There are many things in the world that the French can claim… croissants, apathy towards lost tourists, hating the English, drinking wine when you’re like 12, smoking a really long cigarette while wearing a beret, laughing like “aw haw haw haw!”
But there is a little-known fact that we’d like to take the time to blow out of the water. Fries aren’t even French. Nope. Non. Absolument pas.
Fries are, in fact, a Spanish culinary invention. BOOM.
Surprised? You’re not alone. But to understand where ~French~ fries actually come from, we have to go back to a time long before Marie Antoinette lost her head.
You say potato
Version one goes a little like this. Potatoes were being fried in Belgium in the late-1600s.
Poor Belgian villagers commonly fried small fish caught in the river. In the winter months, the river would freeze over and fishing became impossible. The Belgians would then substitute the fish for thinly sliced potatoes.
Now skip forward 200 years to when Yankee soldiers were posted to Belgium during World War 1. They were introduced to these crispy, golden fries and because the Belgian army spoke French, they nicknamed these wondrous potatoes “French Fries.” Just like that, the name stuck and French Fries were born!
BUT, they had already been invented elsewhere…
I say potato
Peruvian natives were the first humans to cultivate potatoes around 8,000 to 5,000 BC.
So before the rest of the world had cottoned on to how good potatoes are, the Peruvians were already on to it. They were like “yeah. We know. We’ve literally been doing this for thousands of years.”Side note: HOW good are potatoes. They’re so versatile. Shout-out to Peru. So ahead of your time. Sincerely, the rest of the world.
In 1536, the Spanish conquered Peru and discovered the local staple of potatoes. Frying was a culinary tradition throughout Spain, so it was a no-brainer.
There’s also evidence that suggests a Spanish Nun named Teresa “super-long-surname” Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada was the first person to fry a potato. So I mean really, who’s the real Mother Theresa here? That lady who owned a hospice or the absolute legend who invented fries.
From there, it spread to the rest of Spain and the “Spanish Netherlands, which (PLOT TWIST!) later became Belgium more than a century later.
In Mexico alone, an average of 157,000 tons of french fries (or ‘papas fritas’) are eaten every year. That is A LOT of potatoes.
GYG fries are full of authentic Mexican flavours and textures. Crispy, flavoursome and freshly seasoned with our Chipotle seasoning. And that’s before we even touch one of the incredible dipping sauces on the side – chipotle mayo, mex chimi mayo (vegan!) and our hot, hot jalapeno ketchup!
Is it lunchtime yet?