Strange is the way of eating
and serving typical French Fried Potatoes (Frieten) in
Belgium. Frieten are served in a typical bag (frietzak)
and the way of presenting the frieten is sometimes
disgusting (meat, vegetables, dip sauces and frieten all
mixed together). In this chapter you will find some
information about the Belgian fries (history – recipe –
Together with delicious Belgian
chocolate, the Belgian potato fry is certainly the
product that is the most characteristic of Belgian
culinary expertise. Over the years, fries have become
known world wide to the delight of adults and children
in practically all countries and we can be proud that
they actually originate from Belgium.
Belgian Fries are part of Belgian culinary and cultural
heritage. Even if they are sometimes referred to as
French Fries there is nothing French about them.
Apparently the name originated due to a linguistic
misunderstanding, because in old English ‘to French’
meant ‘cut into sticks’. According to the Belgian
historian Jo Gerard, chips appeared on the dining tables
in Namur, French speaking Ardennes and Dinant in the
latter half of the 17th century. Poorer inhabitants in
these towns used to fry tiny fish. When the river froze
in the winter the fish were replaced by sticks of
potatoes cut to the same small size of the fish.
The FRIETKOT and the FRIETZAK
Freedom fries, chips, or frites –
whichever name you prefer to use – they’re Belgian! And
we take this responsibility very seriously. Made with
Belgian Bintje potatoes, cooked twice and served
in a paper cone with a side of mayonnaise, these Belgian
treats embody potato perfection. A favorite place to
sample our fries are at frietkots or fritures,
which are outdoor vendors who sell – you guessed it –
Belgian fries. There are more than 4000 frietkots
throughout Belgium and many carry a selection of over 50
dipping sauces to choose from. The Frietkot (fry shop)
was voted the most typical “Face of Belgium”. Another
great victory for our unsurpassed streetfood! The
traditional way to eat French fries in Belgium is in a
special bag, called the frietzak
Peel aprox. 1.3 kg potatoes
Wash them carefully
Cut the peeled potatoes in "chips"
(thick sticks from +/- 12 mm)
Put the thermostat of the deeep frier on
160 degrees Celcius
Use only beef suet (if you want the reel ones)
Bake the chips a first time until they are cooked (5 to
Take them out of the deep frier and let
them stand for a few minutes
Heat your deep frier to 180 degrees Celcius
Bake now your chips a second
time until they are crunchy
Don't bake too many chips at the same
time, a maximum of 200 to 300 grams
Follow these instructions carefully and enjoy the
wonderful taste of the real Belgian Fries.
Start by peeling some potatoes. Cut them in slices 1 cm
(3/8") thick and finally cut them into fries of 1 cm
square. Dry the fries well in paper or a towel before
putting them into the oil.
Note: some people like to put them in
cold water for a few minutes: this washes out much of
the starch and tends to make them less sticky after the
first frying and more crispy after the second.
Heat the oil in a hot frying pan or deep fryer to a
temperature of 160°C (320°F). Put in a handfull of
fries: not more at once because the oil will cool down
too much. Fry for a few minutes (4-8 depending on the
thickness and the kind of potatoes), stir regularly to
prevent sticking. Put the fries into a large bowl with
kitchenpaper and let them 'sweat' for at least 1/2 hour.
Finally heat to 180°C (360°F) and fry for 2 minutes
until crispy and golden brown. This way the fries will
be crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, the way
they should be!
Serve with a little salt (no vinegar pleeeeease)
and some mayonnaise.
A list of No-no's
Do not slice them too thin (see below). 1 cm square is
the perfect dimension. Try to cut them rectangular:
pointed ends tend to burn. You'll need more patatoes of
Do not put in too many fries at once: the oil will cool
down and your fries will be too wacky and greasy.
Do not fry them the first time until they become brown.
Never put a lid on your frying pan: this makes your
Never use frozen fries! Go to a McDonalds if you like
Strange presentation - Friet with
vegetables and dip sauces