Fish And Chip Insurance - Deep Fried Mince Pies

Considering the amount of food items the nation's friers are covering in batter during this festive season, it's no wonder that they need good fish and chip shop insurance.

Following hot on the heels of the deep fried Christmas pudding - sold per slice for about 50 pence - is the mince pie covered in batter. Whether the friers have to inform their fish and chip shop insurance company that they are experimenting with the such delights is a mystery, but its seems to be going down well with the customers.

Indeed, it's become a very popular addition to their menus and might continue to catch on over the years as the fish and chip shop fraternity get even more adventurous. Although one would think that there must be a limit to what you can deep fry of course.

Insurance for fish and chip shops to one side for a moment, lets have a think about what might be improved by deep frying.

Now for years the sausage has been a great friend of the batter and deep fat fryer, and we all know about the liking of the battered Mars Bar north of the border, but its unlikely that a pickled onion would be improved, or say a gherkin.

You could deep fry a hard boiled egg - mind you, isn't that a Scotch Egg - or you could deep fry a cheese sandwich; as long as the consistency of the chosen product will take it, potentially anything can receive the battered treatment.

And for those who are intrigued, a batter is a very simply thing to make. It's basically a combination of flour with usually milk, water and eggs. There are many hundreds of recipes and each chef will swear theirs is the best. The ideal for many is to create a light, fluffy batter which adds a delicate coating to the food, rather than a concrete overcoat.

Many things can be used to create a light and fully aerated batter, including raising agents, beer (because of the fizz), or, for the same reason, fizzy drinks.

The word batter originates, like so many culinary terms, from our cousins across the English Channel. The French word battre means to beat which, of course, is what you do with many batter mixes during their preparation. They can be savoury batters, ones that include cream, or any number of other ingredients. In short, they can be a very versatile platform for many different recipes and foods.

The question is, and this can be directed at those who provide fish and chip shop insurance as well, will the friers keep up this level of innovation once the festive season is over? We'll have to wait and see.