Hot chip! Commission dragged into France vs. Belgium fries fight
The European Commission was on Wednesday pulled into a debate over who owns the humble frite: Belgium or France.
August 1 is the international day of Belgian fries, with the frietkot/friterie (chip-stand) a staple of every city and village in Belgium. But France maintains it invented so-called French fries and has its own celebration on July 13.
At the daily briefing for reporters on Wednesday, the Commission was asked if there were any plans for Belgian frites to receive special geographical protection from Brussels.
âIâm not aware that such a request has been made. As you know, member states can make such a request to the Commission which shall then be analysed,â said spokesperson Mina Andreeva.
Brussels awards geographical indications to protect foods originating from specific regions from being mimicked elsewhere. âIâm not aware of any existing requests,â Andreeva said.
âLes frites Ã©taient franÃ§aises!â exclaimed another journalist in the room, continuing in Englis h: âThey are French. Iâm sorry.â
Belgian mayonnaise brand Natura is pushing a petition asking Unesco to recognize frites and mayo as part of the countryâs cultural heritage. (âMaking and appreciating beerâ is already on the list.)
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