Would you like fries with your chips?


Over the years, I have made many friends online, from different countries.  My sister refers to them as my ‘virtual friends’ but they are all quite real and some of them I even exchange Christmas and birthday cards with and we all chat on Facebook!   Mostly, these friends live in the USA – a place I have never visited

One of the things I find most entertaining and interesting about these friends from over the pond are the discussions we have about FOOD

This weekend we were discussing fish & chips, a traditional British dish

It all started when my American friend posted up some ‘things’ on a plate that turned out to be hash browns – they looked like little chips to me, and in a way, they were – small fried potatoes.  Not what I thought a hash brown looked like and not much like our chips either

So I posted up a photo of some chips, along with a portion of fish.  This was followed by her version of the same, except the chips were hidden under the fish and she had COLESLAW and TARTARE sauce with them…..SHUDDER!!!

Here, it is vinegar and/or ketchup.  Up North, you might get curry sauce or gravy with your chips (also WRONG) – but never coleslaw or tartare sauce!!!!  Well, ok, maybe tartare sauce if you are having fish-fingers but not with fish and chips, surely?!!

In America there is also something called ‘steak and chop sauce’ – made by ‘London Pubs’ and advertised as ‘a ‘traditional British sauce’.  On further investigation this turns out to be Daddies Sauce, or Brown Sauce.  A must with fried eggs (for some!).  But NEVER with steak or chops!!!

Anyway, it just delights me to find out these little differences in the accompaniments to the same food

It’s Sunday – I should be having a traditional roast beef dinner.  But we are having pasta instead

I’m so cosmopolitan

Anyone for canapes? No thanks, mine’s an amuse-bouche…….


I’ll start by saying that I didn’t make it to boxing class last night.  I am still having difficulty managing stairs so I thought it best to rest up for another day or so

That doesn’t mean I won’t go back. I shall make it to tomorrow mornings class and it will be good

Anyway, this weekend is my BIRTHDAY weekend.  Not actually my birthday, that’s on Monday, but the celebrations begin today!

It’s not a significant or special birthday, I will be 52.  The sort of birthday you don’t shout about but a birthday nevertheless

Tonight I am being taken to a very nice boutique restaurant in the West End of London.  I am very much looking forward to it

The menu looks gorgeous and I am sure I will have a wonderful time

There will also be MISE EN BOUCHE as part of the dining experience

Now, being the philistine I obviously am, I had never heard of MISE EN BOUCHE before last year when friends spoke of these little hors d’oeuvre once.  I know they are ‘nibbles’ but that is about it

So, I’ve looked it up

I have discovered we call them AMUSE-BOUCHE here.   Which I find amusing in itself.  Probably someone misheard it once and it stuck.  Personally I like amuse-bouche better as it means entertainment for the mouth and that’s got to be good. ‘Mise en bouche’ means ‘setting for the mouth’ – not nearly as appealing.  No wonder they changed it…..

Anyway, they look the same as canapes

They ARE canapes

Canapes I know are those little munchy things on a platter, yummy. Obviously they are so last year now

Which begs the questions –

Are amuse-bouche the new canapes?

Were canapes the new Cheesy Wotsits?

How come we never had “amuse-bouche” or “mise en bouche”, or whatever they are called – or even canapes – when I was growing up?

It’s all a bit pretentious if you ask me

But I will still scoff a plateful tonight – it would be rude not to