Some people are already concerned about the international reputation of British cuisine. Even though we have 120 Michelin starred restaurants including the world’s best restaurant; we Brits can’t shake off our bad reputation.

(Possibly our worst gastronomic error was inviting people over to stay when Hitler was controlling what ingredients were available.)

However I am not writing to defend English cuisine, on the contrary, I am here to introduce you the most depraved fatty snack of all time. This food type is so unhealthy it isn't harmful to health; it’s harmful to life.

If you think fish and chips are bad look away now. If you think a battered mars bar is a delicacy, read on.

I’ll take a moment to set the scene, you walk into a Yorkshire fish and chip shop, grease is falling down the walls in irremovable brown slug trails. You order your portion of chips from the walking advert for obesity, however before the (now translucent) newspaper is wrapped you are asked:

“Dya want tha’ wi’bits?”

Bits are the, well, ‘bits’ that bubbled off the battered fish when it was fried. They are gathered with a strainer and put in an improvised gap between deep fat fryers to congeal until someone brave; stupid or hungry enough comes along.

If you had to sell them you would say that they were “fragments of delicate batter infused with the essence of cod.” However these are so awful that even in Yorkshire, a county that is proud to be ungenerous, they are given away for free.

I love them.

Other names for bits:

Scraps (South Wales and parts of North Yorkshire)
Skratchins. (Birmingham)
Scrumps (Birkshire)
Crackles, Crispies or Crunchers are tentatively suggested as American deviations

The Fat Duck was awarded the world's best restaurant in 2001 by Michelin and the world's best restaurant in 2005 by Restaurant Magazine.
From April 2006 Britain had: 3 ‘three-star’ restaurants, 11 ‘two-star’ restaurants and 106 ‘one-star’ restaurants awarded by Michelin.
go to for a discussion on regional variations.