A museum dedicated to one of my favourite naughty, but humble treats – the chip. It was an opportunity not to be missed. The “Friet Museum”:http://www.frietmuseum.be/en/ is centrally located in Bruges and having paid €7 we spent an hour learning about the history of potato (think Peru), potato diseases and lots of trivia e.g. the largest potato was grown in 2011 in Halam, near Newark and weighed 11lbs.
Fries originated in Belgium where in the 1750s winters were bad and the rivers frozen over. As there was no fish to be caught, potatoes were cut into small shapes resembling the fish, and hey presto, fries were born.
Apparently, they got their name French fries because during the World War 1, French-speaking Belgian solders gave fries to the US soldiers who thought they were French and so called them French fries. If not, they would have been called Walloon fries.
We were informed that the potato is a natural healer for treating complaints in the home, garden and kitchen. A top tip for the ladies with circles under the eyes – they can be reduced by creating a mixture of grated potato, a few drops of lemon juice and a teaspoon of sunflower oil. All you do is soak cotton wool pads in the mixture and place on the eyes! There was no clue as to how long you had to leave the pads in place.
The displays, in four languages, were situated over three floors but there was a lift.
Towards the end of our tour, there was a mock-up of the mobile green ‘chip vans’ found in the Markt and I decided it was time for ‘frying tonight’.
We used a 40c voucher (given on admission) and indulged in the basement café on a single, large portion of chips and ketchup for €2 (other things were available with soft drinks). They were excellent and very dry.
Throughout the visit, we only encountered one other couple.
Check out the photos, does it make your yearn for a chip?