Tuesday, March 31, 2009


As potatoes are synonymous with Ireland, we had a few words for this starchy, tuberous food item depending on what was put into the saucepan when they were being cooked.

My favourite way to eat potatoes was always to have them mashed, although chipped was a close second. Like most people back when I was growing up, we'd throw a block of lard into the deepest pan we had, heat it up till it would blister your face when peering in, and then drop in half a ton of peeled and sliced potatoes.  About 30 seconds later we'd be eating chips/fries. 

But back to mash and our cooking method involved the addition of scallions, butter and milk at the mashing stage. I may be giving you an UWOTD for free here as not everyone has heard of the word "scallions" but it's by no means an Ulster only word so I felt it didn't deserve a post of it's own.

Scallions are simply spring onions and are a colourful and delicious addition to mashed potatoes.

So anyway, when all these ingredients are combined, the Ulster word for the result is champ.

Champ : mashed potatoes usually with the addition of scallions, butter and a little milk.

I've only been back in the UK a few days but already I've had champ and I'm sorry if you come from Idaho but I still think our potatoes are the best in the world. So with 8 ounces of a still hot rotisserie chicken from Costco, a generous dollop of champ and a serving of processed peas on my supper plate last night, I was in epicurean heaven.

Well maybe not heaven but it sure wasn't Idaho, Toto.


Debby said...

Your potatoes are tastier than ours in my opinon. You have the very best butter I've ever tasted too. I love champ.

Daphne said...

Sounds delicious! I have never found a way to cook potatoes that I don't like - - as long as they're good spuds, properly cooked. The word "champ" is certainly never used round here but I'm fully prepared to adopt it.

rhymeswithplague said...

You may have the best potatoes in the world but what you blokes do with most of your food over there is not to be believed, if old episodes of Two Fat Ladies are any indication....

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