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Belgian fries and pralines

 

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Belgian fries and chocolate pralines

The fishers on the shores of the Meuse river in Belgium had the tradition to fry the numerous small fish that they catched in a pan. But one winter was so cold that the river froze completely. So somebody had the idea to cut potatoes in a thick match form, reminding the form of the small gudgeons and to throw them in boiling oil. It was delicious and the potato fry was born. In Belgium! This is the legend but the real history of this gastronomic object is less evident. A lot of countries claim they invented it in the second half of the 19th century, especially…la “France” where French fries were sold at the Pont Neuf in Paris before conquering the civilised world.
In 1857 a Walloon paper publishes an article on a certain Mr.Fritz who has a “friterie” (Belgian fries snack). It’s mainly in the fairs that the fry develops in Belgium. What’s so special about the Belgian fry? Simply that it is the best in the world! It cracks crispy under your teeth and melts in your mouth because….it is boiled twice! And of course the quality of the Belgian potato (Bintje). Now stop salivating and rush into the first open “friterie”!! ;-)
The PRALINES manufactured by great Belgian names like Wittamer, Nihoul, Neuhaus, Godiva and Leonidas and craftsmen like Chocolatier Mary (73, rue Royale) or Chocolatier Marcolini (39, place du Grand Sablon) are a MUST. A package from 100 grams to 2 kilos is a wonderful present, or in a preselected choice or at your own choice. The chocolats, often stuffed with whipped cream, don't conservate so long and maybe you will have to eat them yourself! Poor guys;-)