When it comes to fries, Belgians cook them to perfection for the simple reason that they invented them. No, not the French. They invented Pommes Parmentier. The Belgians use large size potatoes and fresh cooking oil. The fries or frites are cut in half of an inch squares. They are washed in cold water to remove most of the starch, then dried in a towel or kitchen paper. The secret is that they are cooked twice. In the first round, a small batch is dipped in hot oil and cooked for a least 8 minutes depending on their thickness. After they have been removed and cooled off on a paper towel for 20 minutes they are ready to be cooked a second round. This time for 2 to 4 minutes until crispy and golden brown. Most often Belgians purchase fries from a frite shop or from a camper van commonly known as a fritkot. They are traditionally served in a cone, sprinkled with salt and a dollop of mayonnaise on top. On average Belgians eat fries 3 to 4 times a week, for lunch or dinner. They eat them standing up, on a park bench or in a café with a cold Belgium beer.