Saturday, 14 July 2007
salt and battery
A jolly article in the paper about scraps, which like bread rolls (sorry teacakes, breadcakes, baps, batch cobs, stotty, oven bottom cakes, scufflers, Kaisers) and chewing gum (sorry choddy, chuddy, chungy ) excite much argument about their name particular in us Northern types. For those benighted amongst you scraps are crispy drips of fried batter, which for free and gratis you get tossed on your fish supper in any good northern chippy. Like most things they called different things depending where you are from, Scraps in South and West Yorkshire, "bits" elsewhere and the redundant "batter bits" in Derby. Of course they are a bit fatty but delish. Word went round about the mythical chippy where late one night they gave a friend some scraps and there were bits of fish in them! Although I think this is urban legend like pubs with lock ins and Kit Kats that are solid chocolate.
On the subject of chippies can I mention “new road fish cakes”, these were a rare treat in some places miscalled Scallops (more of which later). New road fishcakes named after the st where the chippy was, are a thing of rare beauty not your sorry bright orange bread crumb Ross freezer special or even your fancy Dan Rick stein restaurant variety but a complete fish sandwich.
In the middle was a thick slap of fish sandwiched between to large half inch thick (baking potato) sized slaps of tatty. This sandwich was then dipped in batter and fried. The end result was fantastic the fish was juicy and steamed and the spud layer cooked with a crispy batter. Now of course not something for every meal, we had them once a week after cubs! I won’t show my age by saying how much chip fish cake and chips and scraps were wen I woz a lad.
Oh and scallops: famously on a tour of Yorkshire Tony Blair went into a chippy and pretended to buy some chips. Mandelson was with him and was looking down the price list and saw "scallops" for 50p and made some joke about “how well, Tony was doing if scallops where 50p in Dewsbury when they £3.50 a piece at the Ivy.” Of course the scallops on sale weren’t shellfish but escallops of potatoes, basically thick slices of tatty fried in batter; a spud fritter.
The round people you see in northern towns may just because you can get chips, curry sauce with a scallop with scraps on the top and tea cake to make butty with…..
Ps: they have scraps in India but call them Jelebi and have them for their afters!