Comfort food

It's not pretty, as restaurants go. It's not gourmet dining. But at 3.30 on a dreary December afternoon, when you've missed lunch and have another couple of hours to put in at the office, it calls to you. Just time to point and shoot from across the busy road, too hungry to pay attention to photo composition, before hurrying inside to warmth and the aroma of frying. A few minutes later, back out into the cold with the precious parcel of chips (fries) wrapped in brown paper (newspaper sadly being outlawed now by European decree).

A few important cultural notes. The lady in grey standing at the door is taking a good pull on her cigarette before entering the restaurant, smoking being forbidden inside public places in Scotland. The neon signs proclaim that as well as fish and chips, you can have an all-day breakfast, or pizza. The pizza comes deep-fried if you want. However, I chose the healthy option...just chips, with lashings of salt and vinegar. The vinegar is an important anthropological marker. It identifies me as coming from the north of Scotland. South of a line bisecting the country from roughly Perth to Dundee, the default seasoning is 'salt'n sauce' - the sauce being a gloopy brown concoction. We northerners are purists, choosing the astringent tang of vinegar every time. Other unhealthy options I could have gone for include the battered cheeseburger - as it says, a cheeseburger dipped in batter and deep-fried - or a white pudding supper. A white pudding is a savoury sausage made from oatmeal, suet, onions and spices, and the 'supper' bit means that it comes with chips.

Comfort food indeed. But not too often...


  1. I have enjoyed reading your blog and will be back when I have more time.
    I lived in Scotland for 4 years in the 70's and loved it. Lived in Montrose, Edzell and in Brechin.
    Oh no! No more newspapers with the fish and chips?

  2. Sadly, no more newspapers. Nothing to read while munching to take your mind off the zillion calories you're consuming.

    Lovely country around Edzell.

  3. Wow.. a deep fried hamburger? Is it good? In parts of the U.S. I have heard of deep fried Snickers (a candy bar.. do you have them?) and Oreos (a cookie).. I obviously don't know what kind of sweet stuff you get to munch on.. how about some pictures of your favorite?? Oh and deep fried pickles too.. haven't had that either though..


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