IRRESISTIBLE chips have had their secrets laid bare by Gloucester’s fish and chip shop owners as they celebrate National Chip Week.
Chips may come in all shapes and sizes but as a nation we lovingly chomp our way through the ubiquitous potato delights. So what makes the perfect chip?
Michelle Maher at the Black and White restaurant thinks that people are drawn in by the scent of frying potatoes. She said: “They walk by the shop and smell them cooking and just can’t resist.”
The Black and White restaurant thinks it’s really important to cook them in fresh oil at just the right temperature – 160C.
Abu Patel, at Abu’s Fish and Chip Shop, in Tredworth’s High Street, said: “Vegetable oil is a great bet. It contains less cholesterol than other oils, and means that customers looking for Halal food can also eat the chips.”
Abu recommends using Lincoln Piper potatoes and frying the chips at a higher temperature of between 325 and 350C.
Mohamed Alouad, from the Mermaid Fish and Chip shop, in Kingsholm, thinks that ingredients are just as important as cooking methods. He said: “Certain potatoes are good for frying. Some are no good for frying. Some types of potatoes don’t absorb oil at all.”
Mr Alouad uses groundnut oil to fry his chips, which he says makes them taste better and stay fresh for longer.
Umar Pandor says that Coney Hill Fish and Chip shop uses palm oil to fry their chips because it makes them dryer and crisper. He said: “It’s a bit more expensive, but it’s less greasy and customers prefer it. It just tastes better.”
But there is a warning for chip lovers – fire services have seen a sharp rise in the number of chip pan fires as more of us become inspiring by celebrity chefs such as Heston Blumenthal and his triple-cooked ‘posh’ chips.
Firefighters have warned not to tackle a chip pan fire with water as it can make things worse – rather it is better to simply call the fire brigade.