Fish, chips and flavoured worms? Hull fryer offers I'm a Celebrity-inspired delicacies
BUSINESS is always good at John's Plaice in Willerby Road.
But the chip shop's latest offerings really have been flying off the shelves.
Inspired by TV show I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here! owner John Armitage is serving up his own Bushtucker Trial – with worms, grasshoppers and insect larvae.
"I managed to come up with some of the stuff they've got on the show," said Mr Armitage .
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"We let a few customers know we were doing it and they were up for it.
"The bugs are already toasted – they're too fragile to deep fry."
Mr Armitage has already offered his customers frogs' legs, snails, blood sausage and haggis.
Insects seemed like a logical next step.
"It's been a progression, really," he said.
"We do a daily special already – the idea is to have something a little bit different, because, principally, we're a fish and chip shop.
"We went down the lines of black pudding, octopus and squid."
This was followed by frogs' legs and finally a platter of assorted bugs.
They come in flavours including barbecue, cheese and onion and Thai green curry.
"We put a little bit of seasoning on them to make them more palatable to our tastes," Mr Armitage said.
"You can have a cheese and onion-flavoured worm."
There are six different bugs on the menu – flying grasshoppers, weaver ants, crickets, insect larvae grubs, sago worms and toasted worm pupae.
"They're all different flavours and different tastes completely," the shop owner said.
"The weaver ants are very small and in a lot of cases, you couldn't really tell they were an ant because of the cooking process.
"The biggest are the flying grasshoppers. They're about an inch long."
Mr Armitage has sampled them all.
He sources the snacks from Thailand after getting advice from a friend.
"I've got a neighbour who's Thai and they pointed me in the right direction," he said.
The insects went on sale earlier this week and customers are still getting used to the idea.
Mr Armitage said it always takes time for people to pluck up the courage and try his more unusual delicacies.
"At the moment, the bugs are a new venture," he said.
"But we went through a box of frogs' legs last week.
"I wasn't expecting to get through them all."
Several customers have tried free samples left out on the counter before returning with a group.
"People have a go with their friends," Mr Armitage said. They come in and challenge each other."
He took over the chippy about 18 months ago after getting bored with retirement.
"I bought the building with the fish and chip shop on it and decided to make a go of it," he said.
"It's improved vastly from when I took it over – it was a shop that was going nowhere.
"Fish and chips is a very subjective thing. We try to get it as right as we can."
John's Plaice is at 210 Willerby Road, Hull. It is open from 11.30am to 1.45pm then 4.30pm to 9pm on weekdays. The shop is open on Saturdays until 7.30pm.