WASHINGTON, Aug. 3, 2006 — -- Just three years ago, two House members decided to take the "French" out of some of our favorite foods and add the word "Freedom" instead. You remember this -- "Freedom toast" and "Freedom fries" instead of French toast and French fries.
But alas, a quick perusal of Capitol Hill cafeterias this afternoon found that the toast is now French toast and our Freedom fries are just fries again.
In 2003, the two Republican congressmen behind the change, Bob Ney of Ohio and Walter Jones of North Carolina, said the renaming of French foods was "a small but symbolic effort to show the strong displeasure of many on Capitol Hill with the actions of our so-called ally, France."
This displeasure centered on comments French leaders made about the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq being premature.
Today the two congressmen claimed they didn't play a role in changing "Freedom" back to "French" in Capitol Hill cafeterias last week.
Jones' office said, "The decision wasn't Rep. Jones' decision. We didn't even know about it until reporters started calling."
And Ney's office pointed us toward the office of Vernon Ehler, chairman of the Committee on House Affairs: "It was the chairman's decision." The office of the Michigan Republican had no comment.
French Embassy spokeswoman Agnes Vondermuhll said despite the congressmens' symbolic assault on things French, relations between the two countries are still strong. "French fries are back on the menu in the Capitol, back on the presidential dinner menu and our relations are back on track," she said.