They’re the planet’s most popular side food so it makes sense that there should be a World Championchips of French Fries.
Only it’s taken us until now to get the contest up and running, or more accurately the French have got it going.
There is, naturellement, so much to learn about French fries that we thought we knew, but didn’t.
Lords of the fries
Firstly, and you’d think this was obvious, they are French and not Belgian.
Because you might have been duped, as I’ve been, into thinking that they were created by their neighbours.
And that the Americans, who didn’t take the time to differentiate Belgian from French misnamed them.
Mais non! French fries are, in fact, made from vegetable oil, and Belgian fries from animal oil.
On such splits wars have been fought.
Thankfully we, the sensible ones, now settle our differences in the sporting or culinary field.
And so without further adieu a précis of the World Championchips.
La Championnat du Monde de la Frite will be held for the first time on Saturday, 7 October in Arras’ Grand Place.
Notre amis in the Haute-de-France region of Gaul-land tell us that Arras holds a particularly hallowed place in l’histoire des pommes de terre.
As the birthplace of the 16th-century botanist Charles de l’Écluse who conducted one of the first studies on potatoes.
L’Écluse planted this little-known tuber from Peru in his own experimental garden, and so promoting it among great European Lords.
Well before Monsieur Pomme de Terre Antoine-Augustin Parmentier in the 18th century.
Pre-selected contestants will face off in a number of different categories: family fries, authentic fries, creative fries.
While a category is reserved for catering professionals who will give chefs a chance to express their creativity and concoct the best sauce.
Professionals will also be able to display their best sauce.
And extending our knowledge from red and brown sauce… the Low Countries love their mayonnaise.
A jury of professionals and fries fans will give its verdict.
The public get to savour delicacies at the French fry stands installed for the occasion.
A semi-final will be held in the morning and a final in the afternoon.
European Region of Gastronomy
A ‘French Fry Village’ will also be open, where visitors can grab a bite to eat, meet local producers and take part in activities.
And what would a World Championchips be without the best local beers to wash it down with in what we learn is Artois country.
While we’re promised entertainment and concerts… we’re thinking some band called the Fry Fighters.
The first Championships will be sponsored by journalist, author and food critic François-Régis Gaudry.
The World Championchips of French Fries is expected to be one of the highlights of the European Region of Gastronomy 2023 calendar.
Be sure to pencil it in via your flight to Lille.
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