I don't like the word "French Fries" at all, because the French have nothing to do with the invention of the "French Fries" ! They were invented around 1680 in Wallonia, which is the French speaking part in Belgium. The other part spoke Flemish (Dutch).
The poors of Namur, Andenne and Dinant have used potatos when the river Meuse didn't have enough fish anymore. They cut potatoes in the shape of a small fish and fried them so they had the impression to eat fish !
This started around 1680.
Some people believe that the term "French" was introduced when British and American soldiers arrived in Belgium during World War I and consequently tasted Belgian fries. They supposedly called them "French", as it was the local language and the official language of the Belgian Army at that time, believing themselves to be in France. The term "French fries" was growing popular. But in fact the term was already used in America as early as 1899, in an item in Good Housekeeping which specifically references "Kitchen Economy in France": "The perfection of French fries is due chiefly to the fact that plenty of fat is used"
Being a little point on the map, for the foreign soldiers, Belgium apparently was located in France. Not surprising, lots of people know "Brussels" because of the European Union, but don't know that it is in Belgium.
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday