National Chip Week (February 20-26) will celebrate the iconic British ‘chip’, but is the chip a food hero in the UK alone, or does it have fans in other countries to which you may be travelling with your Europesure Travel Insurance cover in place?
You may be surprised to learn that an early form of British chip was mentioned as early as 1660, in Robert May’s book, ‘The Accomplished Cook’. By 1859, Charles Dickens was describing “husky chips of potato fried in some reluctant drops of oil”, in the Tale of Two Cities. In 1860, the first chippy may have been opened in London by Jewish cook, Joseph Makin, although some say the first was opened in 1863 at Mossley market outlet, Lancashire.
Where to enjoy chips worldwide
Whatever the truth, the love of both the chip, and good old traditional British fish and chips, has spread worldwide. You can enjoy fish and chips in outlets as far-flung as Cape Town’s Fish on the Rocks, against the stunning backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean and Chapman’s Peak, and amidst lazing seals. Here, your fish might be hake, yellowtail, snoek and your chips could also be served with calamari, prawns or even steak pie.
Head to Hong Kong, making sure you’ve bought yourself some worldwide travel insurance on either a single trip or annual multi-trip policy basis first, and you could head to the eatery Hooked. There, your fish will originate from New Zealand and is likely to be either hoki or blue cod. Your chips could be a scoop, half-scoop, Kumara or spicy wedges!
In Australia, there are fish and chip shops on many a street corner, with ‘basa’ the most likely battered fish to find on menus. Whilst tucking in to this, or another variety served at venues like Blu, which might be gummy shark, blue grenadier, rockling, snapper or barramundi, do remember that, whilst the Australian Government has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with many countries, not all medical costs are covered and the agreement covers ‘medically necessary’ treatment, in a public, not private, hospital. Having your own travel insurance policy is still important, to pick up those extra or private care costs not covered by the RHCA.
With what will they cover your chips on your travels?
Having the right travel cover is essential wherever you tuck into your chips, but where else in the world might that be? Here are just a few of the answers to that.
Canadian Poutine is a delicious combination of fries, brown gravy and cheese curds, the origins of which are found in 1950s Quebec. Now, annual Poutine celebrations are held across Canada and there are even some who describe Poutine as the national dish.
If packing your case for Peru, make a note to check out the salchipapas, if you get chance. This dish comprises hotdogs or sausage with French Fries, topped with onions, salsa and tomatoes.
The Chispi Mayai is a hugely popular street food here and is, effectively, a French Fry omelette!
You might just be tempted by furikake fries – potato seasoned with a furikake seasoning blend of seaweed, chilli, garlic and sesame seeds.
In the USA, chilli cheese fries are at malls, eateries and sports stadia country-wide. Just make sure you’ve bought travel insurance. All that calorific overload might just cause a health issue that sees you requiring treatment in one of the US’s notoriously expensive hospitals!
Sample the Finnish street food of Makkaraperunat – fries topped with sausages and a heap of condiments including mustard, ketchup, onions, pickled cucumber and mayo.
In La Bella Italia, your chips are likely to be polenta chips, flavoured by olive oil, parmesan or pecorino or rosemary and thyme.
If you find yourself walking the streets of Istanbul, you might spot patso – basically bread stuffed with fries and condiments. You might regard this as a bit of British chip butty but maybe the condiments provide a Turkish twist?
If seeking a Kenyan food speciality, masala chips might grab your attention. This chippy side dish is flavoured with chili powder and paprika and served with tomato-based masala sauce.
Last, but not least, we have Belgium - the country claiming to have given birth to French Fries. That may seem a bit odd, but the story goes that the French Fry was born on the River Meuse, where locals were used to frying fish. When the river froze and no fish could be caught, they fried potato chips instead. Whilst the French try to claim this chip treat was served on the streets of Paris in 1780, the Belgians are having none of it and say the term French Fries was coined by American soldiers, who discovered the Belgian foodstuff during the First World War and described it as ‘French’ because that was the language of Southern Belgium. So passionate are the Belgians about this, that they are trying to get UNESCO to recognise French Fries as a Belgian dish of cultural heritage importance.
If tucking into chips during National Chip Week, or any other, somewhere other than home soil, make sure you have bought travel insurance beforehand. It will cover you for a wide number of risks, whether you’re enjoying your Poutine so much you fail to notice your wallet being stolen, or have to cut your trip to Peru short, due to reasons out of your control.
Head to www.europesuretravelinsurance.com to buy a policy today!