Traditional Irish chip-shops may become the unlikely victims of Brexit. Most of them here import their potatoes from the UK, but this is a supply line that’s looking increasingly at risk.
The potatoes grown in Ireland –predominantly Roosters– don’t make very good chips. To make the ideal white chip, the potato in question has to have a low sugar content or else they’ll brown too quickly. That is why the Irish industry typically imports Marquis or Maris Piper varieties grown on the east coast of Britain, which have been specially stored at a certain temperature to ensure the sugar content remains low.
The peculiarities of the chipping industry explains why Ireland imported 72,000 tons of our national staple last year, predominantly from Britain, while growing about 350,000 tons for the domestic market. Brexit might change that dynamic, if supply lines are disrupted and tariffs change.