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What do you say when ordering fish and chips in Jersey?
Fish and chips
What do you ask for when you go to a Fish & Chip shop?

What do you call the fried potato based fast food stuff that's good with gravy, cheese or even salt and vinegar?

A bag of chips, a fish and nerks, a poke of chips or even a chip stottie?

New research has revealed a wealth of regional variations when it comes to describing the humble chip and its various accompaniments.

In Jersey, Paul Spears from Hectors said that he hears fish supper, barn cakes and tea cakes in the takeaway but usually just fish and chips.

However, Paul said it was more the variation in tastes and cooking styles that he notices people talk about.

ORDERING IN JERRIAIS
paîsson et frites = fish and chips
héthique = haddock
pliaie = plaice
rîndelles d'ouognon = onion rings
sé et vinnaigre = salt and vinegar

"It's funny because you mention people come from different parts of the country and they're used to their particular taste.

"In Scotland they are probably using lard, in other parts of England they're probably using vegetable oil and in other parts palm oil.

"Particular tastes and particular combinations. We could have pies with curry and chips with beans, strange combinations," said Paul.

Jonathan Robinson is an expert in the way we speak, he works with the British Library and was involved in the research into chip shop terms.

He said the main reason for so many different words is the fact that the fish and chip shop is a very local tradition.

"I think what's interesting is that it's a very local concept, the fish and chip shop, it's a British tradition and its 150 years since the first fish and chip shop opened.

"It's in local context that regional and local speech survives and people use them because they understand them," said Jonathan.

In Jerriais

However, unlike most of the British Isles, Jersey has a strong French link and so we also have our own 'chip shop' related traditions.

Fish and chip shop
In Jerriais you could order "paisson et frites"

Geraint Jennings is an expert in the islands native language, Jerriais and he said that there is a fish based delicacy going back to the early 20th Century.

"In the old days of the Jersey-owned cod fisheries, and into the early decades of the 20th century, a particular fishy delicacy was 'des langues et des noes'," said Geraint.

This is translated into English as "Tongues and swim-bladders (of cod), offcuts of the Gaspé cod salting industry packed into barrels and sent back to Jersey."

There are other fish based traditions as well, Geraint said that Jersey folk would go out "sand-eeling, limpeting, razor-fishing etc."

Roots

So what would you say in the island if you wanted to stay true to the islands linguistic roots when ordering fish and chips?

Well you could say "paîsson et frites" which is basically fish and chips, but Geraint explained that this use of "Frites" for Chips/Fries is borrowed from the French word.

If you wanted to stick to the older Jersey phrase you might say "patates fricachies" or fried potatoes.

Other terms you might use if you want to order a more specific fish include: mouothue (cod), héthique (haddock) and pliaie (place).

If you're feeling particularly peckish you could order a side of rîndelles d'ouognon (onion rings) and you might want your chips with sé et vinnaigre (salt and vinegar).


Have your say
What do you say when ordering fish and chips in the island? Would you order yours in Jerriais? And where is Jersey's best fish and chip shop?

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SEE ALSO
Jerriais and new images for notes
03 Dec 09 |  The States
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A look back at a Royal history
25 Jan 10 |  Nature & Outdoors


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