Bruges Waffles & Frites franchise restaurants recently announced their intentions to bring their unique approach to the fast-casual restaurant industry to markets in the western states. Along with this expansion process, Bruges plans to educate consumers on the true history of the “French Fry.” The twist? French fries are not really French!
“The history of the French Fry-‘known as ‘Frites’ or ‘Friets’ in Belgian culture–is not widely known, and we intend to teach somewhat of a history lesson as we introduce the authentic specialty frites to new markets,” explains Pierre Vandamme, Belgian native and co-founder of Bruges Waffles & Frites.
Bruges’ frites have received both local and national media attention, having won awards and recognitions from both.
Frites have strong Belgian roots that date back to 1680. Then part of the Spanish Netherlands, the people were so poor that they considered small fried fish a delicacy. When fishing was no longer an option due to a frozen river, the people turned to slicing small potatoes and frying them instead. Many years later, the local newspapers ran a feature article about a man named Fritz who was selling fries at Belgian fairs. The papers referred to the man as ‘The King of Fried Potatoes,’ and shortly after stalls selling the fries began appearing in Antwerp.
The misleading name “french fries” is not fully known, but has two alleged sources. The first, being from the Irish verb “to french” which roughly translates to “to cut.” The second, from the American Allies during World War II who tasted the potatoes and called them “French” after the native language then spoken in the Belgian Ardennes, and “fries” for the cooking method used. Whichever story you prefer, french fries should correctly be referred to as “Belgian Frites.”
Bruges Waffles & Frites introduced their fried specialty to the Salt Lake City community after winning fans with their authentic Liège waffles. The brand was already receiving glowing reviews from customers, but with the addition of authentic Belgian frites, the attention grew. Their specialty frites earned awards including City Weekly’s Best French Fries for two years running, a feature on travel channel’s Man vs. Food, and even earned a ranking on the “Best Desserts in Salt Lake City” list for their waffles. Bruges menu is small and simple, but continues to create raving fans, earn recognitions from national and local media and does not disappoint its fans.