Ketchup is a magical little condiment. It has a sweet and salty bite, makes just about any food more appetizing, and you can even clean with it! So how did ketchup become BFFs with french fries? Let’s start at the beginning.
America’s favorite way to eat vegetables originated not in France as the name suggests, but in Belgium. When French fries made their way onto the scene in Europe in the early 1800s, ketchup, as we now know it, had not been invented yet. Americans embraced the side dish in the 1930s and enjoyed them fried in beef tallow. In their birthplace of Belgium, fries are served with mayonnaise. How did ketchup and fries get together?
There are reports of early adopters dipping their fries in ketchup from as early as the late 1800s, but the trend didn’t take off in America until the 1940s. As the popularity of fast food restaurants grew, so did the desire to dunk our fries in that tasty red sauce. Fast food restaurants started serving french fries with a side of ketchup, and we were hooked!