Karen Gillan wants Scottish chip sauce – so, what is it?

The former Doctor Who companion causes some social media confusion while remembering another Scottish culinary delicacy...
By Jonathan Holmes

Karen Gillan, former Doctor Who companion and Walter Scott’s muse, is Scottish. Very Scottish. Truly Scottish. So Scottish she makes other Scottish ex-pats want to make a pilgrimage back to Brigadoon. So Scottish that even though she lives in America now, she hasn’t given up on Scottish food. 


Scottish food like Irn Bru (luminous orange soft drink, sometimes called ‘ginger’, tastes like Irn Bru). Or deep fried pizza (exactly what it sounds like). Or chippy sauce.

What is chippy sauce?


Well yes, but for the layman: chippy sauce, also known as chip sauce, brown sauce or simply ‘sauce’, is a condiment that’s spurted all over fish and chips in certain areas of Scotland. Not all areas, mind. Scottish people love nothing more than making false divisions between themselves, then fighting over them (see also: football).

So, on the west coast (Glasgow) you eat your chips with salt and vinegar. On the east coast (Edinburgh, the capital city where Karen grew up) you get your ‘fish supper’ (fish and chips wrapped in paper) with salt ‘n’ sauce.

Pictured: a haggis supper with salt and sauce. Fun fact – all Scottish food is brown/orange.

Yes yes, but what is sauce? It’s not the same as HP brown sauce: the thick sludge English people use to grout their bacon sandwiches. Instead, it’s brown sauce thinned with vinegar. But really it’s a tangy, sweet ichor that every Edinburgh native yearns for every day. 

You can't buy proper sauce in the supermarket, but sometimes the chippy will sell you a litre to take home. It usually comes in old glass Irn Bru bottles.


Sigh. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to look through old photo albums and call my mum.

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