History UsefulNotes / SnailsAndSoOn

29th Aug '17 7:19:01 AM karstovich2
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* Béarnaise: Hollandaise, but with a reduction of white wine vinegar, shallot, and tarragon substituted for lemon juice, seasoned with black pepper[[note]]Chefs like to debate whether the black pepper should be introduced as whole peppercorns cooked with the shallots and tarragon in the vinegar reduction, or if it should be added finely ground at the very end[[/note]] and finished with fresh herbs (adding fresh tarragon is a must; chervil may also be added). A traditional French accompaniment to ''entrecôte'', i.e. grilled steak, especially strip or Porterhouse, aficionados often describe it as the greatest steak sauce in the world.

to:

* Béarnaise: Hollandaise, but the lemon juice is replaced with a reduction of white wine vinegar, shallot, and tarragon substituted for lemon juice, tarragon, seasoned with black pepper[[note]]Chefs like to debate whether the black pepper should be introduced as whole peppercorns cooked with the shallots and tarragon in the vinegar reduction, or if it should be added finely ground at the very end[[/note]] and finished with fresh herbs (adding fresh tarragon is a must; chervil may also be added). A traditional French accompaniment to ''entrecôte'', i.e. grilled steak, especially strip or Porterhouse, aficionados often describe it as the greatest steak sauce in the world.
28th Aug '17 6:48:47 PM karstovich2
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Incidentally, while we're talking about the US, French regional cuisine is the direct ancestor of the famous [[UsefulNotes/CuisinesInAmerica Cajun and Creole cuisines of Louisiana]]; many traditional Louisiana dishes are French regional ones, adapted to use New World ingredients (e.g. bell peppers instead of carrots) and with Spanish, African, Native American, and British/American Southern influences added on top. In general, Cajun cuisine hewed closer to old-style French peasant cooking, while Creole cuisine was both more receptive to foreign influences and--being derived from the cooking of more urban colonists--also paid more attention to developments in continental French cooking. However, today, these cuisines, although still distinct, have also taken a lot of influence from each other, are very popular outside Louisiana and are generally considered one of the greatest achievements of the American kitchen (world-class New Orleans-style restaurants have appeared even outside the US)...so touché, French food snobs.

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Incidentally, while we're talking about the US, French regional cuisine is the direct ancestor of the famous [[UsefulNotes/CuisinesInAmerica Cajun and Creole cuisines of Louisiana]]; many traditional Louisiana dishes are French regional ones, adapted to use New World ingredients (e.g. bell peppers instead of carrots) and with Spanish, African, Native American, and British/American Southern influences added on top. In general, Cajun cuisine hewed closer to old-style French peasant cooking, while Creole cuisine was both more receptive to foreign influences (particularly taking tomatoes from colonial Spanish cooking and certain ingredients like okra from African cuisine) and--being derived from the cooking of more urban colonists--also paid more attention to developments in continental French cooking.cooking (the extensive use of butter characteristic of Creole cooking is Continental influence, in contrast to the Cajuns who historically used lard). However, today, these cuisines, although still distinct, have also taken a lot of influence from each other, are very popular outside Louisiana and are generally considered one of the greatest achievements of the American kitchen (world-class New Orleans-style restaurants have appeared even outside the US)...so touché, French food snobs.
28th Aug '17 6:41:31 PM karstovich2
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Also known as "La Grande Cuisine", Haute Cuisine (literally "High Cooking") has its roots in the cuisine of the Middle Ages and of [[UsefulNotes/LEtatCestMoi the Ancien Régime]] but really took off after UsefulNotes/TheFrenchRevolution, when the guilds were disbanded and anyone could be a chef if they wanted--if they could hack it. The founder of the modern form of this style is generally considered to be [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie-Antoine_Carême Marie-Antoine Carême]], who was one of the first celebrity chefs (and a chef to celebrities: he spent much of his career in the employ of the French diplomat/politician[=/=]MagnificentBastard [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Maurice_de_Talleyrand-Périgord Talleyrand]]); however, there was a lot of variation in the early-to-mid-19th century, and the style was eventually [[TropeCodifier codified]] (and simplified; Carême's dishes, made for heads of state and diplomats and designed to impress, could be quite complex) by Georges Auguste Escoffier in the late 19th century. This is the cuisine of fine restaurants and hotels, of the well to do who could afford cooks. Haute Cuisine uses spices very sparingly in contrast to the heavily spiced medieval dishes of France,[[note]]Partially an economic/imperial consideration: in the Middle Ages all of Europe had to buy spices via the Middle East, but eventually the new colonialism drastically ''reduced'' prices--and lent the whole business a distinctly nationalistic cast, as the Spanish, Dutch, and English took over all of the spice-producing territories (the Philippines, Indonesia, and India/Sri Lanka and later Malaysia). In the mercantilist spirit of the early modern period, the French court started to do without the spices from the East, since they were produced by the enemy.[[/note]] but uses fresh herbs more liberally. Most recipes call for extraordinary amounts of cream and butter, and deglazes and reductions based on wine are common. Fresh ingredients are pulled from all over France, from Normandy and Brittany to Lorraine and Provence, so you will find a truly astonishing variety, but it does not take on much of the regional character. If you go to an expensive French restaurant, this is most likely what you will be served, if it isn't Nouvelle cuisine (see below). At its best, it's a bit antiquated but very enjoyable; at its worst, you get what Calvin Trillin once described as "stuff-stuff with heavy": indifferently prepared with leaden, pasty sauces and dull flavors, barely worth putting on a buffet table, never mind in front of a $50/plate diner.

