Take the humble chip.
It sits there on the brown paper beside its friends, awaiting death. Its golden crispy exterior disguises the soft fluffy potato that lies beneath the surface. The steam from the oil wafts up the nose of the purchaser, making their stomach rumble in appreciation of the heart-stopping snack.
The smell of sauce and the occasional unnecessary thrown into the fryer, attract the unsuspecting customer as they pass the brightly coloured lights of the establishment. They probably aren’t hungry but it’s a smell they just can’t ignore. Rows of unidentifiable battered this and that are paraded under warm glass. But they know exactly what they want.
Regional preferences can cause chatter late into the night when it comes to adorning your meal with condiments. Vinegar. On your chips. Never. Pickled egg or just plain pickles? The list of accessories is endless.
I prefer to hold the small packet of goodness in my hands. It’s usually cold outside so it’s a portable hand warmer for the short journey home. The smell lingers around me as I gather speed, cold chips are not an option. Not on my watch.
Once inside, coat removed, slippers on…only now can I carefully peel back the pages of yesterday’s news. The brown paper is tucked in tight, keeping my chips warm in their bed of sauce. Removing the final layer reveals gold. The chips smile up at me, arranged in their messy lines. Tuck in, they say.
There is one question we all have on our lips when it comes to our local chippy – salt and sauce?