Join 3,424 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Mmmm ... Belgian Fries.
March 14, 2003 4:48 AM   Subscribe

Mmmm ... Belgian Fries.
posted by ZenMasterThis (25 comments total)

 
The "History/F-words" section is particularly interesting, and topical.

Naked troll, or delectable taste treat?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 4:56 AM on March 14, 2003


Thanks, this post is very apropos for me. I've been in the Netherlands for the past two weeks, and Vleemse Frites are everywhere. The main franchise is called Manneken Pis, which features the famous Belgian statue of the little boy taking a leak as part of its logo. I'm not sure that it's wise to associate urine with a food product, but it doesn't seem to deter any of the local Dutch who eat these by the bucketload.
posted by MrBaliHai at 5:08 AM on March 14, 2003


Sorry... I only eat French fries. It's a uniquely American thing, like the Statue of Liberty.

I have a friend who goes to restaurants and always is annoyingly particular about ordering her french fries with mayonaise. Yeck. Needless to say, I try not to go to those kinds of restaurants with her anymore.
posted by insomnia_lj at 5:13 AM on March 14, 2003


Is there a gulf of difference between (say) your average American Fry and the British "Fish-n-Chips" chip?
posted by RavinDave at 5:38 AM on March 14, 2003


Sorry... I only eat French fries. It's a uniquely American thing, like the Statue of Liberty.

Then you mean Freedom Fries Right? :)
posted by stew560 at 5:38 AM on March 14, 2003


Best Belgian Fries in New York, and the best fries I've ever had, and I've had a lot. Plus they've got Chimay and Lindeman's Peche Lambic on hand and one of the coolest bartenders I've ever dealt with. And don't ask for ketchup unless you wanna look like a dolt.
posted by jonmc at 5:41 AM on March 14, 2003


Is there a gulf of difference between (say) your average American Fry and the British "Fish-n-Chips" chip?

Yes. Let-Freedom-Reign Fries are sliced much more thinly, increasing their surface area to volume ratio and thereby absorbing more oil for extra crispy heart-attacky goodness. Chips are about 1cm square in cross-section, which changes their entire chip nature. They're hotter, more potatoey, and more filling than Les Frites Francais.

See also this handy cut-out-and-keep guide to chip nomenclature, unless a self-link causes you extreme psychological pain.
posted by rory at 6:27 AM on March 14, 2003


"I sure do love my Freedom Fries."
"Yeah, Let-My-Freedom-Reign Fries are the best!"
"Damned if I'm gonna let any pinko commie terrorists take my Freedom-Fighting Fries away from me."
"..."
"You know, Grownups did this."
"I'll be in my cubicle with a cone of Freedom-to-be-a-Fatass Fries and a fifth of Jim Beam."
posted by kaibutsu at 6:36 AM on March 14, 2003


I love Belgian-style fries but IMO mayonnaise goes best with fat fluffy chips. It's a bit like potato salad. Mayonnaise mixed with tomato sauce is also particularly good.
posted by Summer at 6:40 AM on March 14, 2003


Or the George Michael version, kaibutsu: I-Don't-Want-Your-Freedom Fries.
posted by rory at 6:43 AM on March 14, 2003


I take it those Republican congressmen will also be "freedom kissing" their girlfriends in sleazy Virginia motels from now on as well.
posted by hairyeyeball at 7:30 AM on March 14, 2003


I agree with Summer. There are at least six different types of fried potatoes, all absolutely delicious if they're freshly and properly made. Part of the fun is matching them to different foods. I love deciding which ones I'm going to have and then cutting the potatoes accordingly. I feel most people have no idea of the extraordinary range of french fries, from extra-crispy to soft and mushy, you can get. Just choose the right potatoes, shapes, use good peanut oil (I like olive oil too), make sure to fry them twice, salt them well, spread them out on a large plate and, er, sit down and eat them.

I like to make little mounds round the plate with mayonnaise, various mustards, ketchup, horseradish, chutneys, picallili, etc - and then make difficult decisions about where to dip each upcoming chip.

This brief explanation covers the basics.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:46 AM on March 14, 2003


Since we are replacing "French" with "Freedom," does that mean that we should to refer to Frenchmen as "Freedommen" or "Freemen?"