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Also known as "La Grande Cuisine", Haute Cuisine (literally "High Cooking") has its roots in the cuisine of the Middle Ages and of [[UsefulNotes/LEtatCestMoi the Ancien Régime]] but really took off after UsefulNotes/TheFrenchRevolution, when the guilds were disbanded and anyone could be a chef if they wanted--if they could hack it. The founder of the modern form of this style is generally considered to be [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie-Antoine_Carême Marie-Antoine Carême]], who was one of the first celebrity chefs (and a chef to celebrities: he spent much of his career in the employ of the French diplomat/politician[=/=]MagnificentBastard [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Maurice_de_Talleyrand-Périgord Talleyrand]]); however, Talleyrand]]). However, there was a lot of variation in the early-to-mid-19th century, and the style was eventually [[TropeCodifier codified]] (and simplified; Carême's dishes, made for heads of state and diplomats and designed to impress, could be quite complex) by Georges Auguste Escoffier in the late 19th century. This is the cuisine of fine restaurants and hotels, of the well to do who could afford cooks. Haute Cuisine uses spices very sparingly in contrast to the heavily spiced medieval dishes of France,[[note]]Partially an economic/imperial consideration: in the Middle Ages all of Europe had to buy spices via the Middle East, but eventually the new colonialism drastically ''reduced'' prices--and lent the whole business a distinctly nationalistic cast, as the Spanish, Dutch, and English took over all of the spice-producing territories (the Philippines, Indonesia, and India/Sri Lanka and later Malaysia). In the mercantilist spirit of the early modern period, the French court started to do without the spices from the East, since they were produced by the enemy.[[/note]] but uses fresh herbs more liberally. Most recipes call for extraordinary amounts of cream and butter, and deglazes and reductions based on wine are common. Fresh ingredients are pulled from all over France, from Normandy and Brittany to Lorraine and Provence, so you will find a truly astonishing variety, but it does not take on much of the regional character. If you go to an expensive French restaurant, this is most likely what you will be served, if it isn't Nouvelle cuisine (see below). At its best, it's a bit antiquated but very enjoyable; at its worst, you get what Calvin Trillin once described as "stuff-stuff with heavy": indifferently prepared with leaden, pasty sauces and dull flavors, barely worth putting on a buffet table, never mind in front of a $50/plate diner.
13th Aug '17 9:38:40 PM karstovich2
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* Allemande: Velouté+eggs+lemon juice+cream. Intended to evoke rich German gravies, typically served over eggs, chicken, poached fish, and gratins.

