French Fries

1777 Words8 Pages
Take me to the fries!
"Little fry, who made thee?"

In the beginning was the potato. How it found its way from the South American highlands into those little sacks of McDonald's fries is a long, adventurous tale, involving Conquistadors, Marie Antoinette, and Thomas Jefferson. Millionaires have been made and millions more have died from dependence on that simple, innocent potato. Here, then, is the story of the spud, which reached its crowning achievement only once it had been paired with oil.

The potato seems to us today to be such a staple food that it is hard to believe that it has only been accepted as edible by most of the Western world for the past 200 years. Our story begins thousands of years ago, in South America—Peru,
…show more content…
He distributed potatoes and instructions for planting them to the lowly folk, and threatened to cut off the nose of anyone who disobeyed.

It was in Germany, too, that the potato met it's greatest ally. Antoine August Parmentier was a French chemist who served as a soldier in the Seven Years War, and was fed only potatoes while in captivity there. When he returned to France, he made it his mission to popularize the tuber, which he felt had beenfriespotat2.gif unjustly rejected by his countrymen. A skillful public relations man, Parmentier published a thesis, "Inquiry into nourishing vegetables that at times of necessity could be substituted for ordinary food" in 1773, and soon afterwards brought a bouquet of potato flowers to the birthday party of King Louis XVI. Graciously accepting the gift, the King promptly placed the flower in his lapel, and his wife, Queen Marie Antoinette, wore them in her hair, and potato flowers quickly became a fashion among the aristocracy. Still, Legrand d'Aussy wrote of the potato, in his 1783 Histoire de la Vie Privee des Francais (History of the Private Life of the French) "The pasty taste, the natural insipidity, the unhealthy quality of this food, which is flatulent and indigestible, has caused it to be rejected from refined households."

Get Access