The Friet Museum in Bruges lets the world know that French Fries are from Belgium! No really they are I promise!
The story goes : Apparently way back in history an American soldier was given some fries by a group of Belgian soldiers. As they were speaking in French the American, obviously mistook them for being French hence the name French Fries.
This is one of those strange little facts that I never knew about until my recent visit to Bruges. I was quite surprised by this so decided to visit the Friet Museum.
Whilst quite fun I have to be honest there was a lot of reading in the Friet Museum and I did get a little bored. Also I was hoping to see Fries being sliced and made from scratch and whilst they did sell them in the cellar of the museum they were just……….well you know French Fries………..like everywhere else!
However the thing I enjoyed the most during my visit to the Friet Museum was finding out the strange little facts. I love re-telling these facts at dinner parties, nights out etc as most people have never heard them before.
My favourite was the story of how crisps were first made.
A customer in a restaurant in the USA ordered some fries and was upset when they arrived, they were far too thick and not crispy enough so he sent the plate back to the kitchen. The Chef, who was supposedly furious with the criticism, sliced the potatoes as thin as he possibly could, salted them very heavily and refried them in order to annoy the customer. Ironically the customer found them delicious and complimented the chef who then made them a feature on his menu. Soon after they appeared in restaurants across the USA and the crisp or potato chip was born.
Sorry if you’ve heard that little story before but I found it fascinating 🙂
I’m afraid that was really the only highlight for me from my trip to the Friet Museum. I did move quite quickly through the museum and enjoyed a lot of the history but these days I don’t really want to spend my whole time reading whilst in a museum. I like something a little more interactive which is why I jumped at the chance to climb inside an old French Fries cart and pretend I was making some fries – I did get a few strange looks from some of the other visitors.
In short if you love potatoes, potato chips and fries and want to discover some of the history right back to the origins of the potato then the Friet Museum is definitely a museum for you. It’s quite quirky and whilst adults might be able to spend half an hour or so in there I think children will quickly become bored after the first or second room!
You can find out more about the Friet Museum on their official website http://www.frietmuseum.be/en/