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* Allemande: Velouté+eggs+lemon juice+cream. Some or all of the roux in the velouté may be omitted, as eggs and cream can serve its function of thickening the sauce. Intended to evoke rich German gravies, typically served over eggs, chicken, poached fish, and gratins.
13th Aug '17 9:35:27 PM karstovich2
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* Béarnaise: Hollandaise, but with a reduction of white wine vinegar, shallot, and tarragon substituted for lemon juice, finished with fresh herbs like chervil, shallot, and tarragon. A traditional French accompaniment to ''entrecôte'', i.e. grilled steak, especially strip or Porterhouse, aficionados often describe it as the greatest steak sauce in the world.

to:

* Béarnaise: Hollandaise, but with a reduction of white wine vinegar, shallot, and tarragon substituted for lemon juice, seasoned with black pepper[[note]]Chefs like to debate whether the black pepper should be introduced as whole peppercorns cooked with the shallots and tarragon in the vinegar reduction, or if it should be added finely ground at the very end[[/note]] and finished with fresh herbs like chervil, shallot, and tarragon. (adding fresh tarragon is a must; chervil may also be added). A traditional French accompaniment to ''entrecôte'', i.e. grilled steak, especially strip or Porterhouse, aficionados often describe it as the greatest steak sauce in the world.
1st Aug '17 8:11:12 PM karstovich2
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* Allemande: Velouté+eggs+lemon juice+cream. Intended to evoke rich German gravies.

to:

* Allemande: Velouté+eggs+lemon juice+cream. Intended to evoke rich German gravies.gravies, typically served over eggs, chicken, poached fish, and gratins.
1st Aug '17 7:49:30 PM karstovich2
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* Suprême: Chicken-based velouté+mushroom-flavored reduction+cream. Usually served over, erm, chicken and mushrooms).

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* Suprême: Chicken-based velouté+mushroom-flavored reduction+cream. Usually served over, erm, chicken and mushrooms).mushrooms--a role in which we must admit it is incomparably good.
1st Aug '17 7:47:39 PM karstovich2
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Each of these "mother" sauces will be modified in varying ways to create "daughter" or "small" sauces. The most famous of these is probably the demi-glace: add extra stock to an Espagnole, and simmer the whole thing together and repeatedly skim until well-reduced; the result is sort of like gravy with a [=PhD=]. Other notable "daughter" sauces include mornay (béchamel+grated cheese),[[note]]The historical baked macaroni and cheese invented by UsefulNotes/ThomasJefferson--a great francophile--is essentially macaroni baked in a mornay sauce with cheddar serving as the cheese (and of course, extra stuff baked on top); the white sauce used for the Eastern Mediterranean [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastitsio pastitsio]] is also a mornay.[[/note]] béarnaise (hollandaise but with white wine vinegar substituted for lemon juice+herbs like chevril, shallot, and tarragon--a traditional French accompaniment to ''entrecôte'', i.e. grilled steak, especially strip or Porterhouse), suprême (chicken-based velouté+mushroom-flavored reduction+cream, usually served over, erm, chicken and mushrooms), allemande (velouté+eggs+lemon juice+cream, intended to evoke rich German gravies), and africaine (Espagnole+Africanesque spices--since the late 19th century, the French have had an odd obsession with Africa). The "daughter" sauces can themselves have "daughters" (although they are never called "granddaughter" sauces), with demi-glace in particular having two quite famous "children" of her own: bordelaise (demi-glace+bone marrow+butter+shallots+dry red wine, preferably Bordeaux)[[note]]This one itself has a "daughter" in classic ''haute cuisine'': bordelase+puréed duck liver=rouennaise. This rich and expensive sauce was famous in Escoffier's time as what he served over his famous recipe for pressed duck. Ducklings served with rouennaise was also famously served at the notoriously extravagant "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Emperors_Dinner Three Emperors' Dinner]]" hosted by King Wilhelm I of Prussia (the future [[UsefulNotes/ImperialGermany Wilhelm I, German Emperor]]) for the Russian Emperor Alexander II, Alexander II's son (future Emperor Alexander III), and UsefulNotes/OttoVonBismarck at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1867. Note also that New Orleans has a sauce called "bordelaise" for a kind of sauce with garlic and butter; this has different roots and, while good, should not be confused with the French version.[[/note]] and chasseur ("hunter's") (demi-glace+mushrooms+shallots, often served over game or gamey meat and intended to evoke what a hunting party might make with its kill using fresh ingredients from in and around the woods; it can also be made directly with Espagnole, however). There's also a peculiar one in the form of ''buerre blanc''--literally "white butter"--which is essentially a béarnaise minus the tarragon and the ''eggs'' (which means that it breaks down immediately if it gets too hot or too cold, since the eggs emulsify the béarnaise); according to legend, it was invented when a chef was making a béarnaise for fish but forgot the two key ingredients.

