Belgium fears ban of iconic frites after EU health guidelines released

World Today

The European Union has published new health guidelines that include advice that potatoes not be fried from frozen. Belgium is feeling personally attacked, accusing the E.U. of trying to ban its iconic Belgian frites.

CGTN’s Elena Casas reports from Brussels.

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The famous Belgian frite is fried twice: Once from frozen and once freshly for the customer. Makers of the famous food have said this process makes all the difference.

“We fry them twice in beef fat, only using a certain kind of potatoes, and that’s why they’re so special,” Pascal Willaert, owner of Maison Antoine Friterie, said.

New E.U. guidelines said potatoes fried from frozen can carry carcinogens. This led the Flemish tourism minister to accuse the union of trying to ban the Belgian chip.

“They don’t know what they’re talking about, why don’t they ban smoking, not frying chips,” Willaert said.

The E.U., however, has denied denies any intention of banning the Belgian frite.

“The Commission has no intention of banning Belgian chips or any other kind of chip. We appreciate the variety of culinary traditions that are found in all the member states,” E.U. spokesperson Margaritis Schinas said.

Chefs at Brussels’s Maison Antoine have said they’ll never mess with the recipe for the perfect Belgian frite.