Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I knew of Belgium's reputation for fries in advance, and after a week of exposure I feel equipped to help my readers get to the truth of things.

Belgian fries are ubiquitous, but they are neither particularly "Belgian" nor a delicacy. They are certainly tasty, but in the way that all fries are, and not lacking in any critical fry quality. They also lack any qualities of excellence. They are simply tasty and plentiful; a daily (or hourly) serving of fulfilling mundanity.

In the US, we have ways of exoticizing European cuisine due to our undeserved inferiority complex in realm of culinary culture. At Milltown, for example, they serve fries with various sauces that are embellishments far beyond typical Belgian serving styles. In Belgium, mayonnaise is the dressing of choice, its primacy yielding -- only on occasion -- to tarter sauce and ketchup.

At the school cafeteria I frequent, fries seem to be the most popular item, and they are also freely refilled upon request (this request occurs frequently by the students -- how they retain their fitness astounds me). They are often seen with an ice cream-scoop sized glob of mayonnaise. At the outdoor food stands, there are two fry sizes; I always opt for the smaller, and am always served a massive coneful which I could not dream of finishing alone.

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