Hot Chip

Last week in the Kingdom of Fife we rejoiced in four consecutive days of fine weather. I took my sunglasses out of storage so I wouldn't be blinded by bare midriffs on the high street. But judging from the long queues at the Tan Stand, they'll all be orange soon.


Sunshine lends a wholesome air to the toun. I saw a girl walking to the park with a frisbee in one hand and a cigarette in the other.

Then I saw a peacock stop to pick up an abandonded chip. He fanned out his tail and tilted his head back, chip clenched in his tiny beak. I fumbled for my camera but the posing bastard gulped it down before I could focus.


Speaking of chips, we went out to Anstruther the other night. Nothing says summer like hot grease by the sea! I also wanted photographic evidence of a chip butty for my Dietgirl blog. I'd mentioned recently that Gareth was a devotee and some people were baffled and/or intrigued by the idea of carb on carb action.

Five years ago I would have been horrified, but now I see poetry in the bland, fluffy white roll, lubed up with butter and stuffed with flaccid fries.

Ask for a chip butty at the Anstruther chippie and your butty shall runneth over:


Gareth likes to eat the overflow first, building anticipation for the main event.


I went for the fish supper as usual. I had brought along my special Australianising Kit: chicken salt and a lemon. Back home you get lemon with fish by default, but over here you have to ask for it and they think you're a freak. The chicken salt, which doesn't contain actual chickens, was purchased for a ludicrous sum at the Australia Shop in Covent Garden a few years ago. I could take it or leave the stuff when I actually lived in Oz, but now flavoured sodium is a tasty, pathetic way of clinging to my roots.


About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m Shauna, an author, copywriter and content mentor. I love telling stories about life and helping others to tell theirs.

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17 thoughts on “Hot Chip

  1. Nothing beats scoffing down a mountain of hot chips, washed down by a cold beer in a beer garden on a hot day.

    Mmmmm, beer garden.

  2. Ahh chicken salt. My partner (from Glasgow) was amazed by the stuff when he first tasted it. It was like I could see the cogs in his head moving and he was thinking ‘ salt.tastes like chicken.with chips’ or something like that – and we have spent valuable time concocting ways of exporting chicken salt to scotland.

    As far as the butty goes – I do remember doing something like this with crisps in my youth – but I have never done the whole hot chip in roll thing. But i know you can get a buttered roll with your fish supper – and I have usually eaten a couple of chips in with mine.

    You have caputured the colouring and texture of the chips well with your photo – my partner has issues with aussie chips (how dare they be golden and crispy) and he dreams of soggy lard cooked pasty chips like you have shown.

    Good to see some WNP action – I was missing it!

  3. I farking love chickin salt, and yes, I like to spell it and pronounce it CHICKIN.

    Tell me when you are running out and I will post you some! x

  4. my gosh, i remember when i first moved to bradford and the family in law did a takeaway run. one of the sister in laws asks for a chip burger, and was presented with something very similar to the chip butty. i could feel the wiring in my brain sparking and burning with confusion!

    loving those chips though, i doubt the mister and i could head all the way up to anstruther but betty’s in harrogate does some of very similar quality.

    thanks for updating girlie!

  5. There is a local speciality in Pittsburgh where they put cole slaw and french fries (chips to you!) on their sandwiches. But not JUST cole slaw and french fries, all kinds of other stuff too — so that you can never get your mouth around it.

  6. I also do not get the roll and chips thing. Ugh!!!!!

    Chicken salt, on the other hand, I have fond memories of. Chips and chicken salt at the Uni Ref!

  7. ooh so much to say about so much to eat.

    Firstly, can not abide those soft floury baps.

    I’m a Glaswegian, and we tend to have some very particular ideas about what constitutes a roll.

    The Glasgow Roll, once tasted, everything is inferior.

    I actually hate UK chip shop chips, and can only eat them in a buttered glasgow roll.

    And lastly I could eat my own fingers clean off to the wrist with the addition of CHICKIN salt.

    fabulous stuff.

    Shauna, bloody good to have you back, I thought you were all published and thin now so had no further use for your fat unpublished fans online.


  8. Oh, Shauny, the depravity of a peacock eating a stray chip!!! For some reason I feel incensed that he lowered himself, like a common seagull/pigeon/airborne rat. That image of him on a fancy doorstep is the great premise for a kids’ story, somehow:

    En route to Mayfair, Baron Percy Peacock, a little peckish at least an hour pre hors dourves, spies through his monocle a fried stick of potato.

    ‘I say, driver,’ he says, to the driver. ‘Halt the Rolls, old chappy, I’m nipping out for a chippy! Pip pip!’

    And … I’m not sure where I was going with that.

    T-bone has never been to Scotland but he has his own version of that chip sandwich thing. Much of the same, but adds mayo cos he is Dutch and has that European sophistication thing going on.

  9. “halt the Rolls, old chappy!”

    OHHH i just busted a gut 🙂

    Pol, nowt do with being published, just busy as fuck and not wanting to write one of those godawful I’M TOO BUSY TO BLOG blog posts but in hingsight it was probably the courteous thing to do! D’oh!


  10. For a person who runs a diet blog, you make me hungry too much – although even me who likes chips and bread find the combination a bit weird to think of.

    …although, one of my favourite snacks is a Vegemite and crisp (or chips as we used to call them) sandwich (actually, to be precise bread, NZ butter, Vegemite and crinkle cut crisps hopefully salted). Yummy!

    Getting good chips is tough here (the UK) which is probably lucky for my tummy. Same for the absence of good meat pies (which are in every convenience store back home in NZ).

    All hail to the chickin!

    Scott F 🙂

  11. LaLa tried to stop me from eating hot chips for 2 weeks. I failed after about 2 days…

    They sneak into my life somehow…

  12. Don’t know what chicken salt really is…but I whole heartedly agree about the lemon. I MUST have lemon for my fish…MUST! I also like a little tartar sauce too…and of course I can appreciate the occasional malted vinegar with my fried fish supper…unfortunately I haven’t been able to eat fish in over 2-3 years, I’m sadly allergic…this found out the hardest way possible, by eating it and getting terribly sick everytime 🙁 *sigh* At least I made good memories when I had the chance.

  13. Corrrr, you can’t beat a good chip butty, I’m dribbling now. But where’s the ketchup??? You can’t have a butty without a good splodge of Tommy K!

  14. I like the floury rolls, and chips, but would not combine them. Personally I think the best thing to put in floury rolls is marmalade (and a little Flora).

    Peacocks eating chips! More unusual than seagulls:


    We are the dawn marauders.
    We prey on pizza. We kill kebabs.
    We mug thrushes for bread crusts
    with a snap of our big bent beaks.
    We drum the worms from the ground
    with the stamp of our wide webbed feet.
    We spread out, cover the area –
    like cops looking for the body
    of a murdered fish-supper.
    Here we go with our hooligan yells
    loud with gluttony, sharp with starvation.
    Here we go bungee-jumping on the wind
    charging from the cold sea of our birth.
    This is invasion. This is occupation.
    Our flags are black, white and grey.
    Our wing-stripes are our rank.
    No sun can match the brazen
    colour of our mad yellow eyes.

    We are the seagulls.
    We are the people.

    (Brian McCabe)

  15. That sandwich is the pron. Also, I am surprised that tanning starts in the spring. It seems like it runs year round here, and we are weather twins.

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