Fish and Chips – Still the nation’s favourite!
Chips bring back happy memories of childhood, and how good homemade chips can taste, but really any chips. There’s something very comforting about them. Maybe it’s the lovely crunch of the outside and the fluffiness of the inside or the way that you can pick them up and eat them with your fingers. Or the fact that they go with pretty much anything – salt and vinegar, ketchup, barbecue sauce, mayonnaise, brown sauce, curry sauce, gravy, cheese – and also as an accompaniment to numerous mains.
Perhaps the best-loved way of eating chips is with fish. As a child I lived near the most famous fish and chip restaurant in the world – Harry Ramsden’s at White Cross in Guiseley. Despite being 60 miles from the sea, it was immensely popular and extremely glamorous. Opened in the 1920s and modelled on The Ritz it had wood panelling and chandeliers! Sadly the restaurant closed in December 2011, but several franchises still survive around the world.
Despite the variety of different foods on offer, our national dish still remains Britain’s favourite takeaway. So why not treat yourself – it is National Chip Week after all!
How to make perfect homemade chips
The best chips are made using floury potatoes such as Maris Pipers or King Edwards. You can cook them in either vegetable oil, lard or dripping – whichever you prefer.
Use 250g potatoes per person and fry the chips in 1 litre of oil, lard or dripping
Peel the potatoes then cut them into 1cm slices. Next cut chips 1cm wide from the slices. Place them into a colander and rinse under cold running water. Place the washed chips into a pan of cold water, bring to a gentle boil and simmer for 3 or 4 minutes. Drain through a colander and dry with kitchen paper.
Heat the oil to 120°C in a deep fat fryer or large deep saucepan. Blanch the chips a few handfuls at a time for a couple of minutes. Do not brown them. Once they seem drier and slightly cooked, remove from the fat and drain. Keep covered and at room temperature until needed. Reheat the fat to 200°C and cook the chips until golden and crisp (about 5-8 minutes.) Serve immediately.
You can find plenty more chip recipe ideas and facts and figures about chips on the National Chip Week website.
Verner Wheelock Associates provides HACCP and Food Safety training and ethical trading audits to a range of clients including potato producers and growers Albert Bartletts, Branston, Greenvale AP, The Jersey Royal Company and QV Foods, to name a few. We have also worked extensively with McCain Food (GB) Ltd, the leading manufacturer of frozen oven chips and french fries.