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.