Despite their name, the best French fries are apparently found in Belgium. "Frieten" are even a national dish! In our series "Food Secrets" we learn how much love goes into making each fry just right.
Despite the common name of this dish (and the fact that France has given the world many famous foods, from the baguette to the soufflé), the French fry is unequivocally Belgian, at least according to Albert Verdeyen, chef and co-author of Carrément Frites, which charts the history of the fry.
Fatty, Not Greasy
Belgians take their food very seriously – especially their fries. The real Belgian frietjes or pommes fritesare thickly cut and quickly fried twice, with some cooling time in between. This makes the fries crunchy on the outside, while they remain soft on the inside.
While the average American certainly eats their fair share of potatoes, often fried, each year, the Belgians do actually take the title (via Forbes). For a population of 11 million people, there are a whopping 5,000 fry vendors in the small country. That means there is one fry vendor for every 2,200 people.
The study carried out by CEOWORLD magazine revealed that the US ranks as the world's most fast-food-obsessed country. The United Kingdom is second to only the United States. The research reveals how often residents of the 20 countries we surveyed eat junk food in an average month.
Given that McDonald's was started in the United States, it should come as no surprise that the United States still has the most McDonald's of any country in the world. The United States is home to more than 14,000 McDonald's restaurants, and they come in all shapes and sizes.
To mimic the chain's original oil blend, the oil is laced with natural flavoring to replicate that mouthwatering smell. In other words, the delicious scent we know and love is actually the smell of potatoes cooked in beef fat, an aroma so powerful it makes the fries seem even tastier!
In the 1990s, as health concerns over saturated fat reached an all-time high, McDonald's faced a backlash against the use of beef tallow, and worried about losing customers, the chain switched to vegetable oil. Unfortunately, many customers said the new texture and taste weren't up to the mark.
The origin story
The origins can be found in Belgium, where historians claim potatoes were being fried in the late-1600s. According to Belgian lore, poor villagers living in Meuse Valley would often ate small fried fish they caught in the river.
In the US these are “French Fries”, or often just “fries”.
French fries. Chips is British English, French fries American. If you ask for chips in the US, you'll get what we call crisps in Britain!
Yes. When our suppliers partially fry our cut potatoes, they use an oil blend that contains beef flavoring. This ensures the great-tasting and recognizable flavor we all love from our World Famous Fries®. The fries are cooked in our kitchens, seasoned with salt, and served hot to you.
Seasoned with a secret blend of herbs and spices and fried to crispy perfection like our world-famous chicken, Secret Recipe Fries are unrivaled in flavor.
#1: French fries
They've been a staple of McDonald's since its very first menu, and people have been asking for fries with that—or just fries—ever since.
French fries are America's favorite potato. However, as any fry connoisseur knows, there is more than one way to make french fries. In fact, there are over a dozen delicious possible fry formations, although some are far more popular than others.
We use a blend including canola and sunflower oils to cook with. Like all vegetable oils, it's cholesterol free and has 85% less trans-fat than our previous blend.
Beef tallow was initially used because the supplier for McDonald's couldn't afford vegetable oil. In the 1990s, as health concerns over saturated fat reached an all-time high, McDonald's faced a backlash against the use of beef tallow, and worried about losing customers, the chain switched to vegetable oil.
At the beginning of the potato season, when we're using newer potatoes, the naturally-occurring sugar content is very low and we do need to add a small amount of sugar dextrose to our fries to ensure they maintain that golden colour.
The major markets for KFC include China (7,166 stores), the United States (3,943 stores), Japan (1,140 stores), Russia (979 stores), South Africa (955 stores), the United Kingdom (928 stores), Thailand (853 stores), Malaysia (743 stores), Indonesia (742 stores), Australia (699 stores), and Canada (601 stores).
Spain eats the least fast food of any industrialized country in the world, after Italy.