You say potato – we say… crisps, chips or fries - Best Of British
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You say potato – we say… crisps, chips or fries

When Is A Chip Not A Chip?

Maybe the real question is when is a chip not a chip? Because your answer to this highly contentious question is a pretty big clue about where you grew up.

Never wondered about the names of these delicious deep-fried slices of potato? Then, chances are, you’re not much of a traveller.

But, every British, Irish, Australian or American abroad has usually, at some point, received a surprise when they’ve ordered chips. Or a shock. Because, depending on where you are, a chip is not always a chip! Confused yet?

A Twitter Chip Debate

In 2016, one Tweet about these deep-fried delights drew Twitter users around the world into the great chip debate. The tweet referred to the above image and stated:

‘The first one is Chips
The second one is Fries
The third one is Crisps’
Uproar along with more than 29,000 retweets followed. People around the globe argued or joked about their take on the correct names to use.

We can’t check for an update because the Twitter account that started it all has been removed. But it’s safe to say it proved a divisive subject.

How To Order The Right Chips

We’d like to help you avoid confusion and the frustration of ordering the wrong chips the next time you’re abroad.

So, we’ve put together a handy table to track the most commonly used names for sliced, fried potatoes in Britain and Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, and America and Canada.

DescriptionBritain and Ireland:Australia and New ZealandAmerica and Canada
Thick, chunky pieces of potato – deep-fried and served hot, often with fish/chicken/steak (salt and vinegar optional)ChipsHot chipsFries
Thin pieces of potato – deep-fried and served hot, often with burgers (think McDonalds).FriesFriesFrench Fries
Thin, round slices of deep-fried potato sold in sealed bags and served cold.CrispsChipsChips

What About Other Popular British And Irish Snacks?

And yes, we know we’ve left some questions unanswered. Where do steak, shoestring or skin-on fries fit into the mix? Are corn chips crisps? What about Skips, Quavers, and Monster Munch?

Well, at Best of British, we don’t think a crisp could ever be mistaken for a chip. We should know – we stock loads of different crisps but absolutely no potatoes!

As for the rest… try tweeting about it and you’re sure to get some answers!

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