Food & Drink

National Chip Week – where to celebrate in south west London

This week is national chip week! Why not celebrate by trying out new chip recipes or the best chip shops in south west London? 

AHDB Potatoes, previously known as the Potato Council, is a trade organisation that aims to develop and promote the potato industry in Great Britain. 

This week is one of the council’s annual awareness campaigns to encourage more people to eat chips and dispel its myths. 

The oldest evidence shows the first discovery of the popular chip dates back to the 1680s in Belgium. 

Belgians have been deep frying potatoes since the 17th century – before they introduced fish and chips to the United Kingdom. 

This was due to a shortage in fish as the rivers would freeze over, so Germans fried potatoes in shapes of fish to keep them warm and full in the winter. 

Little did they know they had just invented something extraordinary!

It can be argued that potatoes came to England in the 1800s from the New World. 

Sir Walter Raleigh was believed to have been the one that led the effort to bring this new food to the country. 

Britain was eating early versions of the chip “potato’s boil’d and fried in butter” as described in Robert May’s The Accomplished Cook – by 1660.

Additionally, in Charles Dickens’  A Tale of Two Cities  (1859) he wrote about “husky chips of potato, fried with some reluctant drops of oil” – perhaps referencing the now known chip. 

It was in the 1860s that the first fish and chip shop opened for business in Mossley, Oldham, Lancashire.

During the same time period, Joseph Malin, a Jewish immigrant, started his shop on Cleveland Way, offering fish and chips.

Chips were a huge fuel for the population during both the world wars. 

Unlike bread, eggs and meat, potatoes and fish remained off the ration list for the UK, to keep soldiers and the British people’s diets nutritional. 

Here are some places to try out different versions of chips:

Dirty fries

Steakout – Tooting, SW17 7EN

Dirty fries are simply French fries topped with cheese, bacon, onions, spices and various other toppings of choice. They’re a delicious, modern take on such a simple dish, and every mouthful bursts with flavour. 

Why not pop down to the Steakout in Tooting to try this mouthwatering dish? 

Classic French frites

Big Ferand – South Kensington 

French fries (french frites) are prepared by cutting the potato into even strips, then drying and frying it, usually in a deep fryer. 

A customer wrote when reviewing the restaurant: “The burgers are delicious, especially the meat, perfectly cooked, and the cheese.

“Great french fries, particularly with the raclette added on top, and very nice staff. Would definitely come back!” – Jacopo Gabrielli.

Spanish Patatas Bravas

La Bodega de issy – 78 Tavistock Road, W11 1AN

The Spanish take on chips is most definitely a delicacy. 

​​Patatas Bravas meaning “spicy potatoes”, is a dish native to Spain. It typically consists of white potatoes that have been cut into 2-centimetre-wide cubes, then fried in oil and served warm with a spicy sauce. 

A customer at the spanish restaurant La Bodega de issy, near Portobello Road gave:

“Honourable mentions too for chorizo and the patatas bravas, which were basically awesome, paprika-dusted roast potatoes with aioli the on the side.” said Alex Weel. 

How will you celebrate chip week, and what new recipes will you try? 

Feature image © Boaz Rottem / Alamy Stock Photo

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