Friday, February 22, 2013

Chip Ahoy!

I found out that it is National Chip Week so thought I would dedicate a post to one of this country's favourite food like only I can. I'm going to rank the best chips by drawing on some personal memories.

7.) McDonalds or Burger King French fries

It's a toss-up between these two.

Sometimes I prefer the soggy, thin and salty McDonalds french fries and on other occasions I opt for the southern fried type that you get from Burger King.

A former colleague of mine used to do this - he would buy McDonalds burgers and then head off to Burger King and buy the fries. Back then, I disagreed with him. It was McDonalds all the way with me. I thought his jumping from restaurant to restaurant was a bit over the top but now it all makes sense and he was right (to a certain level).

6.) Cafe Fryfare

There was a chip shop near where I used to do my paper round and I hardly ever went in there because - to me - the portions were too small and the price too high.

The problem is - they made great chips.

I ended up getting a tip from one of the customers on my round and I wasted it on these chips.

Waste would be a wrong word, though. They were very nice but I just cannot balance out whether they were value for the price they charged. That's why it's ranked low on my list.

The chip shop was sold off to a new owner not so long after that.

5.) The Place That Will Go Unnamed

The next chip shop on my list will go unnamed as they are still in business and - as I haven't been there in many years - I don't feel confident outing them.

This particular chippie was a place where we would end up on occasional Fridays when we would go to our friend's house for sleepovers.

The chips from this place were gorgeous.

So gorgeous that there was this one day when I was walking home eating them that I didn't look where I was going and walked right out in front of a car. The driver avoided hitting me and yelled at me. I was in shock and walked on. A little further up the road, the guy had stopped and asked if I was okay. The man was shaking too which sort of tells you how close it was.

Anyway, there was this one occasion when I went for another bag of these chips and they tasted awful.

They were raw and put me off the place for life. Still, they remain on this list because of those times I did enjoy eating from there.

4.) Another Place That Will Go Unnamed (Because I Don't Know Their Name!)

In 1992, there was a brand new chip shop opened right in the middle of Cardiff city centre.

My friends and I would go into town every Saturday and would end up buying our lunch there.

The thing I remember the most about the chips was the way they put the vinegar on. They sprayed it!

They used what looked like a hair or garden spray container to smother the chips.

It intrigued me.

The shop didn't last long, it went out of business after a few months.

3.) Doug's Diner

When I was on work experience during high school, there was a caravan vendor parked up near the factories who sold burgers and hot dogs.

The chips on the menu did not look nice but, by God, they were lovely.

Totally unhealthy yet so good.

Is it me or do chips taste so much better when they are eaten off a tray and smothered in the tomato ketchup you find in cafes?

2.) 6th Form ('95/96)

I have to give a nod to the first year of sixth form college because the chips that were sold in the cafeteria were amazing.

Another thing that makes these chips a fond memory for me is the fact that I had them with mayonnaise.

Before that time, I had never contemplated having them with the dressing.

I have to be in the mood to eat chips these days, and I really have to be in the mood to have both chips and mayonnaise together. Despite liking the taste, I still cannot beat how good the ones at the college tasted.

Oh, and the other thing is this - the caterer who made these chips lost his contract at the end of my first year there so the rest of my time was spent eating chicken burgers that tasted like cardboard but were great to go with hangovers.

Everything written above is about myself and my opinion. The number one choice in this list can relate to a lot more people, though.

1.) Seaside Chips

There is something great about chips that are sold near the seaside.

I cannot explain it. There is just something pleasurable eating out of a cone in the open air.

Tomato ketchup on top is a prerequisite.

I know I'm not the only person who will agree with this. If you are ever at the seaside, look around and you will see for yourself. People love it.

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