Hodgson’s Chippy in Lancaster, Lancashire, is very much a traditional chip shop with owner Nigel Hodgson loving nothing more than serving top quality fish and chips while having a catch up over the counter with customers. That doesn’t mean he hasn’t moved with the times, quite the opposite in fact with a potato and meatless pie for vegans, gluten free days for coeliacs and click and collect for customers that want to order ahead.
One aspect Nigel hasn’t changed however, is frying in Frymax, which he was first introduced to as a 14-year-old potato boy working at his in-law’s shop. Using it for the past 23 years at his own takeaway, that’s 32 years using the same frying medium.
“I have tried different brands just to check out what is out there and to make sure I’m not missing out on a frying medium that I wasn’t aware of but, in all fairness, the longevity and the quality of Frymax means it out performs everything I’ve tried,” explains Nigel.
Frying chips at 163°C and fish at 180°C on a high efficiency frying range, Nigel knows he’s asking a lot of his frying medium, but says Frymax never lets him down, adding: “Because it’s a premium palm, it always withstands the high temperatures and fries consistently.
“It’s also quite neutral in its smell and taste so you still get the flavours of the food coming through.”
A premium product that like all frying mediums is experiencing price increases, Nigel doesn’t just look at the price he’s paying now but instead takes a long-term view, explaining: “The price is a premium compared to others, but then it’s a premium product that you are getting. I do a 12 month analysis on it and that’s when you realise you’re actually saving a lot of money because of the quality of it.”
Nigel recently compared the longevity of Frymax against an own label palm using the pan that gets the most abuse on his range, his snack pan. He comments: “Frymax lasts about six to seven days but I could get eight at a push. The own label lasted between three to five days maximum, so percentage-wise it’s (continued on page 42 >)
a massive difference.”
Several years ago, Nigel had his regular fish and chips nutritionally analysed and was impressed when the results came back with a fat content of 5.5g per 100g – almost 4g lower than the average at 9.4g.
“I’d love to say it’s down to our great raw materials and how well we prep them, but that’s not totally true. Frymax has to be playing a role. If the frying medium wasn’t doing its job and not transferring to the food, I wouldn’t be able to shout about 5.5g of fat.”
Nigel backs up using Frymax with good prep and oil management skills. For example, he only ever adds dry chips to the fat, he has dedicated pans for fish, chips and snack items so as to ensure no cross-contamination, he filters twice a day and uses a calibrator to track the carbon content of the fat.
“We’re always on top of our oil management, we have to be when using a premium product,” Nigel concludes.