The Last Parsnip

A Truly Unbelievable Dining Experience from Chef Bryce Chartwell

Butter Sugar Fry


The dish was first popularized during the 17th century as an ideal snack while watching local miscreants, petty thieves and idiots being pilloried on the village green. “Fry merchants” traveled throughout the Home Counties selling their wares wherever a popular humiliation was set to take place. For a brief period the dish also became a favorite of the crowds around guillotines in France. More recently the recipe has found resurgent support at greyhound stadiums in the Barnsley area of Yorkshire.



  • 2lbs butter
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons white lard
  • Pinch salt and pepper



Preheat a large, deep frying pan

Stir in breadcrumbs and butter

Mix until golden brown

Add lard and sugar and continue stirring

Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste

Serve piping hot in a small paper bag


Makes approximately twelve servings.


Inner Cooking Notes

White lard (a premium grade) is traditionally used, though you can also try the grey or even brown varieties. For a more modern feel spoon the fry into pita bread, or apply liberally to a naan (a style also known as the “Barnsley naan”)


Key facts:

Preparation time: About 15 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Difficulty: Easy


Nutrition information (per bag):

Calories: 875

Fat: 12g

Carbohydrates: 25g

Lard: 3g

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