Chip Butty – the poor man’s sandwich

The epitome of bland, the poor man’s sandwich. With a name disturbingly similar to a discarded cigarette, the chip butty, a carb on carb action sandwich has been a favourite of working class English families for generations.

English Food

When someone brings up English cuisine, it’s common to see other Europeans, and pretty much all of Asia scoff at the extreme blandness of the diet. However, England spread two of the world’s most popular foods, the chip, and the sandwich. The potato chip is bland, and should always be confined to side dish status, there is no debate there; and the sandwich is more of a bland platform of bread and butter that hosts more interesting flavours. But what if we use the bland platform of bread and butter, and combine it with the blandest of all side dishes; hot chips?

Chip butty, without using tomato sauce and sliced wholemeal bread

The Chip Butty Legacy

Alas, the chip butty. Originating in Northern England, it is immortalised in “The Greasy Chip Butty Song”, a Sheffield United football chant which pairs the chip butty with a gallon of Magnet, a beer, and Woodbines, an old brand of cigarette. The chip butty is now a staple on the table of fish n’ chip loving families of the UK and many of her current and former colonies worldwide.

Basic chip butty, without butter so it’s technically vegan-friendly

Create Your Own

The chip butty is made with nothing more than bread, butter, hot potato chips and a condiment. Condiments can range from malt vinegar, to tomato sauce or even gravy. The bread can be your basic loaf of sliced sandwich bread, or maybe a bread roll of some sort; the unpretentious nature of this comfort food means you can be flexible, provided it contains these four ingredients. Depending on the bread and sauce used, the chip butty will likely have a slight crispiness from the outside layer of the chips. The chip’s inner potato and softness of the bread provides a nice homely mushiness. The butter gives a bit of freshness to the bland combo, and your chosen condiment adds the touch of flavour to satisfy your taste buds.

Getting fancy with the chip butty

Experience the Chip Butty

The chip butty is available at many fine establishments (mostly fish and chip shops) throughout England. To experience the song, you’re best to see a Sheffield United game to hear it in its full footballer fury, you can learn the lyrics here! Can’t get to England? Don’t fret, just get hold of some thick cut chips (avoid french-fries) and bread. You can make this tasty comfort food at home, office, or restaurant of your choice.

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Further Reading

The Greasy Chip Butty Song

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2 thoughts on “Chip Butty – the poor man’s sandwich

  1. While I look at that and see a nightmare, my daughter would love it. I mean really love it. She puts chips on everything, even ice cream.

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