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Each of these "mother" sauces will be modified in varying ways to create "daughter" or "small" sauces. The Some notable ones:
* Demi-glace: Probably the
most famous of these is probably the demi-glace: add notable one. Add extra stock to an Espagnole, and simmer the whole thing together and repeatedly skim until well-reduced; the result is sort of like gravy with a [=PhD=]. Other notable "daughter" sauces include mornay (béchamel+grated cheese),[[note]]The [=PhD=].
* Mornay: Béchamel+grated cheese. The
historical baked macaroni and cheese invented by UsefulNotes/ThomasJefferson--a great francophile--is essentially macaroni baked in a mornay sauce with cheddar serving as the cheese (and of course, extra stuff baked on top); the top). The white sauce used for the Eastern Mediterranean [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastitsio pastitsio]] is also a mornay.[[/note]] béarnaise (hollandaise mornay.
* Béarnaise: Hollandaise,
but with a reduction of white wine vinegar vinegar, shallot, and tarragon substituted for lemon juice+herbs juice, finished with fresh herbs like chevril, chervil, shallot, and tarragon--a tarragon. A traditional French accompaniment to ''entrecôte'', i.e. grilled steak, especially strip or Porterhouse), suprême (chicken-based Porterhouse, aficionados often describe it as the greatest steak sauce in the world.
* Suprême: Chicken-based
velouté+mushroom-flavored reduction+cream, usually reduction+cream. Usually served over, erm, chicken and mushrooms), allemande (velouté+eggs+lemon juice+cream, intended mushrooms).
* Allemande: Velouté+eggs+lemon juice+cream. Intended
to evoke rich German gravies), and africaine (Espagnole+Africanesque spices--since gravies.
* Africaine: Espagnole+Africanesque spices. Since
the late 19th century, the French have had an odd obsession with Africa). Africa.

The "daughter" sauces can themselves have "daughters" (although they are never called "granddaughter" sauces), with demi-glace in particular having two quite famous "children" of her own: bordelaise (demi-glace+bone marrow+butter+shallots+dry red wine, preferably Bordeaux)[[note]]This one itself has a "daughter" in classic ''haute cuisine'': bordelase+puréed duck liver=rouennaise. This rich and expensive sauce was famous in Escoffier's time as what he served over his famous recipe for pressed duck. Ducklings served with rouennaise was also famously served at the notoriously extravagant "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Emperors_Dinner Three Emperors' Dinner]]" hosted by King Wilhelm I of Prussia (the future [[UsefulNotes/ImperialGermany Wilhelm I, German Emperor]]) for the Russian Emperor Alexander II, Alexander II's son (future Emperor Alexander III), and UsefulNotes/OttoVonBismarck at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1867. Note also that New Orleans has a sauce called "bordelaise" for a kind of sauce with garlic and butter; this has different roots and, while good, should not be confused with the French version.[[/note]] and chasseur ("hunter's") (demi-glace+mushrooms+shallots, often served over game or gamey meat and intended to evoke what a hunting party might make with its kill using fresh ingredients from in and around the woods; it can also be made directly with Espagnole, however).

