Poke o’ Chips and Tally Sauce1890
Poke o' Chips and Tally Sauce
By the 1930s Glasgow’s social life and customs had been transformed forever by Italian cafes, ice cream and fish and chip shops. The Unique chippy in Allison St was famous and two cafes in Victoria Road survive – Queens cafe (“best ice cream in Glasgow”) run by the Ginesi family and the Bungalow by the Verrecchia family.
Italians began migrating in late 1800s due to lack of work and landlord exploitation. At first they sold plaster statues but soon set up barrows (there was one at the Victoria Road entrance to Queens Park) selling a “poco poco” (small amount) of sweets, then ice cream, and moved on to set up cafes and chip shops (thus a “poke” o’ chips). Glaswegians had a name for everybody and so the raspberry juice on your ice cream cone became “Tally sauce”.
You can go still to an annual Scottish fish and chip festival in Barga, Tuscany, where many families came from and go back to every summer, but Scots-Italians are now fully part of our culture – think of Nicola Bernedetti, Paulo Nutini, Peter Capaldi, Edwardo Paolozzi, Jack Vettriano, Tom Conti, Daniella Nardini.