Irish chipper chips could lose classic 'crispiness and flavour' following Brexit potato import ban

Irish chipper chips could lose classic 'crispiness and flavour' following Brexit potato import ban

A POSSIBLE post-Brexit ban on potato imports from the UK could change the way Irish chipper chips taste.

As of January 1, UK table potatoes and seed potatoes could fall foul of EU safety rules, and once Britain is fully out of the Union, foodstuffs that don't meet EU standards will be banned.

The concerning reality is that a huge number of services in Ireland, including many Irish chippers, use British potatoes for their chips.

The switch in product could well change the taste and texture of chipper chips, and more worryingly, could lead to initial shortages and changes in portion sizes, according to RTE.

Leo Burdock, one of Ireland's leading fish and chips brands, said that British potatoes are used because they have a unique quality which makes them extra suitable for frying.

"They have a better balance, chemically their composition, the dry matter and the sugars are more suited for the frying of chips, so they have that crispiness and that flavour," said Derek Duggan of Leo Burdock.

"Teagasc is working on developing a better home grown alternative, but they are not there yet," he added.

"The supply is going to be affected [post Brexit], the quality is going to be different, we are looking to get as much homegrown stuff as we can, but that might not work out."

Irish farmers currently produce around 4,000 tonnes of seed potatoes ever year, but they import around 6,000 tonnes from Scotland.

It's unlikely that this shortfall will be made up for immediately.

In total, 350,000 tonnes of potatoes are grown every year in Ireland, and 80,000 tonnes are important from the UK, the majority of which are used to make chips.

Research shows that one in four of us go to buy traditional chipper chips at least once a week. So we're in for a bit of a fright come January.