Fish and Chip Shopping

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How Many Times Do You Visit a Fish and Chip Shop in a Year?

Fish and Chip shops were once so common in these waters that any other type of street food would have been heresy. There are still over 90 fish and chip shops in the city of Edinburgh, proving that any obviously present health concerns are outweighed by the passion for the taste of fried potatoes.

French Fry Chip

A chip is not a French Fry. Chips are larger than French Fries, although French Fries contain a larger amount of fat. French fries are sometimes cooked twice, and are in essence classier than chips, the quality of which can be variable. Finally, chips are not as crispy as French fries, and tend to come with a solid potato centre, as opposed to the fluffy heart of the ideal French fry.

Chips and fries have recently been involved in politics. On March 11, 2003, the cafeteria menus in the three United States House of Representatives office buildings changed the name of French Fries to Freedom Fries in a symbolic rebuke of France over that country's opposition to the United States’ war on Iraq. French Toast was also changed to Freedom Toast, and French wine was poured into gutters in disgust.

Why the chiding did not extend to non-foodstuffs, I do not know. French kissing, French polish, French windows and the French Horn remained unmolested.

In such moments of blood-rushing xenophobia however, things are even overlooked — French dressing I believe being one.

In response to this strange admonishing, the French embassy issued a statement to the press, with the rather childish retort that French fries were Belgian.

My Chip Feast

Returning to the subject of good-old fashioned Scottish chips, it appears that I visited chip-houses during this year on average once every fourteen and a half days and over the twelve months in question came away with:

  • The Concorde, Lothian Road, Edinburgh : 3 white pudding suppers / 3 veggie burger suppers / 2 Onion ring suppers / 3 bag of chips / 1 large bag of chips
  • Grassmarket Chipper, Edinburgh : 1 white pudding supper
  • Nerios Fish and Chip Bar, Oban : 1 white pudding supper
  • South China Inn, Edinburgh : 1 white pudding supper and tomato sauce / 4 mini vegetable spring rolls and chips
  • The Ashvale, Aberdeen : 1 corn on the cob supper
  • The North Berwick Fry, North Berwick : 1 plate of chips
  • Globetrotter, Edinburgh  : 2 bags of chips
  • Aqua Marina, Polwarth, Edinburgh : 1 bag of chips
  • Rose Street Chippy, Edinburgh : 1 bag of chips
  • The Babylon, Edinburgh : 1 bag of chips

Reflection on Name Changes

I am not alone in finding the name changes needlessly spiteful, and nothing but a media-driven attempt to direct Americans' attentions away from the serious reasons for French opposition to the war. If America had given its name to anything at all (other than the American Dream?) then we could treat them to the same lesson. OUF!

The defenders of chip shops insist on their efforts to minimise animal suffering by including universal non-meat delicacies such as the veggie-burger, safe in the knowledge that the diner craves only the batter. Many vegetarians as myself, are in denial as to the potential animal content of the white pudding supper.

This article is copied from The Supper Book by Peter Burnett, and you can read more about this curious book through Leamington Books.