Chips and Crisps

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

chips and crisps are two words so familiar to the British that they need no further qualification unless made with some vegetable other than the potato. Yet what is denoted by them will depend on which version of English is spoken. In America, a chip is an English crisp; and an English chip is an American french fry or fried potato (this term first surfacing in an O’Henry story of 1894). A French chip, like the English ‘game chip’, is much like the American chip. And in New Zealand, ‘cold chips’ are British ‘crisps’ while ‘hot chips’ are British ‘chips’.