Despite what the name may imply, french fries do not actually originate from France. The humble beginnings of the french fry have been traced by historians back to Belgium, where potatoes were being fried in that general shape since the late 1600s. According to the historians, Many Belgium villagers would eat fried fish that they caught from the river. When the river froze over in the winter, they looked for alternatives to eat. They ended up trying to fry the potato in the same way that they fried the fish, and french fries were born!