South Africa: Hooked On Hake and Slap Chips


It's the way those succulent white flakes slide over one another. Hake skin and batter stick slightly to the newsprint. In their own saliva-inducing aura of salt and vinegar, potato chips lie alongside the fish, slap and simple.

The writer supports Nosh Food Rescue, an NGO that helps Jozi feeding schemes with food 'rescued' from the food chain. Please support them here.

When we up here in Jozi say we want fish and chips, we mean hake and chips. Then, even when the chips are the double fried and crispy sort, we still want vinegar and salt shaken over them.

We don't really want the fancy fish. Sometimes someone has snoek because it's a nice fish but it isn't a nicer fish and chips fish. Some places want us to have kingklip and chips, as if hake isn't wonderful enough especially under creamy-golden batter. Kingklip is not for fish and chips. Actually it's not for much when there's hake already and it's not quite as green as Cape hake on the SASSI list anyway.

I rather like the fact that all my favourite hakes and chips turn out to be from places owned by South Africans of other origins. Like...

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