British Chips | Why are they so ugly?

Le Chips Inglesi, perchè son cosi’ brutte?  in italiano

Now, let’s be real, have you ever looked at British chips carefully? I mean the ones that usually come with Fish & Chips?! They are ugly, aren’t they? They often look mushy, wrinkly, not inviting at all. But then, you have the first one and totally forget about how they look. British Chips | Why are they so ugly?

What’s so special about British Chips? Let me tell you a bit more about them because you might not believe it but there is an interesting reason why they don’t actually look that pretty and inviting!

Nowadays Fish & Chips Shops are quite trendy especially the ones in touristy areas, but also the local ones are quite different from what they used to be years ago. Never ever get Fish & Chips with thin crispy fries, they are not the real thing at all. What you want to look for as a side for your battered fish, is a good portion of chunky chips, triple fried. Yes, you read that correctly: triple fried.

Years ago F&C Shops used to partially fry these chunky chips and then finish frying them up upon request, but most of the time they did not sell the whole bucket of chips straight away, so they used to keep the 2-time-pre-fried chips in the basket and fry them up a third (and last) time again for another order. Yes, 3-time fried. And believe me, they are so flipping good! Not at all oily as you might think, they are rather crispy on the outside and super soft inside. Also, they look a bit wrinkly for the triple frying-session, and that’s why they don’t actually look inviting most of the time. They are never super crispy, the fact that they might even look “old” is a characteristic you should look for.

Triple fried chunky Chips are then covered in Malt Vinegar and Salt. That is how we love them. This is not all if you really want to try the proper British experience, ask for Curry Sauce. Yes, CURRY sauce. Pretty much identical to the one you find in an Indian restaurant, the Fish & Chip Shop Curry Sauce is a bit less spiced but super tasty and we love dipping our ugly chips into it!


Since I love going into details when I tell you about London and British customs, let me explain to you something more about these triple-cooked chips.

Back in 1993 English Chef Heston Blumenthal developed a proper recipe for these chips. Since he understood how popular they were in F&C Shops, he came up with a recipe people can try and replicate at home. The preparation process says they should be first simmered and then cooled and then drained using a Sous-vide technique, or you could freeze them, deep fry them and again cooled, and finally deep-fried again.

[Also read 30 Things you need to know to use the Tube like a Londoner]

I highly suggest heading to your local Chippy and get them done the proper way in the old-fashioned style! Easy-peasy! Let me give you a great recipe for Chip Shop Curry Sauce, BBC Good Food has one that will go very well with your ugly chips! read the Recipe HERE.


So next time you are in London, dont forget to try our Chips the proper way, Tripple Cooked and with Curry Sauce, a mix of culture we love so much.

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