There's also a peculiar one in the form of ''buerre blanc''--literally "white butter"--which is essentially a béarnaise minus the tarragon and the ''eggs'' (which means that it breaks down immediately if it gets too hot or too cold, since the eggs emulsify the béarnaise); according to legend, it was invented when a chef was making a béarnaise for fish but forgot the two key ingredients.
1st Aug '17 7:35:50 PM karstovich2
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Literally "New Cuisine", Nouvelle Cuisine was a backlash against "Cuisine Classique" (Classic Cuisine; arguably Nouvelle Cuisine is a subset of Haute Cuisine and what is defined above is Cuisine Classique, but usually Haute Cuisine usually means Cuisine Classique) starting in the 1960s. It involved a lot of experimentation and bringing in techniques, ingredients, and preparations from other cuisines, most notably Chinese and Japanese. Gault and Millau came up with a "formula" for what Nouvelle cuisine typically entails: a rejection of excessive complication in cooking; reduced cooking times in order to preserve the natural flavors of fish, poultry, seafood, and vegetables (which led to a lot of steaming[[note]]A technique that was heavily inspired by East Asia, though it was of course known to the French before then; an example of how this worked is how observation of the Japanese ''chawanmushi''--steamed egg custard served in a teacup--led to the revival of the French ''royale''--steamed egg custard served in a small container, like a ramekin or, well, a teacup.[[/note]]); using the freshest ingredients possible; shorter menus; abandonment of strong marinades for fish and game; replacing heavy sauces with lighter applications of fresh herbs, butter, lemon juice, and vinegar; regional dishes as inspiration; and using modern innovations and technologies to combine these elements in an inventive way. Arguably this is no longer "New Cuisine"; the innovations of Nouvelle Cuisine were hugely influential around the world (if you cook some of the above, like the emphasis on fresh food cooked very lightly might seem familiar) but has long since been incorporated into high restaurant cuisine and home cooking; many chefs will now use techniques from both Haute Cuisine and Nouvelle Cuisine, and probably incorporate ideas from other cuisines as well. Still, understanding the difference is useful for understanding French Cuisine as a whole.

to:

Literally "New Cuisine", Nouvelle Cuisine was a backlash against "Cuisine Classique" (Classic Cuisine; arguably Nouvelle Cuisine is a subset of Haute Cuisine and what is defined above is Cuisine Classique, but usually Haute Cuisine usually means Cuisine Classique) starting in the 1960s. It involved a lot of experimentation and bringing in techniques, ingredients, and preparations from other cuisines, most notably Chinese and Japanese. Gault and Millau came up with a "formula" for what Nouvelle cuisine typically entails: a rejection of excessive complication in cooking; reduced cooking times in order to preserve the natural flavors of fish, poultry, seafood, and vegetables (which led to a lot of steaming[[note]]A technique that was heavily inspired by East Asia, though it was of course known to the French before then; an example of how this worked is how observation of the Japanese ''chawanmushi''--steamed ''chawanmushi''--savory steamed egg custard served in a teacup--led to the revival of the French ''royale''--steamed ''royale''--savory steamed egg custard served in a small container, like a ramekin or, well, a teacup.[[/note]]); using the freshest ingredients possible; shorter menus; abandonment of strong marinades for fish and game; replacing heavy sauces with lighter applications of fresh herbs, butter, lemon juice, and vinegar; regional dishes as inspiration; and using modern innovations and technologies to combine these elements in an inventive way. Arguably this is no longer "New Cuisine"; the innovations of Nouvelle Cuisine were hugely influential around the world (if you cook some of the above, like the emphasis on fresh food cooked very lightly might seem familiar) but has long since been incorporated into high restaurant cuisine and home cooking; many chefs will now use techniques from both Haute Cuisine and Nouvelle Cuisine, and probably incorporate ideas from other cuisines as well. Still, understanding the difference is useful for understanding French Cuisine as a whole.
15th Jul '17 3:54:35 PM LB7979
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What pizza and Chinese-American food are to the US, curry is to the UK and Ireland, and dönerkebab is to Germany, couscous and certain other North African dishes are to France -- cheap, tasty, convenient (usually takeout), not typical of what usually goes on the table, most often consumed by students and others who don't cook very much (particularly while drunk), and thoroughly naturalized despite eaters' perceptions of exoticness to the contrary. Couscous is a small, pebbly, quick-cooking pasta eaten from Morocco to Sicily and Libya, and cooked and served alongside meals like tagine (a Berber meat stew traditionally cooked in a clay pot with a characteristic conical lid) or vegetable stew; it's sometimes even used as a dessert, served with honey or sugar and spices.[[note]]Whether dessert couscous was a Libyan or an Egyptian idea is a part of the always-terrifying Middle Eastern culinary flame wars.[[/note]] Because of their origins in Islamic countries, these dishes are usually made with lamb/mutton or beef, never pork; a spicy beef or lamb/mutton sausage called merguez is fairly common as well. Kebabs (which refer both to the actual dish on a plate, its handy takeaway repackaging in bread of various types ''à la'' Döner, and the shop that sells them) are very, very common at least in large cities with substantial North African, Lebanese or Turkish communities. The shops are usually open until much later than any other source of food will be, making it the food of choice of drunk urban students. In Paris, more than anywhere else in France, the shops tend to be referred to generically as "grecs" [[note]]"on se fait un grec?" describes the shop more than the actual person running it, in which case the phrase would mean "shall we do a Greek guy?" with exactly the same DoubleEntendre as in English[[/note]], in north-eastern France "turcs", and when manned by Lebanese, "libanais", much in the same way that in Belgium, frites vendors [[note]]and often just that, whereas in France ''frites'' are viewed as a side dish to either kebabs or hamburgers[[/note]] are sometimes referred to in Flemish as "frietchinees". The French and the Belgians will argue over who invented the French fries (known here simply as "frites"), and there's even a gag to that effect in Asterix chez les Belges when Obelix mentions something about deep-frying actual apples (pommes frites) amid a running gag about waterzooie.

