Are French Fries Really French?

French Fries
Yummy, crispy, salty fries

You may be surprised to learn this but french fries aren’t really French at all. In actuality, they’re Belgian. There’s an ongoing dispute between France and Belgium as to exactly where fries were originated, both countries claiming ownership. 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 of the countries[1].

At least one source says that “french fries” for “deep-fried potato batons” was also introduced when American, Canadian, and British soldiers arrived in Belgium during World War I. The Belgians had previously been catering to the British soldiers’ love of chips and continued to serve them to the other troops when they took over the western end of the front. The Belgians served them, and since French was the language of the Belgian Army, the name “French” was associated with the food.

By now, almost every country in the world has their version of the crispy fried pieces of goodness. Next time you’re out and about, pick up a hot, crispy salty basket of fries and enjoy their deep heritage.

Why Quality Ingredients Are Important

Quality Ingredients

Quality ingredients. What does the term “quality ingredients” really mean? The word “quality” defined means “of high standard” and “ingredients” defined means “the things that are used to make something, especially all the different foods you use when making a particular dish”. The term quality ingredients is often times a “go-to” or “buzz” word for marketing purposes. But, is it really that important when it comes to eating out? Here are three things to consider.

Garbage in, garbage out! Beginning with “less than” ingredients will most likely NEVER yield a good product. There are plenty of ways to coax some extra “oomph” from subpar ingredients but you really can only do so much. Quality isn’t just about throwing money at the most expensive ingredients but rather sourcing the most affordable at the highest quality available.

Fresh local ingredients. Does local mean the quality is better? Does it mean that greatness is automatic? No, it does not. However, what it does mean is that whatever product you may be selecting had less distance to travel than products at farther away. But, what’s more important to know is your product. Knowing the variety of tomato and the age at which it was harvested makes a significant impact on the end result. Its more important to purchase seasonal ingredients for optimal flavor than those out of season. Have you ever wondered why a tomato tastes better in August than in February? The natural season for tomatoes is summer to late summer. Its more important for you to truly know and understand your own ingredients.

The most expensive is not always better. Buy what you like, what works best for you, performs as you expect and to your standards. We’re all on budgets and restaurants are no different. Especially in the times of a pandemic when we’re just trying to keep the doors open and the lights on. Conventional wisdom tells us that surpassing expectations is far greater. Value is not the same as price and quality is in the eye of the beholder. Be smart with your finances and buy smart. Simply said, don’t just buy for the idea of quality, create it!

Support Your Local Small Businesses During COVID-19

With the continued spread of COVID-19, people are once again staying inside. Social distancing and self-quarantining have become societal norms, which is crucial to containing the spread of the virus. However, its having a disastrous effect on small businesses, especially the restaurant industry. In a recent Instagram post by chef and cookbook author, Gail Simmons, she says “Its hard to underestimate the sheer grit and hustle of independent restaurants in this circus of a year. Even in, no ESPECIALLY in their most challenging and dire moments, faced with seemingly endless restrictions and closures and inclement weather, they have tightrope walked, leaped through rings of fire and performed death-defying acrobatics. All to serve us a warm meal, to keep their lights on and their doors open, perhaps a few of their staff employed.” Yes, there’s light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel but how quickly we’ll get there is anyone’s guess. So, stop by Vicky’s Burger for takeout, leave a little larger tip than you would normally and let’s do whatever we can to make sure these small local establishments survive to see another year. Also, visit saverestaurants.com to do your part to help save local restaurants.

Fry Sauce

Fry sauce is a condiment often served with French fries in many places in the world. Its usually a combination of one part ketchup and two parts mayo. There are many variations which add additional ingredients to the basic recipe.

Fry sauce, while its been around since the 1900’s was originally popularized in the US by a chef named Don Carlos Edwards who served it at his restaurant in Salt Lake City, Utah in the 1950’s.

Several fast food chains have individually branded variations of fry sauce and its also closely related to Yum Yum sauce which is popular in Japanese Steakhouses in the US.

Vicky’s Burgers

We want to thank you for supporting Vicky’s Burgers during the recent pandemic. We look forward to serving each and every one of you and can’t wait to return to normal (whatever that may be in the coming days!) As always, we are following the strictest health protocols as published by the CDC to protect the health of our employees and customers. We’re always here to serve you delicious burgers, fries and shakes, so please stop by and say hello!