North Vs South Divide: How Should You Enjoy Your Chippy Tea?
Well, we made it everyone. Friday is here again. That means a few things. Crucially, the weekend is just about upon us, we've successfully navigated another week, and that first sip of beer is drawing ever closer.
As well as being a beacon of hope at the end of a long working week, Friday also means that it is chippy tea day once again. I don't make the rules.
Yes, the chippy tea is a staple of British culture. It is a rallying point that we can all get behind. Fish and chips on a Friday afternoon is as British as Winston Churchill and William Shakespeare flying a spitfire, drinking a pint of bitter, while complaining about the weather.
However, that which brings us closer together, also divides us.
The politics of what is and isn't included in your chippy tea vary drastically across the length and breadth of the country, and every region thinks that they've got the golden formula, the TRUE chippy tea solution.
But which is the best? Let's investigate.
The lines of battle are most broadly drawn between the north and south of England.
Of course, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales have their very own proud culture when it comes to fried food.
Pizza crunch, chicken goujons, and battered haggis suppers are to be lauded in their own right, but the main point of conflict is between England's 'Northern Monkeys' and 'Southern Jessies'.
There are persuasive arguments for both sides - a saveloy is delicious, the south has got that right - however, anyone who thinks that having liquor on their pie instead of gravy clearly has rocks in their head.
For those who are unaware, liquor is a dazzlingly green parsley sauce that used to contain eel juice - though it largely doesn't any more. It is a traditional accompaniment to pie and mash.
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However, gravy is the nectar of the gods, and should be treated with that kind of reverence.
Another trick that the good people of Southern England miss out on is scraps. Otherwise known as bits, they are little bits of battered goodness that just tie everything together. Get on board, Londoners.
Don't even get me started on beef drippings. If you know, you know. If you don't, get to Yorkshire.
That said, it turns out there's a generational gap appearing as well as a regional one.
Andrew Crooks, the president of the Federation of Fish Friers - and therefore a man who knows a fair bit about this sort of thing - told LADbible: "Younger people tend not to have vinegar. I think it's to do with Nando's, but they just want salt on it. That's one of the changes that's coming."
Kids these days. They don't know they're born.
In the end, the conclusion that can be taken should be the same as with many things in modern Britain.
We should celebrate our differences, whether you have your fish and chips with gravy, mushy peas and scraps, or without. Whether you have salt and vinegar or not.
Whether you think it's acceptable to put a green sauce that looks like bile on your pie, or whether you'd rather eat actual bile. Fish and chips may cause arguments, but it all unites us in these darkening times.
Crooks continued: "We get all sorts, that's the great thing about fish and chips. I've got customers who are millionaires, right down to people who sweep the streets. It's one of those things that transcends all classes and cultures.
"We're delighted as long as people keep coming to the chip
shop, and keep supporting local businesses, that's all we want."
There you have it. It's Friday - get out there and get your chippy tea down you.
Featured Image Credit: PA