Saturday 23 September 2017

#260 Is it safe to eat in chicken shops in London?

Before moving to London, I'd never set foot in a chicken shop. Apart from KFC. When I found out my housemates ate from those places, I was mildly horrified. Weren't they full of grease and germs?

Getting me to cross the line didn't take much. The shock of witnessing my peers gorge so freely on imitation Colonel was counterbalanced by finger-lickingly low prices. Three pieces, chips and a can for... £1.99. They made the kebab shops look like Michelin.

The price should've been a warning. An indication of the nutritional content. Then again, these places aren't health food shops. I was still staggered that chicken and fries, plus labour and London rent could come in under the average meal cost of about £3.50.

Why were there so many? One road in East London, the A124, had about thirty. Each one less than a minute from the next and all of them practically the same. Why weren't a third of them burger bars? Or pizza places? It was as though chicken had some cockroach-like, all-consuming, evolutionary advantage in the urban fast food sector that enabled it to thrive.

While Burger King, KFC and McDonald's ran competitions and TV ads, these guys were on a whole nother level. They might print out some prices and sellotape them to the wall and that was about it. I could see where they were coming from. The last time I set foot in a Burger King, I must've spent a tenner. A person could almost get a meal in a proper restaurant for that. With free-range poultry. Organic lettuce and decent mayonnaise.

Or they could jog across the street, pay a couple of quid, wait thirty seconds and stuff their face with the deep-fried version, squirted with mayo that looked and tasted like PVA glue. It might sound horrifying at first. It would never turn into an ideal dining experience but the chicken shops, like all things quick and dirty, would forever have their place on the street and they would always be in that place. Waiting.


Running on empty said...

Look after your heart health. I'm glad I was never much of a fried food consumer or I'd be dead now.

Fizzfan said...

Last two lines brought to mind cockroaches or rats. They breed at break neck speed too and are impossible to exterminate.

Profound Familiarity said...

Cockroaches are mentioned in the four paragraph.

Profound Familiarity said...

A thoughtful instruction.

Profound Familiarity said...

Yeah, they're a product of their environment.