French fries are a fast food made from potatoes that have been cut into less-than-quarter-inch, stringy length-wise slices and deep-fat fried (twice in some recipes). They are very popular in the United States; they are often served with hamburgers and many connoisseurs pour ketchup over them. In Belgium and France, (where they are called frites) they are commonly eaten with mayonnaise. In Canada, they are served with gravy and cheese curds in a dish called Poutine. In Britain they are called 'chips', are generally thicker than the American and European fries (usually about half an inch thick), and are often garnished with salt or malt vinegar, although gravy and curry sauce are more recent, popular accompaniments. However, American style thinner fries are often called "fries" in Britain, and both types are widely available.
Near the start of the Iraq War in 2003, a wave of anti-French sentiment briefly swept the United States over France's opposition to the U.S.-led coalition. As a protest, for a while the Congressional cafeteria refused to use the name "French fries," serving them under the substitute name "Freedom fries." Representatives Bob Ney (R-OH) and Walter B. Jones (R-NC) were responsible for declaring that all references to "French" in the United States House of Representatives' restaurants and snack bars be removed. Said Ney after personally changing the signs in the House cafeteria, Once again, our brave men and women in the American military are putting their lives on the line to ensure the freedom and security of others, and once again, France is sitting on the sidelines. At the time, however, French forces were among the coalition troops fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. Also notably, French fries are only french fries, because of the way they are prepared; frenching.
This was similar to the renaming of other items, such as foods, in war-time. For example, during the first world war sauerkraut was renamed liberty cabbage and dachsunds liberty hounds. Also, in Britain, German Shepherd dogs were renamed Alsatians.
The French responded only by pointing out that French fries originate in Belgium. A spokeswoman (Nathalie Loisau) said, "We are at a very serious moment dealing with very serious issues and we are not focusing on the name you give to potatoes."
Capitol Hill, however, reverted to the "French" label in 2006.