Pommes Frites is a Belgian side dish or snack, more commonly known throughout the world as French fries, prepared using Bintje potatoes.
Also known as Pataten or Frieten in Belgium, pommes frites are prepared by slicing the potatoes lengthways and then deep-frying them in ox or horse fat, twice. They are generally salted and served hot. Topped with mayonnaise, ketchup, vinegar, barbecue sauce or other local specialties, they are traditionally served in a paper cone.
Although, pommes frites belongs to Belgian cuisine, French dishes like Moules-Frites and Steak-Frites also use them as their side dish. They are also used as a key ingredient in the preparation of Belgian sandwich Mitraillette and the Canadian Poutine.
History & Cultural Significance
Many people wrongly assume pommes frites to be a French invention, which is not true. The history of pommes frites dates back to 1680 when the River Meuse froze during the winter. Because the villagers couldn’t consume fish, they started to fry potatoes.
It was during World War I that American soldiers discovered pommes frites and because French is the dominant language of southern Belgium, they nicknamed them “French” fries.
Thoroughly enjoyed all around the world, pommes frites is considered to be one of the world’s most popular side dishes. In order to recognize their most famous side dish, Belgium did not just build the world’s first, and by far the only, French Fry Museum but also gave it a cultural heritage status in 2014. In fact, every year on July 13, the US celebrates National French Fry Day in order to acknowledge this eternal snack.
- Bintje potatoes - 2 lbs (900g)
- Vegetable oil
- Take the potatoes and peel them properly. Now, start by cutting them into thick slices of about 1 cm (1/2-inch)and then into wide strips of about1 cm (1/2-inch).
- The next step is to drain as much starch as possible from the potatoes. In order to do that, place the potatoes in water for a few minutes. After some time, remove them from water and make sure to completely pat them dry.
- Now take a frying pan or a deep fryer and fill it with oil. Heat it to 320°/160°C and check the temperature of the oil by using an instant-read thermometer.
- Add the potatoes to the oil (in batches)and deep fry. Keep in mind to add only a handful at a time. Depending on the thickness, let the potatoes fry for about four to eight minutes. Remember the potatoes might stick to the pan and to prevent that, keep in mind to flip them often.
- Take a plate and line it with a paper towel. Once the potatoes are fried, shift them to the paper towel-lined plate. Leave them aside for half an hour and let them cool.
- Now take the frying pan/ deep fryer again and up the heat of the oil to 375°F/190°C. In batches, fry the potatoes for the second time for about two minutes (or until they turn golden and crisp).
- Once done, sprinkle salt on top and serve with mayonnaise.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 264Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 190mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 5gSugar: 3gProtein: 6g