The Chip Butty: History of This Stodge Happy Sandwich

A chip butty with ketchup
The chip butty. Thanks to Cooking Perfected for the image.

The chippy in England will provide you with the likes of fish and chips and other comfort food, stodgy delights.

And that includes the chip butty! For a carb overload on the lines of a Pot Noodle sandwich, this SOB is the lunch of your dreams.

What’s a Chip Butty?

The chip butty is a sandwich, with a filling of chips. That’s French fries to Americans out there. The chips are usually chunky and massive.

The sandwich is served with butter on a white bap, with lashings of ketchup.

Other names for this thing include the chip muffin, chip bap, or chip barm. But if you want to really fit in, go with the chip butty.

And whilst it is mighty tasty, just remember this isn’t at all healthy. And will back up your innards like a massive tape worm. Bon appétit!

What’s the History of the Chip Butty?

Chip butties probably came out of Lancashire. They’re particularly popular in working class scumbag communities, who were (centuries ago) often illiterate.

And so they wouldn’t write their creations down.

This means it’s difficult to pinpoint when the chip butty first emerged, but there are some handy clues about the place.

Potatoes fried to make chips, as a recipe, had been around since the 18 century.

And the National Federation of Fish Fryers claims England’s second chippy opened in 1863 in Oldham of Greater Manchester.

There it began serving chip baps and, hey presto, the rest is history.

At the start of the 20th century, there was a chip shop boom and that’s led to over 10,500 of the things opening across the UK.

Which means you can go almost anywhere in England and you’ll find this simplistic, but joyous, ode to working class dining.

Although some chefs have decided to go gourmet with it. Behold!

Gourmet chip butty from Caffe Rojano
Caffè Rojano’s chip butty.

However, in Padstow of Cornwall some have put a super posh spin on the chip putty.

Michelin star chef Paul Ainsworth, at his restaurant Caffè Rojano, created a most spiffing looking sandwich.

It doesn’t appear to be on the menu anymore, but it’s an indication of the appeal this recipe has across the country.

Chip Butties as a Modern Icon

The dish is another favourite amongst football fans ahead of a big match and all that.

After downing multiple beers, they then may choose between a butter pie, kebab, or the mighty chip butty.

For the Sheffield United football team, fans have a song called The Greasy Chip Butty Song. It has lyrics including:

“You fill up my senses,
Like a gallon of Magnet,
Like a packet of woodbine,
Like a good pinch of snuff,
Like a night out in Sheffield,
Like a greasy chip butty
My Sheffield United,
Come thrill me again,
Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, oooh,
Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, oooh.”

However, it’s also just another rather homely British dish that folks like due to its comfort food nature.

Away from that bollocks, the Americans waded into British territory in 2020. Burger King “invented” the Chip Burger. Behold!

Burger King's Chip Burger

As you can see, it takes considerable preparation. Stacking skills a Tetris expert would be jealous of and DOUBLE sauces! Mayo and ketchup. Cripes.

We must respond thusly… FOOLISH AMERICANS!

Who do they think they’re kidding? They’re just jealous of England’s comfort food might! As such, they need proper cooking lessons.

How to Make a Chip Butty

Swearing maniac Gordon Ramsay knows a thing or two about this deceptively simple dish.

It’s a pretty basic meal though, eh? You need some bread, potatoes, and a garnish of your choice. We suggest houmous (but most folks will go for ketchup).

And, really, you just need to fry up your chips. Then insert them into your butty.

That’s a non-toasted barm of some sort. You know, whatever takes your fancy. Although us being us, we’d go for rye bread. Hell yeah!

But what about if you’re just too superior for all of this guff? Well, we’ve got the Sexiest Man Alive to help you out!

It’s hunky, ooh la la, hubba hubba manly slab of man that’s Jamie Oliver.

In his usual inimitable style, he’s taken the classic chip butty and added an Indian spin to things. With impressive results.

So, you can do that if you so wish! Or go for the standard Northern approach you’d get in Wigan, Bury, Bolton, Chorley, or wherever else.

By which we mean a plain white bap, ketchup, butter, and splat the lot together. Pukka, mate!

25 comments

Have some gibberish to dispense with?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.