Is your chippy serving frites?

fish chipsYou might not notice but your local chip shop could be serving you chips made from Belgian potatoes because the awful UK weather has badly affected UK harvests.

It’s reported that “almost all” of the traditional fish and chip shops in London are sourcing their potatoes from Belgium. West Flanders exporter Bart’s Potato Company is currently exporting 1,000 tons of spuds to the UK every week. Belgium is of course the home of the deep-fried chip – or frites – and according to this wikipedia article it was American soldiers who called them French Fries.

The heavy rains that the jet stream has given the UK over the last few weeks means that British potato growers are finding it too difficult to harvest their potato crops from waterlogged fields. A spokesperson for the National Farmers Union said that this year’s UK potatoes may be more marked and smaller, but consumers should not notice any increase in price.

Chip shops importing spuds are frequently using the premiere variant which is described as a “full-bodied, flavoursome potato with a lingering finish”. With an influx of visitors to London for the Olympics the demand for our traditional dish of fish and chips is set to rise considerably. How many consumers will notice that they’re eating chips from Belgian potatoes?

How about you – has your local chip shop mentioned where their spuds come from? Or are you making your own chips at home with English potatoes? We use Maris Pipers at home to make wedges rather than chips. There’s no need to get the potato peeler out as a wash and quick scrub does the job and they’re easy to roast in the oven in a light coating of olive oil.

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