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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

London photo: pernicious American influence

kettlechips

I couldn’t believe when I saw this in a pub in Camden. They’re crisps, dammit. Not chips. They’re only chips in America. Chips in the U.K. are french fries (a phrase I’ve also seen on menus).


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  • Tonio Kruger

    Let’s call the whole thing off. :)

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Kettle Brand Chips is an American company, that expanded to Norwich back in 1988, where the company is called Kettle Foods. Near as I can tell, they’ve always labeled their product “Kettle Chips”. See here, about halfway down the page: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2010/sep/01/crisps-british

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    I just realized, that link goes to the US edition of the Guardian. lol

  • PJK

    Actually we Dutch also call crisps chips. It’s probably the post-war American influence at play, but still. Go to any Dutch supermarket and you’ll find rows of chips, including Kettle chips.

  • Lockon Liz

    Also, a kettle is something you boil water in and don’t get me started on peppercorn.

  • bronxbee

    i don’t understand your argument.

  • Lockon Liz

    They are kettle brand chips. The packet formerly had a cooking pot shaped like a cauldron on it. (alternately, my argument could be incomprehensible because it’s wrong.) (PS I just noticed on the packet that the chips are rated 18+ only.)

  • LaSargenta

    Big, open, cauldron-like iron pots are also called kettles. It is a really old dialect usage. Probably pre-hanoverian that stuck in the colonies. It is why “pot calling the kettle black” works.

  • Beowulf

    Wow…so that explains why I got what I got when I ordered “Fish and Chips” in London! I wish they stop asking me if I want “salad” when I get a sandwich….

  • bronxbee

    uhm, what did you get? and what’s the big deal about a “salad” (and why the quotes>)?

  • bronxbee

    thank you. i was going to post the whole dictionary definition of kettle and its usage, but then i thought …”eh. why bother?” so glad you stepped in.

  • LaSargenta

    My pleasure. It is a little obscure, especially in England, I think. Except for geologists…kettle holes and all that, ya know?

  • RogerBW

    Also a classic example of adjective disease: “salt and pepper” isn’t good enough, it has to be “sea salt” and “crushed black peppercorns”.

  • Sea salt is better than the usual table stuff. And crushed peppercorns are better than that horrid powdered black pepper you find in the UK. :->

  • RogerBW

    On crisps, where all the terpenes have had plenty of time to boil away and the salt’s probably been re-crystallised for spraying?
    I’ll take your word for it, but I can’t tell the difference between these and normal crisps.

  • Beowulf

    This was ten years ago, but “salad” was just lettuce on my sandwich (or “sammich” in PA). It was eye-opening, too, to see takeaway (not “take out”) wine in cans. Yum!

  • Liz Ingham

    Thank you.

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