Chip Butty – The Childhood Snack We Can’t Leave Behind

Words: Robyn Samuels

Masala steak gatsby, fish and chips, patata warras. I’ve had a few memorable meals in my lifetime – the common denominator almost always being potatoes – but there’s one I always come back to… the humble chip butty.

Vuil Dite at Its Finest

Brits might liken it to cooked chips stuffed between slices of bread, but they’ll be sorely mistaken. The chip butty I’m talking about is essentially a ‘poor man’s chip roll’ yet far more superior. Those who’ve yet to experience a chip butty, it’s a guilty pleasure that brings unadulterated joy – that’s as best as I can describe it.

French kids have le goûter, a post-school snack, often baguette with butter and chocolate; Australians have Fairy Bread, and South Africans have chip butties. They’re what we looked forward to eating at home time when we emptied lunchboxes before first break at school, or when we decided our fingers were wrinkly enough to climb out of the swimming pool.

Tazos & Five Bops

When we couldn’t ‘loaf’ (colloquial coloured term for ‘crowdfund’) enough money for a slap tjips parcel, we gladly turned to corner shops to buy Nik Naks, or Simba chips and Lays when we were ballin’ in five bops (fifty cent coins). Lucky for us, chip packets were filled with less air and contained Tazo tokens back then, so you got dinner and a show.

No matter how old you are, and even if you’ve upgraded from eating Bully Beef to Wagyu since childhood days, there’s no turning your back on this nostalgic treat.

Chip Butty Recipe

When it comes to making chip butties, there are no rules. That’s the beauty of vuil dite (low vibrational food) – what you see is what you get, in the best way possible. If you’ve never tasted a chip butty, we’ll refrain from judging; this is what you’ll need:


– 1 loaf white bread (or hamburger rolls if you’re feeling fancy)
– butter/margarine (anything to prevent choking)
– your favourite potato crisps/chips (the more MSG, the better)


Spread the butter on the bread and lay it on thick – the bread should stick to your palate.

The next part really depends on how you like it. Personally, I prefer making individual slices and encasing the chips – it holds better – similar to how New Yorkers would fold a pizza. But, if you like making it classic sandwich style, top each slice with a handful of chips.

Lastly, shift all your body weight onto the sandwich, placing one hand atop the other, and gently crush the chips – you should hear a satisfying crunch.

*Enjoy with a 2L Coke or Jive with as many straws as needed.

What’s your favourite childhood snack?

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