French fries, also called chips, finger chips, fries, or French Pommes Frites, side dish or snack usually made from deep-fried potatoes cut into various shapes, typically thin strips. Fries are often salted and served with other condiments including ketchup, mayonnaise, or vinegar. Also, they can be topped with the more substantial fare, such as chili. Poutine is a Canadian dish of French fries covered in cheese curds and gravy.
The origin of French fries
The origin of French fries is uncertain. According to one tradition, they first appeared in France, where they were probably a snack sold by street vendors. However, in recent years Belgium has been cited as the place of birth. The origin of the name is also disputed. An oft-repeated claim is that an American soldier tasted the dish in Namur, Belgium during World War I. What is not discussed is the popularity of French fries, which grew rapidly after becoming a staple at many fast-food restaurants.
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French fries can be made with a variety of potatoes, although roasts are usually preferred. Apart from this, sweet potato is also sometimes used. Potatoes are cut into various shapes, such as wedges, curls, or, more commonly, thin strips. After the optional but recommended step of blanching, the pieces are dried and then usually fried in a deep fryer.
French fries are high in fat because of the oil, which has been linked to heart disease and diabetes. Along with salt, the taste also poses risks to the heart. Amid growing health concerns, many fast food chains, including McDonald’s, stopped using oils containing trans fat in the early 21st century. To avoid or limit the use of oil, french fries can also be baked in the oven or made in an air fryer.