Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Surest Sign of Spring


The Chip Trucks in town opened today, or at least one of them did. The specific one that I am speaking of stations itself in the parking lot of a car wash, but it still does a fair business. When we went by at noon, there were several good souls waiting patiently for their first chips of spring to fry. I think we have four trucks operating in our fairly small town plus a place that specializes in takeout chips. It's a Canadian thing, eh?

Do you have chip trucks in the lower half of the continent? If so, what do you call them? I ask because I think it might confuse you to call them chip trucks since chips are something different down there. Well, we have those kind of chips too, and like you in fact, we call the kind of chips that come from trucks, fries. But we retain enough Britishisms up here that we can make out from the context whether we're talking the cold kind that come in bags or the hot fries that come out of the grease vat.

Although we generally call the hot version, fries, the trucks remain Chip Trucks, not Fry Trucks, and we have fish and chips, not fish and fries. How we distinguish without going crazy is beyond me, but we do. It would have been easier to follow the British way and refer to fries (the hot greasy kind) as chips and to chips (the bag kind) as crisps, but we reamin a six of one and half dozen of another type of nation. We're caught between two versions of English up here in The Great White North, but somehow we seem to make some sense of it all. If Canadians can make sense out of anything that is.

Forget about crocuses and daffodils. Whatever the name, chips or fries, the opening of dem dere trucks is about the surest and sweetest sign of spring.

Back in Sarnia it was de rigeur to visit the three chip trucks that parked under (so to speak) the [Bluewater] bridge at least several times a season. We would sit there, by the water, on a halcyon summer day enjoying the gentle lake breezes, watching the lakers (ships) navigate by, and munching the most scrumpdilicious chips in the world. Oddly enough, although I found both of these pictures via Google, the one below is from one of those very famous Sarnia chip trucks: Albert's.

8 comments:

Ginnie said...

Nothing like that in our area, AC. However, the British sailors that we entertained during WW II always spoke lovingly of Fish and Chips & getting them from a street vendor and wrapped in Newsprint.
Have you ever had sweet potato fries? I really like them.

Amanda said...

Yes, we have quite a few of them in Scotland ~ the same place were you can by almost anything deep fried. From Mars Bars to Pizza Crunch (pizza deep fried in batter).
I have never tried either by the way!

We call these chip vans Chuck Wagons or simply the Chippie!

Donna said...

I'll get Even with you for this!!!Hahaaa...Gads, I'm Full!
No Chip trucks here either...just hotdog vendors...hot, juicy and loaded with sauteed onions...served with mustard on a warm bun....I'm in agony here buddy!!Hahaaa...hughugs

Heather said...

Yup, I cycled past both chip trucks and hotdog vendors today. We also have falafel trucks 'round these parts.

Mary said...

AC,

We have several chip trucks here in town. About three times a year, hubby and I go for a treat. If you're ever in my neighborhood in winter, you can get fries from the chip truck at the Zel*ler's plaza.

Just seeing those fries made me hunger for some. Too bad that they're closed for the night. Maybe tomorrow.

Blessings,
Mary

mreddie said...

No trucks like that in SC but by whatever name the cooked potato pieces look delicious. ec

Mara said...

We might have some over here in the Netherlands, but most of them have become stationary chip trucks and are open all year round. The things that move are the fish trucks (fresh fish, battered fish etc), the oliebollen truck (the original doughnut, without the hole), especially round the winter holidays and the fairs and the ice cream trucks.
I'm getting peckish now...

Pearl said...

Now that looks nummy around supper time. funnily enough The Blooming Onion chip truck finally disappeared come melt. I don't know where it's got off to.