Here are today’s five thing to know about Fries:
- Leaving the potato skin on French fries actually leaves in important vitamins that are lost if the skins are peeled away.
- In England these are referred to as “chips”
- French fries are, perhaps, poorly-named, since they originate in Belgium and are most popular in America.
- Though French fries were invented in Europe, the potatoes, from which they are made, originated in the Americas and were imported.
- The first occurrence of French fries in America may have been at a diplomatic dinner hosted by Thomas Jefferson.
Today’s Food History
- 1759 Thomas Andrew Knight was born. British horticulturist and botanist who experimented with geotropism, phototropism and heliotropism. (We all know our tropisms, don’t we?).
- 1856 James Buchanan (‘Diamond Jim’) Brady was born. American financier and philanthropist Diamond Jim Brady was known for his collection of diamond jewelry, and for his gargantuan appetite. He was known to eat 6 or 7 giant lobsters, dozens of oysters, clams and crabs, 2 ducks, steak and desserts at a single sitting. He would also mix a pound of caviar into a baked potato. George Rector, a New York restaurateur said he was ‘the best twenty-five customers I ever had.’
- 1883 The quagga, a zebra-like mammal of southern Africa became extinct when the last mare at Amsterdam Zoo died. They had been hunted to extinction.
- 1948 Harry Brearley died. Brearley was an English metallurgist who invented stainless steel in 1912.
- 1955 The U.S. minimum wage was raised from 75 cents to $1.00
- 1981 IBM introduced its Personal Computer (PC) and PC-DOS 1.0
- 1990 B. (Barnard) Kliban died. A satirical cartoonist, best known for his cat cartoons. A few of his cartoon book titles: ‘Never Eat Anything Larger Than Your Head’, ‘The Biggest Tongue in Tunisia’.