french fries mayo UNESCO
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Belgium Seeking UNESCO Heritage Status for Fries and Mayo

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Despite an ongoing dispute with France regarding the food’s origin

The pizzaiuoli (“pizza-makers”) of Naples, Italy, were granted UNESCO heritage status for their dough-twirling art in December, and now another European country is hoping to place a signature food on the organization’s list of intangible cultural treasures. A petition in Belgium is currently nominating the country’s fries and mayonnaise, which are typically served in a paper cone and eaten with a small fork.

Belgian mayo brand Natura launched the petition. “It’s like the World Cup of taste,” Natura managing director Arthus de Bousies told Munchies. “We’re from a small country, but our strikers ‘fries and mayo’ are doing really well. We are ready to go all the way.”

Belgium has already earned several spots on UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage — which has over 400 elements altogether — including for its beer culture. Everyone needs a little savory snack to soak up a mug of tripel or gueuze, so why not add frites to the mix?

Despite the name we give them in the U.S., both Belgium and France claim to have originated the deep-fried spuds. According to Culture Trip, American soldiers were introduced to the finger food in Belgium, but because they believed they were stationed in France, the troops named them “French fries” — though even this explanation for the name is disputed.

There’s been an ongoing disagreement between France and Belgium about the food’s true origin for years while others even believe fries were introduced in Spain. Although McDonald’s is the true MVP in terms of fry sales, there are tons of other places you can find picture-perfect potatoes. Hope you’re hungry! Grab your mayo (or more likely ketchup on this side of the Atlantic) and get dunking with the 50 best French fries in America.

 

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