Wednesday, April 11, 2007


The New York Times published an article today about the perfect Bacon Butty. That's pronounced "boo-tee" or "bood-tee" not "butt-ee".

The first time I had a butty it was on Thanksgiving at the Mayflower in San Rafael. I was surrounded by sweaty, grown men who'd woken up early to go play soccer on a damp field. They were muddy, tired, getting drunk, and very happy. Football--the real kind with the ball that rolls on the ground--was on the telly and some old guy was about to sing pub songs. I felt like the only non-Brit in the place. Which I probably was.

Just when I thought we'd all be blitzed by noon, out came a cherub-faced lady with a platter of sandwiches. They were passed around and I sunk my choppers into it, expecting turkey (it *was* Thanksgiving, afterall).

Instead, it was a dry, dry sandwich. Drrrryyyyyyy. Half-stale white bread, a thin spread of butter, and some really thick steak fries. It needed salt, mayo, pepper, ham, tomato and lettuce to make it palatable. All I had was half a pint of Newcastle. I was starving, so I downed it as I ate.

And wouldn't you know it, by the bottom of that pint, the Chip Butty became the best thing in the world. I wanted to chase that lady down for more. And I look forward to the powder-dry Chip Butty now every year.

In my current pregnant state, a bacon butty sounds even better. Or a bacon sarnie, perfectly made with just the right bread. Focaccia? Dutch crunch? Sourdough!
Of course, there's no place around here that will grill me up a bacon butty for lunch. I wonder if anyone in the office would mind if I cooked me up some bacon in our kitchen?


Bon Vivant said...

My friend, Britgirl, always tells me about chip butties* - but she pronounces them "butties." Maybe the pronounciation is a regional thing.

*a french fry sandwich is right up my alley!

Fleagirl from California said...

Maybe it's the difference between a British and Scottish accent? (I hear it from a lot of Glaswegians....)

The Sagittarian said...

Sorry folks what you REALLY need is a whitebait sandwich! Now, in my part of the world (well, my own world anyway - Christchurch New Zealand) the best thing ever is a fresh West Coast whitebait (not that imported Chinese frozen stuff), delicately flash fried in a patty (fritter) with a hint of salt, smidgeon of flour and, my personal favourite addition parsley! Sheer heaven. Can't be beaten.

The Sagittarian said...

I meant to say that the whitebait is whisked up with an egg. Don't forget the egg.

Bon Vivant said...

Today I had the Chicano version of the Chip Butty: The Spuderito. Yep, a french fry burrito. It was killer.