Cycle 13 – Item 172
26 (Sun) June 2022
Gamja Twigim (Frietjes)
at Two One Maekju
-Nonhyeon, Gangnam, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
with EE, IZ
My dear friend EE is in town! Haven’t seen him in nearly 2.5 years, most recently when we had invited his family for lunch at our place in Manila (see 11.028 Seaweed and More). He’s also moved on from WHO, now a consultant based in Hanoi.
Arriving this morning, he’ll be attending a meeting through Thursday.
After dinner at Jinmi Pyongyang Naeng Myeon, we wandered around the neighborhood across from his hotel (Novotel) and stepped into the first place that offered beer and air-conditioning.
French Fries is a French/Belgian dish. Potatoes, cut into thinnish strips, deep-fried. Served as a side dish (e.g., with steaks, steamed mussels, burgers) or topped with additional ingredients and served in its own right (e.g., chili cheese fries, kimchi fries, poutine). In Korea, they’re called “gamja (potato) twigim (deep-fried)” and most commonly found – outside of fast food settings – as an anju for beer.
The origin remains in dispute. The name “French Fries” – a phrase coined in the US and proliferated globally through the introduction of burger culture, especially via American fast food mega chains – suggests French origin, though the dish is called “pommes frites” or just “frites” in French. An alternative theory originates the dish in Belgium, where they’re called “frites” on the French side and “frietjes” on the Flemish side. Like the impossible task of trying to pinpoint which province in China first invented fried rice, I’d surmise the dish was developed by countless people around the same time somewhere along the shared border of both countries.
EE is Belgian. Specifically, Flemish.
So for tonight, the fries were frietjes.
Incidentally, gamja twigim come in many shapes, often shoe string, sometimes wedge, these days crinkle cut on occasion, but usually not all mixed together, as here.
(See also BOOZE)
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)
(See also RESTAURANTS IN KOREA)