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Belgium seeks cultural prize for famous fries

Saturday, December 06, 2014 - 01:31

Communities across Belgium are uniting in a fight for their country's fries to attain cultural heritage status. Jennifer Davis reports.

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Some call them chips...others call them fries but in Belgium, no matter what you call them, people say they're a cut above the rest. (SOUNDBITE) (French) PARISIAN TOURIST, NICOLAS PERRIN, SAYING: "The fries are crunchy but on the inside they're meltingly soft, they're really different from what we're used to." In fact, Belgium is so proud of their potato fries, traditionally sold in a paper cone, usually out of some 5,000 shacks or trailers around the country, that they're now cooking up a plan to get them recognized as a global cultural heritage - on par with Turkish coffee and the Argentinean tango. The Belgian delicacy even has its own association, led by Bernard Lefevre. (SOUNDBITE) (French) NATIONAL PRESIDENT OF THE BELGIAN UNION OF FRITKOT OWNERS UNAFRI, BERNARD LEFEVRE, SAYING: "It's the cone of fries but it's also this culture which surrounds it. It's a good product, but it's a way of living, a 'Belgitude'. Perhaps a little chaotic for foreigners when they come to Belgium for the first time but something we have in common, German-speakers, French-speakers, Dutch-speakers." So as part of 'National Fries Week', Belgians have been urged to sign petitions calling for the potato chips to become recognized by the United Nation's cultural arm UNESCO (SOUNDBITE) (French) NATIONAL PRESIDENT OF THE BELGIAN UNION OF FRITKOT OWNERS UNAFRI, BERNARD LEFEVRE, SAYING: "For something very simple, I think it is equally important to have pride, to keep this to pass it on to future generations." Supporters don't think they've bitten off more than they can chew since for this designation to happen, the fries need to be endorsed by a minister of culture and Belgium has three of them.

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Belgium seeks cultural prize for famous fries

Saturday, December 06, 2014 - 01:31