This Country Consumes The Most Fries Worldwide

For many Americans, French fries likely come to mind as a staple side for classic fast-food meals like burgers. But the fried potatoes actually have a much more complex history than what you might suspect. In fact, the first time they appeared in the United States was more than 150 years before the first McDonald's popped up in 1955.

Thomas Jefferson was actually one of the first to bring what you know as French fries today to the Colonies sometime between 1784 and 1789 when he served as minister to France (via Fox 43). His chef, James Heming, who was a slave, learned to make "pommes de terre frites a cru en petites tranches" while in France. But the truth of the matter is that France, Belgium, and Spain all lay claim to have invented French fries. However, many attribute their humble beginnings to Belgium, where they were consumed long before the dawn of the hamburger.

This European country takes the title

According to Fox 43, American soldiers became enamored with what they titled "French fries" while in Belgium during the first World War. The name ultimately stemmed from the overwhelming use of French in the country. So, it should only seem natural that Belgians must eat quite a few "French fries" to have imparted one of their favorite foods with American soldiers.

While the average American certainly eats their fair share of potatoes, often fried, each year, the Belgians do actually take the title (via Forbes). For a population of 11 million people, there are a whopping 5,000 fry vendors in the small country. That means there is one fry vendor for every 2,200 people. That most definitely gives them plenty of opportunities to chow down on the delicious, salty food. So, don't give McDonald's all the credit for the rampant love of French fries so many people share today.