Few things were more glorious than the common chip. I lament its demise. Now it may live on in England and scattered outposts in the US, but I find no trace of the authentic, wonderfully ordinary chipped potato here.
True, fast food emporiums offer an emaciated version with every meal except a salad. The frozen food section at the supermarket has “crinkle cut” or “steak fries” mutations, which are never fried, but bask in the heat of an oven and emerge pasty and flabby.
When I order “French Fries” in local eateries, I am served a pile of reddish tinged creatures. When asked, the person plonking food before me explains that they are “seasoned”, who knows with what. All the malt vinegar in the world will not disguise their taste, reminiscent of decaying vegetation, 0r that concoction smeared on one’s wrist during an operation, resistant to soap and all other cleaning material.
What did the common chip do to deserve such a fate? Once a good firm baking potato was peeled, plunged in cold water, cut into decent lengths, neither too fat nor too thin, placed in a metal basket and then plunged into hot oil from which it emerged in its glorious simplicity to accompany a plate of fried fish with mushy peas, or a good meat pie, always doused in good malt vinegar and salted, or heaven of heaven, thrust upon a piece of good white bread spread with authentic butter and lidded with another unbuttered slice to form a chip butty.
I wonder whether I could found a society for the Preservation of Rite One and the Common Chip, for both face extinction. Could Integrity be behind this? Wait for breaking news!
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