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French EVERYTHING

What is the deal with all these things being called "French"? Are they really from France, or are they named after something else (like German Chocolate Cake being named after the inventor)?

I know this is a weird thing to think about, but I'm curious, so let's find out!

French Braid
This hairstyle has been depicted in art from ancient civilizations such as Greek and Celtic, as well as being drawn in rock paintings from over 6,000 years ago. It is therefore safe to say this hairstyle is not from France. In fact, in France it is called the "African Braid".
Not French.

French Bread
Also known as baguettes, French Bread has been associated with France for centuries. Long, thin loaves of bread were made around the time that King Louis XIV reigned. They tend to be about 6 inches in diameter and can range from 24 to 39 inches long.
+1 French.

A cute French Bulldog from Wiki Commons

A cute French Bulldog from Wiki Commons

French Bulldog
Bulldogs are direct descendants from dogs of an ancient Greek group, the Molossians. They were bred to bait bulls until it was outlawed in 1835, at which point they shifted from a sporting dog to a companion dog, where they became very popular in France. French Bulldogs were then made by crossing early English bulldogs and terriers to try and make them smaller.
+1 French.

French Dressing
An American product created in the 1950's using paprika and tomatoes to get its classic red color. It is an oil and vinegar based salad dressing.
Not French.

French Fries
France and Belgium both claim to be the inventor of French Fries although it is unclear whom is correct. One clue is that in the late 1700's people referred to things being deep-fried, such as onion rings, as being "fried in the French style". There is even a manuscript from Thomas Jefferson where he describes the recipe for French Fries, which he got from a famous French chef at the time. However, Belgium claims to have invented them prior to 1680, pointing to a family manuscript from around the same time that outlines the recipe. They believe that American and British citizens who tasted the fries confused Belgium for France since they do both speak French. Since this is inconclusive, we’ll give it half a point.
+1/2 French.

French Kiss
Kissing has been around for a long, long time and therefore this type of kiss did not originate in France. However, in the 1900's the French were known for being risqué with their sexual practices, so the kiss was named in honor of that, while in France this type of kiss is called a "Lover's Kiss".
Not French.

French Onion Soup
The modern version of this soup does originate from 1800's France, however, the traditional version was Roman; the French just perfected it. We’ll count it since we were thinking of the modern version.
+1 French.

A delicious looking plate of French Toast from Wiki Commons

A delicious looking plate of French Toast from Wiki Commons

French Onion Dip
Also known as California Dip, French Onion Dip is believed to have been created in Los Angeles in the 1950's. The Lipton Company found out about it early on and promoted it around the US using its Lipton onion soup packages.
Not French.

French Toast
The recipe for French Toast goes back to Medieval times in Europe where it is unclear as to where and when it originated. The earliest known reference of this recipe is Latin from around the 4th century.
Not French.

French Vanilla
French Vanilla is generally used in relation to ice cream or other items having a strong vanilla scent, because of the way the French used to make ice cream and custard where they would add bits of the vanilla bean to give it a stronger flavor. French Vanilla is even considered its own extract flavor in some places.
+1 French.

4.5/10 French = Mildly disappointing, but now we know.

Really makes you wonder how many other things are pretending to be French that I didn’t even look into here… Did any of these things surprise you? 

Until next time,

Caitlin