Put a Potato in Your Sandwich?

What brings us all together ? Adult, child, omnivore, vegetarian, and vegan alike, its potatoes of course. The cheap, filling, deeply comforting, perfect food. Which is why I’ve brought you all here to this post today to make a proposal: we should all be putting some sort of potatoes in our sandwiches more often. Once upon a time there was a kingdom to be proud of, a "United" Kingdom, a tolerant and welcoming society.The past was another country where they ate chips differently and trust me they still do.
No pillar of the British food pantheon better illustrates this dank milieu than the chip butty. The chip butty could be described by some of our posher brethren as a French fry sandwich. The only essential condiment involved  is a wince-inducing amount of butter. It is, at face value, objectively very gross. It’s the sandwich version of throwing your hands in the air and screaming, “I am as mad as hell and I am not going to take it any more.” before storming off to burn down Parliament.
The British are well known for their eccentricities, and putting potatoes in their sandwich must rank as one of them .One of the beautiful things about potatoes is how well they get along with everything. If you would put it on a sandwich, you can put it on a potato, and then you can put that potato in a sandwich. First of all you have to abandon being adult and behave as a child would.Is it somewhat indulgent to put a starch inside another starch? Yes I am sure it is. But sometimes, carbs on carbs are just what one needs to feel a semblance of comfort in this dark dark world. People always talk of their guilty pleasure, there is no guilt here I assure you, just pleasure. Whoever would have dreamed for instance that Nigella Lawson would bring out a cookbook with a recipe for a fish finger sandwich. She even shocked herself, I believe.

Vada pav,bombay potato in a bun, Beats a soggy sandwich on the train home from work, huh?

From fondant to french fries to hash browns to chips.....from street carts in Mumbai to barbecues in Baltimore, to chippies in Bolton, its common to find variations on a good old chip butty. 
Clearly the world is in agreement: the chip butty belongs to the UK. But where did it originate? And, seeing as 
the claim is so fierce, can the humble chip butty tell us anything about British identity? The official line on the chip butty’s provenance is that it was born in Lancashire at Britain’s second
ever fish and chip shop, in the form of a market stall in Oldham. Others dispute this. What is clear is that going back hundreds of years, the north had access to fuel that London and the south simply didn’t, which meant home cooking was far better, and of course it is closer to Ireland so had access to its potato supply thereby,  but what set apart the north from the south was its ability to produce chips on a consumer-wide scale, making them literally, "cheap as chips”.  Dr Neil Buttery,( yes that is really his name) a chef and food historian from Yorkshire, says there’s also a lot of regional politics when it comes to the chip butty, though it’s hard to pinpoint minute details about its inception. The fact is that the very people who were making it first were working class communities in the north of England. Though Lancashire is the sandwich’s official home, there are other places with prominent working
class communities that lay claim to it, too. Liverpool and Ireland have both been cited as its point of origin in the past, and it’s also a big part of Yorkshire life. The word "butty", after all, originates from 
Yorkshire ( as slang for "butter ).Debates aside, however, the butty’s actual birthplace is less important than what it means to the places where it’s a staple: the memories, the comfort, the joy of its simplicity. It’s a proudly working class dish – and indeed the idea of class comes up time and again 
when chip butties are mentioned, so not surprisingly the communities who originated it are protective.The opinions many hold about working class dishes like the chip butty being gentrified are many and controversial. Michelin star chef Paul Ainsworth, originally from Southampton, however, doesn’t see it that way. Ainsworth has added a very modern chip butty to the menu at his restaurant in Padstow, Cornwall. Dubbed Cornwall’s food capital, Padstow is home to the likes of Rick Stein’s flagship venue The Seafood Restaurant and, needless to say, it is worlds away from the chippies of the north where the butty was first created and tasted.
Ainsworth’s "gentrified" sandwich is made with triple cooked chips on toasted sourdough, has an extra eggy mayonnaise and is topped with aged parmesan. Traditionalists, eat your heart out. The difference shows in more than just ingredients too: while Ainsworth charges £8.95 for his “Granny Ainsworth” creation, chip shop butties can still be found at pretty much just half that price.
Distaste for the nouveau chip butty, the southern one – raises questions about the need to associate the sandwich with its northern roots. This probably emerges from the simple fact that the humble chip butty is a symbol of just that: humble beginnings.
Food has always allowed people to connect with the very abstract idea of national identity. So whether it’s thick white bread with lashings of salted butter, calling it a chip barm instead of a chip butty, or having beef dripping fries with aioli on hand- crafted tiger bread, the chip butty’s journey tells us more about British people’s relationship to class, gentrification and even cultural appropriation than it does about food. It could even be viewed as a symbol of the longstanding tension between the working and middle classes in the UK.
Class differences aside,one cant deny potato chips aren’t the only form of spud that belongs between
two slices of bread. Each potato configuration has something unique to offer and, while I don’t think there are any “wrong” answers when it comes to shoving spuds in a sandwich, I do have some preferences, thoughts, and suggestions, some of them are right up there in my chamber of comfort foods.
I remember someone once saying the crisp sandwich is food’s equivalent of picking your nose. We all
 do it. Yes, even you. And, particularly in private, it can be a source of profound pleasure. But only rarely do you find a few brave hearted Brits; hats off chaps!, Jack Monroe, Nadiya Hussain Nigella lawson and Emma Freud – willing to talk about it in public.

Emma freud´s"Nouveau" salt and vinegar crisp sandwich
2 medium potatoes
250ml cider vinegar
1 tsp olive oil
8 slices really soft, fresh, sliced white bread (or 4 soft white floury rolls)
salted butter and tomato ketchup, to serve
Wash the potatoes and slice thinly. It’s tricky to get slices of the right thickness: either use a knife, slicing as thinly as you can without breaking, or a mandolin if you have one. Put the slices in a dish, cover with the vinegar and 1 tsp sea salt, and leave for 20 mins. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
Drain the slices, pat dry gently with a tea towel and put them in a plastic food bag. Add the olive oil and 1 tsp sea salt. Jiggle the bag gently, then arrange the slices on two baking trays. Bake for about 30 mins, but check after 15 mins: you might need to swap the trays’ positions or turn them around if one side is browning too quickly.
While the potato slices are cooking, butter the bread and spread half the slices with a thin layer of ketchup. When the crisps are beautifully golden, remove from the oven, lay them on kitchen paper and sprinkle with more sea salt. Pile the crisps onto the ketchup-ed slices of bread in a double or triple layer. Add the top layer of buttered bread, cut off the crusts and eat immediately.


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