to:

What pizza and Chinese-American food are to the US, curry is to the UK and Ireland, and dönerkebab is to Germany, couscous and certain other North African dishes are to France -- cheap, tasty, convenient (usually takeout), not typical of what usually goes on the table, most often consumed by students and others who don't cook very much (particularly while drunk), and thoroughly naturalized despite eaters' perceptions of exoticness to the contrary. Couscous is a small, pebbly, quick-cooking pasta eaten from Morocco to Sicily and Libya, and cooked and served alongside meals like tagine (a Berber meat stew traditionally cooked in a clay pot with a characteristic conical lid) or vegetable stew; it's sometimes even used as a dessert, served with honey or sugar and spices.[[note]]Whether dessert couscous was a Libyan or an Egyptian idea is a part of the always-terrifying Middle Eastern culinary flame wars.[[/note]] Because of their origins in Islamic countries, these dishes are usually made with lamb/mutton or beef, never pork; a spicy beef or lamb/mutton sausage called merguez is fairly common as well. Kebabs (which refer both to the actual dish on a plate, its handy takeaway repackaging in bread of various types ''à la'' Döner, and the shop that sells them) are very, very common at least in large cities with substantial North African, Lebanese or Turkish communities. The shops are usually open until much later than any other source of food will be, making it the food of choice of drunk urban students. In Paris, more than anywhere else in France, the shops tend to be referred to generically as "grecs" [[note]]"on se fait un grec?" describes the shop more than the actual person running it, in which case the phrase would mean "shall we do a Greek guy?" with exactly the same DoubleEntendre as in English[[/note]], in north-eastern France "turcs", and when manned by Lebanese, "libanais", much in the same way that in Belgium, frites vendors [[note]]and often just that, whereas in France ''frites'' are viewed as a side dish to either kebabs or hamburgers[[/note]] are sometimes referred to in Flemish as "frietchinees". The French and the Belgians will argue over who invented the French fries (known here simply as "frites"), and there's even a gag to that effect in Asterix Comicbook/{{Asterix}} chez les Belges when Obelix mentions something about deep-frying actual apples (pommes frites) amid a running gag about waterzooie.
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