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Once, Nope, Twice, Yes! It's Belgium Fries!

Let’s talk about one of Belgium's most beloved culinary treasures: fries, or as the Belgians call them, "frites". It's often said that fries were invented in Belgium, but that's a topic for another day. Today, we'll focus on how the Belgians make their fries and what makes them so special.

Firstly, the Belgians use a specific type of potato called "Pinje". Unlike the starchy Russet potatoes commonly used in the United States, Pinje potatoes are more flowery and crumbly, giving them a fluffy texture when fried.

But the type of potato is just the beginning. The cooking process is what really sets Belgian fries apart. The key is to fry them twice, first at a lower temperature of around 150 degrees Celsius for about 7 minutes, then let them rest. Next, they are fried again at a higher temperature of 180 degrees Celsius until they achieve a crispy golden brown exterior. This unique cooking process gives Belgian fries their crispy exterior and fluffy interior, making them an unforgettable treat.

Traditionally, Belgian fries are fried in beef fat, giving them a rich and savory flavor. However, for vegetarians or those who prefer not to eat beef, some places use cooking oil instead. One thing to note is that the fryer used to cook the fries is crucial to the process. The number of fryers and the type of oil used can make a significant difference in the taste and texture of the final product. As well all may know!

If you find yourself in Belgium, be sure to try out one of the many friteries, or fry shops, that line the streets. One recommendation that came highly recommended is Friture Pitta de la Chapelle, a beloved spot that serves up some of the best fries in the country. We also noticed many locals lining up to order fries for themselves and others there. We enjoyed the fries too!

Belgian fries are a delicious treat that should be on every food lover's bucket list if visiting Belgium. So next time you're in Belgium, be sure to try out some fries and experience the magic for yourself!

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