Although potatoes were discovered by the Spanish in the early 16th century, fried potatoes are invented in Belgium in the late 17th. Fried for the first time in the French speaking Meuse valley (hence the name ‘French’ Fries) our national dish is now consumed all over the world. Though, we recommend you to eat them at least once during your visit. The secret behind our delicious frites is the double cooking: first at 150°C in order to cook the inner part and after a few minutes resting, a second time at 180° in order to have a nice golden color. Usually served in a paper cone, you will eat them with your fingers dipping a sauce.
There is no other country in the world with such a variety of sauces, next to the classic ketchup and mayonnaise; you have an endless list of delicious sauces: americain, cocktail, tartare, andalouse, samourai, brésilienne, provençale, pitta, pili-pili, pickels, ketchup-curry, bicky, etc..
Frites are usually sold in the street in a fritkot (a kiosk or a van), but fritkots are difficult to find in the city centre. Famous fritkots are the FRIT’FLAGEY at Place Flagey, FRITUUR DE LA CHAPELLE in front of the Notre-Dame de la Chapelle church and of course Belgians oldest fritkot: la MAISON ANTOINE. La MAISON ANTOINE is located on the Place Jordan in the EU neighbourhood. When in 1948 Antoine Desmet parked his little fritkot he was snubbed by the surrounding café’s. But when they saw that celebrities (like Brel and Cordy) were eating standing outside their frites, they eventually allowed the frit lovers to eat inside the café. Until this day you can eat Antoine’s frites inside the surroundings cafés as long as you order a drink.