Eurofoods – Part V: French Fries

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

There are some foods that are particularly European. Maybe people think of fine wine, truffles, baguettes and ravioli. But for cyclists there are some particular foods that stand out. As part of a series about food in Europe for riding, here’s the fifth: french fries.

Product description
Fairly obvious, it’s sliced potato that’s been fried. The use for the cyclist is dubious, they are a certain source of carbohydrate but woe betide the rider who is spotted eating these during the season by their DS given the fat content.

That doesn’t stop cyclists from enjoying these. I was partly prompted to write about this after seeing a well-known Aussie cyclist enjoying chips and a kebab in Nice a short while ago.

Nevertheless this is authentic street food that is easy to find across Northern Europe. Roadside stalls are common. But you won’t find much if this in Italy or Spain and in France it is something that normally only belongs to the north. It’s really in Belgium and Holland that frieten are the most popular. Here it’s often served in a paper cone and often with mayonnaise. It’s different from the US where ketchup is popular, or Britain where chips come drowned in vinegar.

The association with cycling is popular given the way crowds appear at kermesses, classics and cyclo-cross races and enterprising chip stalls turn up to supply the hungry spectators. It creates one of those contrasts, the fans guzzling down chips whilst the poor rider is lucky to get an energy bar.

It’s such a part of Flemish life that industrial chip provider Farm Frites has backed several pro cycling teams.

This is part of a series on European foods with links to cycling or simply for fuel:
Part I: Nutella
Part II: Pâte de fruits
Part III: Stroopwafels
Part IV: Coffee
Part V: Frites
Part VI: Pasta
Part VII: French Bakeries
Part VIII: Water
Part IX: Sirop
Part X: Pharmaceuticals
Part XI: Summary
Part XII: Esta Thé
Part XIII: Grated carrots
Part XIV: Speculoos
Part XV: Belgian beer
Part XVI: Oman Coffee
Part XVI: Italian Ice-cream

Anonymous November 25, 2010 at 11:16 pm

True that, "normal" people in the Netherlands and Belgium practically live on fries. And there is not a lot better than Belgium Fries after a 100+km ride topped with an uphill sprint with nearly 20° after consuming the fries ;)

ashket suhad May 21, 2011 at 8:21 am

nice pic hu3

rhys February 24, 2012 at 1:33 am

I loved the frites when I went to Brussels and The Netherlands. Seeing as how my wife always wants to share food between us and she is allergic to tomato, it was nice to be able to have a sauce of mayonnaise on my frites.
I once had a bowl of crispy chats at the Austinmer pub at the halfway point of a ride, and that was some great coal in the boiler let me tell you.

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