Thursday, September 21, 2006In commemoration of Slashfood's Sandwich Day, we ask...Who is Chip Buttie?
Not a who, but a what. The classic Liverpudlian guilty pleasure and glory of yob-song, here bastardized American-style for rapid assembly under less-than ideal conditions. It's the apex of vegetarian
Having no proper fresh chips, nor the requisite soft white bread or potato roll, we improvised using re-heated McDonald's fries and Pepperidge Farm 12-grain bread with flax and millet. The bread, being less than springtime oven fresh, was gently toasted and buttered. Two separate butties were prepared while the "chips" were reconstituted to acceptable crispness: one with tomato ketchup, and the other with garlic mayonnaise (calling it "aïoli" would be a baldfaced lie). The ketchup version was rather pedestrian, and certainly not worth its corresponding loss of lifespan. The garlic-mayo version, on the other hand, was rather not bad. As Nobel Prize winning Provencale poet, Frédéric Mistral once said:
"It (aïoli) concentrates in its very essence the warmth, the force, the sunny happiness of Provence, but it also has another virtue: it keeps away flies. Those who don't like it, whose stomachs turn at the thought of our oil, won't come buzzing around us. There will be just the family. The aïoli goes to one's head, gives the body warmth and bathes the soul with enthusiasm."There you have it: the culinary shibboleth that is maximum-strength garlic. It was an experiment, of course, and actually tasted "acceptable," say, 6 on a 10 scale. Not a Liverpudlian's 6, but the 6 of someone who has never tasted a genuine chip butty - so take this assessment with a dash of salt.
Some fancy moderns have devised healthier gourmet "chip butties," crafted of crispy ciabatta bread, fresh pesto, and oven-baked "chips," sometimes even sweet potato wedges. I imagine a farl buttie might be an unusual variation? Speaking of farls, er, this dude has gone farl-happy. If you're feeling adventurous or simply longing for old England, you can make your own Fish and Chips in a Comic. Just don't even think of ripping a page or two out of my Sandman #1.
Next time: Indian Scotch Eggs, also known as nargisi kofta.