgium.) However, Gerard has never been able to produce that manuscript. But, the common belief is that the term "French Fries" came from American soldiers when they arrived in Belgium during World War I and saw people deep-frying potato sticks. The Americans called them French fries because they believed they were in France at the time and not Belgium.
The French like to say the fried potatoes were invented by street vendors in Paris in 1789, just before the French Revolution. However, references exist in France of people eating fried potatoes as early as 1775.
French fries were given a boost in world-wide popularity thanks, in part, to American fast-food restaurant chains such as McDonald's and Burger King when they expanded beyond the borders of the United States.
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For those days when there's a lot to do and little time to do it, recipes like this Creamy Chicken and Rice are great. Your slow cooker does all the work, while you go about doing whatever it is you need to do. Come dinnertime your house will smell darn good and you'll have something tasty to eat!
- 1 (6-ounce) package long-grain and wild rice mix
- 10 chicken drumsticks (about 2 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 cups water
- 1 (10-3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
- 1/4 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1950 – Martin Short, Canadian comedian
1960 – Jennifer Grey, American actress