Belgians' wallets burn to crisp as inflation hits favourite fries

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By Aida Sanchez Alonso
Maison Antoine, just steps away from the European Union institutions, is one of Brussels' most famous friteries.
Maison Antoine, just steps away from the European Union institutions, is one of Brussels' most famous friteries.   -   Copyright  Cleared

Chocolate, beer, and fries. When the price of any of these three food items goes up, Belgians are one of the first to feel it.

Especially the famous Belgian fries. Made with animal fat and fried twice, producing them can cost a lot in energy and ingredients alike.

With inflation in Belgium reaching 12,27% in October, the owner of one of the most famous friteries -- fast food joints making fries -- in Brussels told Euronews costs just keep adding up.

"(We are talking) about a 20% to 25% increase in energy prices. Fat prices (went up) 35%, the prices of sauces 10%, and the prices of all potatoes have gone up as well between 4% and 5%,” Pascal Willaert, owner of Maison Antoine on Place Jourdan, said.

This rising in the cost of production has also had an impact on the price of fries.

For Belgians who visit their favourite friterie at least once per week, the price can add up.

And according to Bernard Lefevre, the president of the union of friteries, the owners find it very hard to raise the price.

“If one serving of fries is 20 cents more expensive, it's so much more dramatic than if the price of your dishwasher increased by 160 euros because you don't have an emotional link with your dishwasher," Lefevre told Euronews. "You just buy a new one."

"A fry in Belgium is much more than just a fried potato. It's part of our daily life, and we have an emotional relation."

For now, Belgians are still having their weekly cornet of fries, but if inflation keeps going up, the friteries might be the ones feeling the burn.