Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fish And Derks



Ok - not something I do often - but this is pretty much non-beer related post. This story in The Sun yesterday really brought a smile to my face, however, so I thought I would share. Plus, I know that all of you who read and comment on TGS are foodies as well as...well, beeries. People of taste, basically...

Anyway, the gist of it is that some boffins have surmised that the humble dish of Fish and Chips is keeping regional language dialects alive. Mundane? No, I don't think so, and neither do the boffins at Leeds University and The British Library, who are all in hand-wringing agreement.

I know there's a lot of regional differences in how we all dispatch an order of Fish and Chips, but I didn't know there was this many. I've had plenty of arguments with mates (non-Yorkshire-born mates, I might add) who argue that 'Scraps are weird' or that a Breadcake is, in fact, a Barm (or possibly even a Stottie). This article is pure pub banter, as we argue over whose term is best - or even who does the best. Again; mundane? Well, that's what passionate people do.

Anyway, Fish and Chips does link in with beer. Although personally I prefer a cup of tea with mine when at home, Fish and Chips is usually the first on any self-respecting Gastropubs' menu - the epitome of hearty fare, sitting alongside such chalkboard staples as Pie or Sausages and Mash - although usually encased in a beer batter, of course. It's comfort food - and not a dish to be taken lightly, as I found out when I managed to bend the ear of Peter Scott of Bretts in Headingley.
Not only did the man make us some of the finest Fish and Derks (see what I did there) I'd tasted in a while, he took me round the kitchen and explained his secrets - from what fish to use and where from, to the exact temperature of the fat used to fry the fish. This lively man was happy to talk fish and chips all night, and a great night it was.

Oh - and before you ask - I do refer to Fish and Chips as 'Fish and Derks' - although not when ordering. I've never called them 'Nerks' . It's just a bit of eye contact and a firm exclamation of 'Once' or 'Twice' to be heard over the din of the fryers. Mushy Peas? Optional, for me. I do, however, find it hard to believe that only 27% of 'Londoners' have tried a chip butty. Really? I think some 'Londoners' are keeping up appearances there - surely?



8 comments:

Mark, Real-Ale-Reviews.com said...

Some years ago a chippy in Skeg assured me and a bunch of friends that you shouldn't mix beer and batter. 'It'll ruin your stomach later' he called after us as we left his fish shop not heeding his warning. He made it out that by drinking in the afternoon after a lunch time cod and chips was fuelling a time bomb that would go off inside us at some point in the day.

I'm still here.

Velky Al said...

Scraps are weird? Perhaps in the land of people not knowing what they are missing!

Leigh said...

Mark - strange stuff indeed - I'll pop 'dont heed the advice of skeggy chippies' on my list of life rules...

Mark, Real-Ale-Reviews.com said...

In fairness the evening wasn't a smooth ride (when is a night in Skeggy) but for some reason I don't think it had owt to do with the batter...

Paul Garrard said...

I'm with you on the cup of tea preferable to a beer with F&Cs thing!

Heard Stuart Maconie refer to "Chips and Fish" a week or so ago - strange.

Re the chip butty you might like to read this:
http://of-course.co.uk/blog/ofcourse.php?title=chip_butty&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1

TIW said...

Good article. Until I left Keighley I just assumed everybody called one of those deep-fried cakes of potato with a thin layer of fish a 'scone'. They don't even call it that in Bingley, 3 miles up the road.

Y'know, I really rate Murgatroyd's up in Yeadon as a great place for fish and chips.

Leigh said...

TIW - I agree with you on Billy Murg's - once you muscle your way past all the pensioners!!

Boak said...

I'd never come across those potato / fish cakes until last week in Sheffield.

Re Chip butties, my current favourite is my local Mauritian-run takeaway, chips in naan bread. Blooming lovely.