January 12th, 2005


(no subject)

After flick's comments the other week about chip sandwiches (or however you wish to refer to fried "chipped" potatoes laid between 2 slices of bread, buttered or not), I decided to try them again - purely in the interests of science of course.

An Investigation into the comparison of various attributes of fried potato and bread based constructions and a control

This experiment has been formulated to examine the relative merits of various instances of "Chip Sandwich" (naming varies by geographical location), as compared to a control sandwich. Measuerments will be taken on relative palatability, ease of construction and aesthetic presentation.

1 portion of chips
Salt (Maldon Sea Salt, lightly crushed between fingers to give a smaller particulate size)
Vinegar (Chip shop style non-brewed acetic acid with caramel food colouring)
Sliced white bread, slightly stale but still soft and edible
Margarine (I'm too lazy to use butter)
Control substance

Six slices of bread were buttered and placed on a regular approximately 12 inch dinner plate and taken through to the experimental area (the "lounge") where they were placed on the work bench ("occasional table"). The box of chips and control substance was then removed from it's plastic bag and placed next to the plate containing the bread. The chips and control substance were contained within a standard issue yellow polystyrene foam box with a foldover lid and were purchased from The West Kebab and Fish Bar within 10 minutes of the commencement of the experiment, so as to ensure an acceptable level of heat and freshness. The extractor fan (television) was turned on and a suitable level of extraction selected (CSI:Miami). The salt and vinegar were then brought through to the experimental area and placed within easy reach of the subject.

The first slice of bread was take and onto it was placed 10 chips of various sizes, without salt and vinegar. A second slice of bread was placed on top of the chip and bread combination to form the sandwich. It was then placed upon the work bench and examined for aesthetic value. The sandwich was then lifted and bitten into. The bitten section was then tested for initial palatibility. Mastication commenced and further palatability measurements were taken. The bolus was swallowed and a final palatablity measurement was taken. The rest of the sandwich was then consumed to ensure that the workbench was clear for the remaining testing.

The chips were then treated with the salt and vinegar and left for 35 seconds to allow absorbance. A second "sandwich" was then constructed using the same method as the previous. The aesthetic presentation and palatability were tested in the same manner as for the first sandwich. It too was consumed after testing.

A fifth slice of bread was then taken and the control substance (doner kebab "meat" with chilli and garlic sauces) was then laid on it to a depth of approximately 1 centimetre. Care was taken to ensure that a large proportion of the control substance came from the top of the pile, which contained a higher proportion of chilli and garlic sauce than the lower layers due to the application method of the aforementioned sauces by the purveyor of kebabs at purchase time. The second slice of bread was added in a similar manner to the two previous sandwiches and the tests of aesthetic presentation and palatability were taken in the same manner. This sandwich was consumed after testing to ensure that the workbench was clear to allow the placing of the experimenters feet upon it until the extraction fan had finished it's task.

No specific figures can be given due to the relative nature of the measurements, but the rankings are as follows:

Ease of Construction: Sandwich 1, Control, Sandwich 2

This was affected mainly by the introduction of the vinegar and it's consequent softening on the already soft chips leading to problems with structural integrity and thus handling.

Aesthetic Performance: Sandwich 2, Sandwich 1, Control

The second sandwich performed higher here due to its lower profile and slimmer appearance. The control scored especially low due to the appearance of the control substance itself - not a substance designed with aesthetic appeal in mind.

Palatability (from most to least): Control, Sandwich 2, Sandwich 1

The control sandwich had most flavour and thus scored highly. Sandwich 1 did not have the added  aromatics of the vinegar or the flavour enhancement of the salt, and thus fared worse in this category.

Chip sandwiches are crap. Kebab sandwiches rock.

Further Work:
This investigation did not go far into the affect of chilli and garlic sauces on the control substance, and further experimentation on the control substance itself would be of use. The chip itself could itself be improved by the addition of other flavouring mechanisms and as such I reccomend the expansion of this investigation with more additives, such as chilli and garlic sauces, tabasco, flavoured salts and jelly.

Further Reading:

(no subject)