July 13th is National French Fry Day and while we may think of French fries as American as apple pie, we did not invent them. Potatoes were brought over to Europe from Colombia back in the 1500s and it took a very long time for them to be consumed by people. The French initially fed potatoes to pigs because they thought eating them caused diseases.
Belgians loved eating fried fish but when winter came and rivers froze making it hard to catch fish, they started slicing potatoes into thick strips resembling fish and frying them for their meals. It is said that is how the love affair with French fries began. Fast forward to today and more fries are consumed in Belgium than anywhere else in Europe – France included!
Thomas Jefferson is given credit for starting the French fry craze in America having served them at a dinner party at the White House. The White House chef, Honoré Julien, was French and these fries were considered very elegant cuisine at the time.
Today, Americans eat on average thirty pounds of French fries a year and ketchup is the most popular condiment. Mayo with fries is also popular. Some restaurants in the US get fancy and have a list of sauces to pair with them.
Many of the fast-food restaurants are honoring National French Fry Day with specials:
BurgerFi in St. Lucie West has a rewards program and if you sign up, you’ll get free fresh cut fries on your first visit to BurgerFi.
Burger King has a special on their BK App or online where you can get a large order of French fries or onion rings for $1.
Checkers is giving an order of free fries if you sign their petition to move the holiday to Fryday (Friday). That is kind of cute isn’t it? Their reward app members can get an order of free extra-large fries.
McDonald’s isn’t one to be left out on this holiday. Visit their app to get a large order of fries for $1.
There are so many restaurants on the Treasure Coast that serve amazing hot and crispy French fries. Recently I was at The Edgewood Eatery in Vero Beach, and they hand cut their fries with the skins on. They are as good as homemade.
Ski’s Hideaway, also in Vero Beach, serves a generous portion of thick crinkle cut fries with their delicious grilled burgers. Wash it down with an ice cold, locally brewed beer and it is heaven.
We have chili cook offs and an assortment of pie baking contests, why can’t we have a French fry contest on the Treasure Coast? We could have a professional and an amateur contest so that restaurants and everyday folks can compete.
The contest could be divided up into French fry shapes – thin, crinkle, waffle, curly, steak, etc. Special sauces could also be added for a variety of flavor. To add to the fun, have a French fry eating contest too.
All kidding aside, Floridians love to party and we do not need an excuse, but I do think this would be a lot of fun and we could get non-profits involved for fund raising to help them out. Party producers, get to planning!
Circling back to sauces, I like to play around with three ingredients: ketchup, mayo and A-1 sauce. I stir two parts ketchup to one part mayo. Then I add a bit of A-1 sauce to taste. Give it a try, it is yummy.
Let’s hear from you. Tell us what your favorite type/shape of French fry is. What fast-food French fry do you love? What about other types of restaurants? What sauce do you like? Care to share a recipe?