"French Fried Potatoes" myth (from Paris, Texas of course)

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Fri Dec 8 00:40:37 UTC 2006

It appears that the French Fries" myth is in the actual Texas legislature
bill!...BBC misinformation also below.

<a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A1021825">BBC: Hamburger in

The most popular story of the hamburger is that of the 1904 St Louis World
Fair. It is the belief of most Texans that the credit for the first hamburger
goes to Fletch 'Old Dave' Davis from Athens, _Texas_
(http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A310221) , who decided to try something new for once.  Taking raw
hamburger steak, he grilled it to a crisp brown, and then sandwiched  the patty
between two thick slices of home-made toast and added a thick slice of  raw onion
on top. Patrons loved the new sandwich and word spread like wildfire,  causing
Old Dave to open a hamburger concession stand (at the urging of family  and
friends) at The Pike, at the St Louis World Fair Louisiana Purchase  Exhibition
that year. He is also credited as the inventor of french fries,  selling
fried potato strips along with his hamburgers at the world fair, an idea  given to
him by a friend in Paris, Texas. Unfortunately, the reporter covering  the
story mistook Old Dave's friend's homeland for Paris, _France_
(http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A297083) , and so the potato strips were henceforth known  as
'french fries'.
    80R583 MMS-D     By: Brown of Kaufman H.C.R. No. 15
CONCURRENT RESOLUTION    WHEREAS, Athens,  Texas, boasts a strong claim to
being the     original home of one of the nation's  favorite foods, the
hamburger;     and    WHEREAS, Although  accounts differ as to the origins of this
American classic, the staff at  McDonald's management training     center has
traced its beginnings back  to the 1904 St. Louis World's     Fair, where it
was sold by a vendor on  the midway; a reporter for the     New York , writing
about the fair, made  note of the new     sandwich in an article and commented
 that it was the vendor's own     creation; and    WHEREAS, The vendor,
Fletcher Davis, had moved from Missouri     to Athens in the 1880s to take a job
at  the Miller pottery works;     Mr. Davis had a flair for  preparing food and
usually served as chef     at his employer's picnics; when the  business
slowed down in the late     1800s, he opened a lunch counter on the  courthouse
square, where he     sold the sandwich that would become  such a staple of the
U.S. diet;     and    WHEREAS, Although it  was served with slices of
fresh-baked     bread instead of a bun, this early  version of the hamburger was then
  much like it is today and contained  ground beef, ground mustard     mixed
with mayonnaise, a large slice of  Bermuda onion, and sliced     cucumber
pickles; customers could also  enjoy fried potatoes, served     with a thick
tomato sauce; when the  journalist from the was     told that Mr. Davis had learned
to fix  potatoes in that manner from     a friend in Paris, Texas, he
misunderstood and described the item to     his readers as french-fried potatoes;
and    WHEREAS, According to  a nephew of Mr. Davis's, the new     sandwich
acquired its name during the  potter's sojourn in     St. Louis; one theory holds
that  local residents of German descent     may have named the sandwich after
the  city of Hamburg, whose     citizens had a special affinity for  ground
meat; each June,     residents of Athens celebrate the  hamburger's origins in
their     community with Uncle Fletch's Burger  and Bar-B-Q Cook-Off; and
WHEREAS, A century  after the hamburger debuted on the     national stage, it
has become one of  the best-loved foods in     America; its economic impact is
no less  evident than its     popularity: the immense volume of the  burger
business helps to     drive the beef and grain industries and  supports the
employment of a     substantial workforce; and    WHEREAS, The  connection between
Athens, Fletcher Davis, and     the famed hamburger of the St. Louis  World's
Fair has been well     documented, and it is fitting that the  town's role in
the history of     that all-American sandwich be  appropriately recognized;
now,     therefore, be it    RESOLVED, That the  80th Legislature of the State
of Texas     hereby formally designate Athens,  Texas, as the Original Home of
    the  Hamburger.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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