Much has been written about Scotland’s mythical Deep-Fried Pizza, yet very little of it seems to be consistent. Is the pizza battered or just dropped in the fryer next to the battered fish and the flaccid chips?
The answer is seemingly arcane and mysterious …
Or rather it is exceedingly simple. There are in fact two distinct kinds of deep-fried pizza; the “pizza” and the “pizza crunch”. One is battered – the crunch – and one is not.
In the interests of science, I bought both a “1/2 Fried Pizza Supper” and a “1/2 Fried Pizza Crunch Supper”. As with all Scottish chip shops, the “supper” means with chips.
Aside for the colonies. What you call chips we call crisps. What you call fries we call … er, fries. Contrary to the simplistic explanations you may have heard, our chips are not the same as your fries (or rather, the Belgians’ fries) but they are in fact much larger and less crisp. As scholars write theses on the difference, here’s a cop-out ‘pedia link so I don’t have to try.
The pizza crunch was served in battered quarters whereas the plain pizza was merely halved and flopped top-down on the hearty potato produce.
A word on the quality of the pizzas: the chippy we bought these from is renowned for its hand-made pizzas. These are not their fine produce. These pizzas are the cheap frozen kind from the cash and carry. Much like you don’t get the finest cut of beef in a fancy restaurant if you order it well-done, you don’t get the hand-crafted goodness when it’s destined for the fryer.
If you look closely at the edge of the deep-fried pizza (as opposed to the battered one) you can see it’s been well fried and is crisp and full of tasty oil. Note the tasty chips cheese-glued to the top.
As you can see in the battered crunch, the pizza itself is remarkably ungreasy. Yes, the shocking truth is that the battered pizza contains less oil than the unbattered one.
I’ll be honest, both taste excellent. Sure, they are not hand made and cooked in a wood-fired stone oven, but if you want that, there are plenty of quaint and pretentious little restaurants around. Knock yourself out. These are full-fat ned food for the guy in the track suit that would only run if the ‘polis’ were on his tail. Let’s be honest, they’re cheap pizzas elevated to greatness by being deep-fried. Marvellous.
And yes, to eat either these without a glass bottle of Irn Bru to wash it down would be heresy.
These delicacies were bought at Cafe Q in Strathaven, South Lanarkshire. The prices are visible in the photo above. £2.50 for the fried pizza with chips and £2.60 for the pizza crunch supper. That’s about $5 a meal. All photos can be enlarged with a click.