July 13, 2020 – National French Fry Day | National Beans ‘N’ Franks Day

Transcript for July 13th

Welcome to July 13th, 2020 on the National Day Calendar.  Today we celebrate the great American melting pot and the dishes that it inspires.  More after the break from Anna Devere.

Depending on where you are from you might call them chips, fries or French fried potatoes.  Add to that the special cut of curls, waffles, or crinkles and you would think we are celebrating all things potato.  But there is only one National French Fry Day and today we feature the sidekick that some folks call a meal in itself.  The expression French Fried Potatoes first appeared in an English cookbook in 1856 but some believe that the name French Fries became popular during World War I. When American soldiers discovered Belgian fries they became an instant hit, and since Belgians speak French the nickname was forged. Today we pile on toppings from all over the globe like chili and nacho cheese yet somehow this feels distinctly American.  And while some prefer them on the side with ketchup, no one will argue that French Fries can always be the main event.  

Baked beans were already a traditional Native American dish when the British first arrived in North America. The settlers quickly adopted the casserole making it a staple of their meals and while baked beans became a New England favorite, they were not well known outside of the region. During the American Civil War, however, their popularity spread across the country, and soon after they were canned and sold in stores. Somewhere along the way, sliced up hot dogs were added. And while no one knows who made up this classic duo the move was an inspired invention.  On National Beans ‘N’ Franks Day celebrate American ingenuity and a meal that’s guaranteed to please straight from the pantry.

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