We take you on a visit to the Frietmuseum in Bruges, dedicated to the fried fries. We will learn and, of course, eat fries.
Do you like fried potatoes? We do, a lot. In this visit, we are going to take you through the Frietmuseum, in the city of Bruges, entirely dedicated to the delicious fried potatoes in which we are going to delve into the origin of these fries and debunk some of the myths that revolve around them (careful, it will make you hungry).
- Where is the Frietmuseum?
- Visiting the Frietmuseum in Bruges
Where is the Frietmuseum?
This unique museum is located in the city of Bruges, Belgium in a beautiful old building, called the Saaihalle. All this a few steps from the Plaza Mayor (Markt).
Information for visiting the Frietmuseum in Bruges
Visiting hours: every day from 10 AM to 7 PM. You will no longer be able to enter 45 minutes before closing. Buy your tickets in advance here, to avoid queues.
Cost: 7 euros for adults, 6 for students and 5 for children between 11 and 6 years old. Children under 6 years enter free.
Visiting the Frietmuseum in Bruges
In this museum, the history of potatoes is told, focusing on the form of fried potatoes and the sauces that accompany them. It must be considered that at the end of the visit you will be able to access a cafeteria where we can taste some delicious fries, with our entrance ticket we will have a €0.40 discount on our cone.
If this is your first visit to Bruges, a good option to better locate yourself is to book this free city tour for free!
Where do potatoes come from?
In the first part of the visit, they focus on the country of the potato: Peru. There we will see some of the different varieties of potatoes, and they even tell us popular stories, such as the one that says that there is a potato that resembles the eyes of a woman, or the potato “Yuraq Llumchuy Waqachi” of which it is said that when a girl can peel it, it means that she can get married.
Potatoes arrive in Europe
We walk further, and they tell us about the arrival of potatoes in Europe, they tell us, for example, how these tubers became a key part of the diet in Ireland. When a fungus fell on them that destroyed the potato crops, this caused a period of famine. Thus, they show us some of the insects, which also stalk the potato.
In fact, in the museum we find a fun interactive game in which you can shoot the pests that kill the potato crops XD It’s quite graphic:
Fries in Belgian culture
Then we find another room, in which we can see how fries are an integral part of Belgian culture. Something that will make total sense in two rooms. We find television programs, comics and various products. They even show us a video of a shipment of a fries cone to space.
The Bruges Frietmuseum Cabaret
And we arrived at a room that I loved, the “Fritt’ Kabaret” where we can find a fried potato and a whole potato singing. In their songs they tell us “we are fries, but not French” or “fry us once, fry us twice”, phrases that were preparing us for what came right after. All in a very educational and fun way, the song is very catchy.
Also, in this room, we can see photos of celebrities with figures of fried potatoes. I was struck by the photo of Jean-Claude Van Damme, who is Belgian.
Why are they called French fries?
And we get to the room, where they tell us something that some already know: French fries are not French. They are Belgian.
In fact, they even explain to us how they came about: it turns out that the people who fished for food used to catch a small species, which they fried and ate. It turns out that there was a strong winter and the river froze, which led to substituting those little fish for potatoes, giving them the same shape: thin and elongated, when fried they made the fries born.
And the next point is why are they called French fries? That confusion comes from the United States. This happened during World War II, apparently American soldiers received fries from soldiers who spoke French. The Americans believed that they were French soldiers, and that is where the wrong name seems to have come from.
Fries stalls and machinery
Then we go to a room where we can see old machines related to the production of fried potatoes. For example, we see a potato peeler that promises to peel 6 kilos in a minute. We also see a vending machine, now discontinued. In addition, we can enter an exact replica of a fries stand, the same that can be seen in the Plaza Mayor.
As a curious fact, the license for these positions costs 100,000 euros per year!
To finish, we find a video where they explain how they are prepared. One of the things that caught my attention is that the fries must be put in the oil twice! (That’s why they sang that at the Fritt’ Kabaret). I have to admit that I hardly ever cook my own fries, I always buy them and I have to say that in Belgium they are tastier than anywhere else (and their sauces are delicious too).
And if you’re hungry…
And before we go, we can’t escape eating a cone of fries. After spending almost two hours seeing potatoes everywhere, it’s impossible not to feel like eating them. It’s a delicious ending to this visit in which we had fun and learned about food that we consume a lot.