Posted by: Rajiv in: Opinions & Thoughts
French Fries, French Toast & French Onion Soup - What is French about them? Why French? Really French?
The history of French fries seems to be non-definitive. Americans attribute the origin to the French but the Belgians and Spanish to themselves while the French to the Belgians! Nevertheless, its a great snack. If you love them, there is a officialfrenchfries.com
French toast lovers, guess how they originated? “As a way to use day-old or stale bread” and they seem to have got a French name attached because French bread becomes stale in a day. I have not seen and had French toast in my short tint in Paris though. However, French bread is just so hard! It has to be plucked with both hands (and ofcourse, chewed real hard with both jaws :) ). The Indian name is Bombay toast.
French onion soup – I tried it last week and liked it. Guess I had last tried in Ebony on MG Road, Bangalore. I can now saw it was well made at Ebony too.
Lastly, here is an interesting “political” twist around French fries & toast, not so long ago, in 2003:
“On February 20, 2003, Neal Rowland, owner of Cubbie’s Diner in Beaufort, North Carolina, declared that his restaurant would no longer serve French fries but “freedom fries” in retaliation for the French refusal to sanction the U.S. war on Iraq. The U.S. Congress followed suit, mandating on March 12 that the cafeterias in the House of Representatives would serve “freedom toast” and “freedom fries” in lieu of the offending “French”-monikered items. Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio) called the change “a small but symbolic effort to show the strong displeasure of many on Capitol Hill with the actions of our so-called ally, France.” The French embassy responded, first by pointing out that French fries are actually Belgian, and then declaring that “We are at a very serious moment dealing with very serious issues and we are not focusing on the name you give to potatoes.”(Nathalie Loisau, embassy spokeswoman)” -Source