Re: French fries (or Belgian fries)
My name is Marie-Julie
After reading the comments regarding french fries I'd just like you all to know the following facts:
Edward De-gernier was my great-grandfather and it was he who introduced french fries to the UK.
Edward was born in Brussels Belgium on 18th May 1847. On 1st April 1869 he married Julia Stephanie Morant from Armentieres in France. They travelled from Armentieres to Scotland, where they eventually settled in Dundee.
In 1874 Edward erected a tent in Dundee's Greenmarket, which he himself called "the very first chip potatoes, peas and vinegar stall in Great Britain", where he chipped up and sold the very first of what was later to be known as "french-fries". This was because, due to his accent and the fact that his wife was French, Edward was nicknamed "Frenchie" by friends and neighbours. It was those same friends and neighbours and eventually people from near & far, who then called his chips, french fries.
Aha, a connaisseur!!! Indeed, fries are a Belgian invention, from the Meuse region where originally, they weren't made of potatoes but small fish. Later, when the potatoe became more common in those regions, the fish were gradually replaced by potatoes.
The name "french frie" came from an English officer during WWI who mistook french speaking Belgian soldiers for french soldiers (our uniforms where pretty similar back then) and named the fried potoes "French Fries"...
In any case, if you want to experience true Belgian fries, here's the recipe:
As oil, use only oxfat
For fries try to find some potatoes that are big and pretty consistent after boiling.
You peal the potatoes and slice them into rectangles of 1x1 cm. Precoock them in your frying pan on a temperature of +/- 150° C until they are soft (this means pale coloured and absolutely NOT crispy). Afterwards, heat the oil up to 180° C and frie the chips until they are nice brown and crispy on the outside.
If you have any additional questions, feel free to ask them...