Survey reveals the most popular topping for chips across England

Homemade French Fries Covered in Tomato Ketchup
Ketchup rules in the south of England and also Wales as the most preferred chip topping (Getty images)

A nationwide survey of more than 36,000 people has offered answers to the burning question of what toppings do Britons like most on their chips?

A poll conducted by YouGov has revealed that the top toppings are tomato ketchup, curry sauce and mushy peas.

However, a dramatic new north/south divide became evident with tomato ketchup dominating in the south of England, with Cornwall and Bristol the only holdouts, both favouring curry sauce.

Curry sauce is also the most popular choice through much of the West Midlands, as well as in Merseyside and England’s three northern-most countries: Tyne and Wear, Cumbria, and Northumberland.

Chip toppings
The chip topping leaderbpard by area (YouGov)

Mushy peas cover most of the rest of the Midlands and the north, although there are tomato ketchup footholds in Durham, East Riding, and the south-bordering counties of Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Warwickshire.

The squished version of the green veg is far less popular in the south in general with only 16% of Southerners ever opting for it, compared to 29% in the Midlands and 33% in the north.

It is important to note that salt and vinegar were eliminated from the options - the survey results only account for sauce-based condiments.

Traditional British street food fish and chips with tartar sauce and mushy peas on paper plate
Mushy peas covered the Midlands and the north of England when it came to chip-topping top choices (Getty images)

YouGov has previously found that around eight in ten Britons have salt on their chip shop chips: 84% in Scotland, 82% in Wales and 79% in England.

On a county level, Worcestershire is home to the most curry sauce fans, with 44% adding a dash of orange to their bed of yellow. East Sussex comes bottom of the table, with only 13% ever purchasing any.

Gravy is a particularly popular chip accompaniment in the north with close to a quarter of chip-lovers pouring the brown stuff over their purchase (23%) compared to 15% of Midlanders and 9% of Southerners.

It is also far more popular in Wales (22%) than it is in England (14%) and Scotland (7%).

Curry sauce proved particularly popular in Wales, at 35%, compared to 26% in England and 14% in Scotland.

Chip toppings
Top chip toppings by country (YouGov)

Greater Manchester emerged as the spiritual home of gravy on chips, with 38% of residents indulging.

You’re least likely to see a fellow customer in a chippy asking for gravy in East Sussex, Surrey, West Sussex and Worcestershire, where just 4% will purchase it.

Mayonnaise came high in choices for many in the south, with almost one in five Southerners (18%) squirting the egg-based sauce onto their potato snacks, compared to 13% of Midlanders and just 10% of Northerners.

High view of a serving of Poutine
Gravy on chips is a front-runner in the north of England (Getty images)

Other toppings included ‘chip spice’ - a salt mixture containing paprika and tomato powder among other ingredients which was only mentioned in the Hull area - ‘chippy sauce’ - a concoction composed of brown sauce and vinegar - and cheese.

A mere 6% of Britons would request HP sauce or brown sauce as their first choice.

The full results of the survey can be found here.

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