Facebook and Frites unite Belgium

Facebook and Frites unite Belgium

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Camera in hand, Andy Carling attended the inaugural National Frites Day in Brussels in the past. Now, on the day of celebration, indulge in one of Belgium's finest culinary crafts.

Around a hundred people gathered in Brussels' Place Reine Astrid to celebrate the inauguration of National Frite Day two yers ago this day.

The event was organised through the social networking website Facebook. The two men behind the event, Jamal Aynaou and Bao-Lan Nguyen-Phuoc, explained how it all happened. They started off by creating a Facebook group called "It's not "French fries" but "Belgian fries" as a joke between friends and the group rapidly expanded to over 4,000 members.

Their Facebook Group sites: In truth, potato fries as we know them were made fashionable among us after 1851 by the outlawed installed in large numbers in Brussels.

They argue that Frites unify all Belgians as the words mayonnaise and frites are the same in French and Flemish. "Everyone speaks Frites!" announced Jamal.

Interestingly, Jamal and Bao-Lan are both born in Belgium from Moroccan and Vietnamese backgrounds respectively, suggesting that the love of frites can also unite the different communities who have emigrated to Belgium.

The evening was relaxed and informal with people making conversation and new friends. Jamal and Bao have plans to repeat the event and intend talk to other groups and people to promote National Frite day.

Side Note: How did they get the name "French fries"? The group notes:

When US troops, British or Canadian landed in serried ranks in West Flanders during WWI, local people were quick to make them taste frites, speaking in French, as the French was the language of the Belgian army.

A beautiful story, right?

Andy Carling / Expatica


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