As for these so-called Belgian fries -- it's all a hoax. Everyone knows that Belgium doesn't exist.
posted by moonbiter at 7:59 AM on March 14, 2003


No one's really answered my original question ... or have they?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:28 AM on March 14, 2003


Mayo? Yuck. I'll stick with ketchup, doctored with heaps of black pepper and a few shakes of hot sauce.
posted by kozad at 8:52 AM on March 14, 2003


I like to make little mounds round the plate with mayonnaise, various mustards, ketchup, horseradish, chutneys, picallili, etc - and then make difficult decisions about where to dip each upcoming chip.

What Brummel was to sartorial elegance Miguel is to potato condiments.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 8:56 AM on March 14, 2003


The answer to your original question, ZenMasterThis, is "delectable taste treat". Americans and Britons in this thread turning their noses up at the thought of mayo on fries are being misled by the deceptively-named synthetic mayo substitutes on sale in your average Anglo-American supermarket. Belgian mayonnaise tastes nothing like that white glop; it's thick, vinegar-y and perfect for fries. And I say that as someone who never cared for mayo and only tried it because it seemed wrong not to eat frites the Belgian way when one was in Brussels.

Also, white cardboard cones beat crappy little cups or week-old newspaper any day.
posted by rory at 9:19 AM on March 14, 2003


Let's just all call them "Frites de liberte," okay?

Oh better yet, "The Blair Chip Project."
posted by DenOfSizer at 10:01 AM on March 14, 2003


I get to go to Belgium twice a year with my band, and I can vouch for Flemish friets. My Dutch buddies worship them And after the initial shock you get used to the mayo. And yes, they go great with giant mussels. BUT the downside is the fact that lots of the Belgian population are HUGE - not just chubby, but immensely overweight, waddling fatsos. My band calls them "Belgomorphs". That's what a diet of fries, mayo, and beer will get you.
posted by zaelic at 10:28 AM on March 14, 2003


mmmm...fries. Thanks for the lead, jonmc -- this looks like a great place to check out. (I really think you should lead beer/candy/junkfood walking tours of the East Village...where do I sign up?)
posted by Vidiot at 11:52 AM on March 14, 2003


So ... hungry ... now ...
posted by sacre_bleu at 12:59 PM on March 14, 2003


I like A-1 on my french fries but not on my steak. Go figure!
posted by mark13 at 5:25 PM on March 14, 2003


While I attended college in Los Angeles, me and my ex-girlfriend would always make the drive to Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade for Belgian fries at Benitas Friets (sp?). They're sorta like steak fries I guess...not chips, but not McD's-type fries either. The best part was the different sauces you could get: Sour Cream and Dill, Peanut Satay, etc. Good stuff...I wonder if that little place is still open.
posted by Blaze_01 at 1:31 AM on March 15, 2003


BUT the downside is the fact that lots of the Belgian population are HUGE - not just chubby, but immensely overweight, waddling fatsos. My band calls them "Belgomorphs". That's what a diet of fries, mayo, and beer will get you.

I don't know in what part of Belgium you've been hanging around, but by the latest statistics, overweight is not epidemic yet in Belgium as it is in the US and Great Brittain.

A good recipe for Belgian Fries. The trick is to fry them twice, at different temperatures (140 Celsius first, 190 second). They should not show signs of brown at the first fry: this is merely intended to "cook" them on the inside. The second one is to provide the crispy outside. Let them cool off completely between the two fries.

Incidentally, the best fries are obtained by baking your fries in - be prepared to be scandalized - beef fat. It makes them crispier on the outside, and provides the nice golden colour.

Best fritkot in Belgium: "Chez Antoine" on the Place Jourdan, Brussels (no website, they're too busy making fries for everybody). If you've never tasted those fries, you don't know fries, baby.

The mayonnaise here in Belgium is a lot less sweet than German and Dutch (and probably British and American) mayo. It's made from mustard, vinegar, egg yolks and oil. NO sugar!
posted by NekulturnY at 4:36 AM on March 15, 2003


Argh! It's the return of the browserist websites! God, I thought this crap died back in 1997:

I checked this website on Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher only. Probably it sucks on Netscape, as the program (IMHO) does too. Don't complain about this, I really don't have the time to do it right for everybody.

"Anyone who slaps a 'this page is best viewed with Browser X' label on a Web page appears to be yearning for the bad old days, before the Web, when you had very little chance of reading a document written on another computer, another word processor, or another network."
- Tim Berners-Lee

So, when will the wordstar version of this website be available?
posted by shepd at 8:18 AM on March 15, 2003


« Older Has PayPal's acceptable use policy...  |  It's just not cricket - it wou... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments