Do you remember the scraps of batter, crusty fish, malt vinegar, salt and soggy paper in the bottom of fish n chip wrappers of yesteryear? Well, according to Steve Busfield, now some poncey restaurant is trying to charge for them. While I disagree that scraps are a northern thing – they existed in Rugby which is hardly shipbuilding and mining country, but Steve does have a point,
"the crispy batter leftovers have long been a delicacy. And a staple/treat for young Tykes. I remember scores of youngsters finishing cub scouts of an evening and immediately trooping round to the chippie and asking for bags of scraps. Those with money might invest in a bag of chips. But the scraps were free. And delicious."
All true. However, I have absolutely no problem with someone charging for them because only idiots will buy them. On a related theme – fish n chips – and also in The Graun – I’ve added the links…
Fish stocks are vulnerable and this year’s so-called summer has played havoc with crops of potatoes and made prematurely mushy peas. The country’s 10,500 chippies have offered exceptional value for such a long time. That matters, especially in those areas where the meal is the only cheap and cheerful way to eat out, and the process of buying it a social ritual as strong as going to the pub. But a generally more prosperous country can afford to pay more, and will. The greater test is the need to safeguard cod and haddock and accept less familiar fish inside the batter sleeve. Huss and chips, anyone? How about skate, some
mahi-mahi, next to those mushy peas?
When will Brits lose their faith in cod? Huss, plaice, pollack, wolf fish are all perfectly tasty and (I think) ethically acceptable, sustainable and all that green blah-di-blah-di-blah. As discussed previously the Brits have no taste buds, so stop fannying around and serve them pollack, just tell them they’re eating cod. The North Sea will love you for it and the wooden palated British customer will be absolutely none the wiser.