Whether you've lived in Hull all your life or only passed through the city and got yourself some chips, you'll know that everyone round here loves American Chip Spice. Despite the transatlantic name, it's a product that's very much rooted in Hull, harking back to when owner Edward Wilson's parents visited the USA in the 80s and brought back the recipe.
American Chip Spice, which is often referred to as simply chip spice by locals, can be found in fish and chip shops and takeaways across the city, as well as in countless kitchen cupboards right next to the salt and pepper. Whilst boasting a bright orange hue that looks a little like paprika, chip spice has a much stronger kick without being hot or overpowering, making it ideal for adding to other dishes too.
We got in contact with Edward, who explained more: Over the years we've heard from dozens upon dozens of people who have told us that they add American Chip Spice to spaghetti Bolognese, mashed potato, gravy, lasagne, corned beef hash, stews, soups and practically any other savoury dish you can think of. We even had someone say that they sprinkle it on their ice cream, but we wouldn't recommend it.
Whilst the company's operations are now based in Hertfordshire, Edward and his team frequently visit his old stomping grounds to add a bit of spice to all kinds of events, from regular farmers' markets, to the city centre's Yum Food Festival and Hull University Union's WelcomeFest.
Everyone seems to love chip spice, added Edward. It's become as iconic to Hull as cream phone boxes and The Bee Lady, which is lovely and very rewarding. You can even get T-shirts of it and find it in Hull-themed hampers.
But it's not just Hull that celebrates this zingy condiment, as American Chip Spice can be purchased in large Asda stores across Yorkshire, as well as from some Morrisons branches. If you want to buy the product online, it's currently only available in bulk, but Edward and his team are discussing ways to make it more readily accessible to households outside of Yorkshire in time for 2017, Hull's year as UK City of Culture. Having said that, many chippies and kebab shops across the UK have it on their counters, including the odd place in Manchester, Liverpool and London. (If you spot a pot somewhere, make sure to let us know.)
Image: Spray Creative