Size does matter when it comes to spuds, but that is not the only difference between British chips and American fries

The size and depth of potato slices are so important to us at go brit! that we diligently cut chips to the exact size every time.  As you know, British people call “chips” what Americans know as French fries (an American looking for a packet of potato chips in a shop in any part of the UK will have to ask for “crisps”). The name for those fried sticks of potato, which go so well with fish or burgers, isn’t the only difference between the two.

potatoesSize matters! The traditional fries, as found in America, are generally thin and of a uniform length. There are several advantages to thin fries, most importantly that they cook quickly whether being fried in oil or oven baked. British chips tend to be much fatter than fries, at least a thumb’s width or sometimes even thicker. Their chunky appearance is created by peeling potatoes by hand, then hand cutting or using a special chipping machine to slice them into thick pieces of potato.

Darker color and texture. As fries are thinner and take a short time to cook, they emerge from the fryer or the oven in a golden color. British chips are fatter and, therefore, take longer to cook in the hot oil. This longer cooking time means that the outside of the chip is often quite brown when it is removed from the oil. Traditionally, British chips were deep fried in animal fat, normally lard or beef dripping. This method of preparation has fallen out of fashion because of the health implications. Nowadays, most chippies fry their chips in a good quality vegetable or sunflower oil.

Vinegar or ketchup? When buying chips from a chippie shop in the UK, you will be offered salt and vinegar. Some chippies will have ketchup, brown sauce or mustard, but it will be in little sachets and you will be expected to pay extra for it. Salt and vinegar is very much the standard accompaniment for chips. No worries, at go brit! you can have it your way!