The end of the working week sees a slightly bastardised version of a family tradition I grew up with of going to down to the local fish and chip shop and getting dinner for the whole family.
Loading article content
There were seven of us, and we'd all get the same thing, fish suppers. Except for my mum who'd choose a saveloy (she has northern English roots; it's not her fault).
So nowadays, Friday night for me means chips. All kinds will do: fat, oven baked steak-cuts dipped in the rib-eye's accompanying peppercorn sauce; little skinny frites alongside boil-in-the-bag mussels; and, most often, proper chippie chips drenched in enough salt to strike fear into the heart of the most hardcore slugs.
Nothing beats the latter. One of my favourite memories of all time is sitting in a car overlooking the Firth of Forth on a freezing winter's day with the windows completely obscured by fog from the heat of my first ever haddock supper from the Anstruther Fish Bar.
There was some sort of indefinable magic in opening that cardboard box to reveal the golden insides - plus the pickled onion, buttered roll, and tin of juice on the side - that elevated what was ostensibly just deep-fried potatoes and fish into something far more special. If you'd offered me fois gras in the finest restaurant at that moment in time, I'd have thought you were mad.
In Scotland, we have some of the best fish and chip shops in the whole of the UK - many with responsible sourcing at the top of the priority list as well as some wonderful local produce on offer.
So, in light of the fact this week is National Chip Week, here's our list of five prominent chip shops in Scotland - but which have we missed?
Let us know by leaving a comment below. Remember to post with your real name and we'll add your nomination to our list.
Anstruther Fish Bar, Anstruther
An East Coast institution, the Anstruther Fish Bar sources all its own seafood from the local quayside, meaning that some produce can be as fresh as an hour old. There's not just fish on offer here, either: there's also dressed crab, Pittenweem prawns and an always spectacular catch of the day.
Bervie Chipper, Inverbervie and between Brechin and Forfar
Fans of a simple menu, the famous Bervie Chipper's for you. The original, award-winning shop can be found on the coastal route to Inverbervie and another has opened on the southbound main road between Brechin and Forfar. Cheap as chips (ahem) and a favourite with footballers who've signed the guestbook, it's up there with the best.
The Ashvale, Aberdeen
Anywhere that offers a competition entitled The Whale Challenge is guaranteed an immediate place on the list. On a serious note, however, there's a plethora of fantastic fish available: choose from skate, rock turbot and lemon sole, plus an alternative catch of the day from foreign shores. There are a few shops in the chain, but we'd say the Great Western Road chippie is the best.
Frankie's Fish and Chips, Brae
Our most northerly favourite, this Shetland-based beauty scooped a National Fish & Chip award this year, coming second to a Whitby-based chippie. All its seafood is derived from local fisheries, and italso offers a gluten-free menu. Some of the recipes behind its best-loved dishes can even be viewed online.
The Wee Hurrie, Troon
A supremely good menu including tempura, frito miso and monkfish, The Wee Hurrie is the sister of next-door seafood restaurant MacCallum's Oyster Bar. Overlooking Troon harbour, you'll be far-pushed to enjoy a finer view while eating your chips.
Peter's Fish & Chicken Bar, Dumfries
Located in Midsteeple, Dumfries, Peter's Fish & Chip Bar offers superior fish and chips in a peaceful, rural location.
Reader Angela Miller suggested on Wednesday February 19.
Buon Appitito, Clarkston
As well as fish suppers and a comprehensive selection of pizzas, Buon Appitito also prides itself on an extensive gluten-free menu which includes all the classics plus options like lemon sole and pakora.
Reader Alison Whiteford suggested on Wednesday February 19.
Hornblowers, Gordoun, Aberdeenshire
A harbour-side location and menu offering veggie options as well as the classics gets Hornblowers onto the list. There's also homemade tartare on offer for those that love the capery, mayo sauce.
Reader DougDaniel suggested on Friday February 21.
Allan's Snack Bar, Paisley
Huge portions, friendly staff and reasonable prices allow Allan's Snack Bar to zoom into the list as the first Paisley recommendation.
Reader Alan Mitchell suggested on Friday February 21.