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Eric’s Fish and Chips owner Eric Snaith’s deep-fried jam sandwich added to menu at Norwich City FC’s Yellows Bar and Grill by Delia Smith

The owner of a fish and chips restaurant in Thornham has said there has been a “crazy” response to a quirky item on the menu after Delia Smith’s endorsement.

It comes after the celebrity chef added the deep-fried jam sandwich, which she had tried at Eric’s Fish and Chips, to the menu at Yellows Bar and Grill at Norwich City Football Club.

Eric Snaith, chef-owner of Eric’s Fish and Chips, which has branches at Drove Orchards in Thornham, Holt and St Ives in Cambridgeshire, told the Lynn News: “It’s been crazy, the interest has been really good.”

A deep-fried jam sandwich at Eric's Fish and Chips
A deep-fried jam sandwich at Eric's Fish and Chips

Delia’s love of the deep-fried jam sandwich, which she first tried at the fish and chips restaurant in Holt, has made national headlines in the last week, and even saw Dermot O’Leary and Alison Hammond doing a taste test of it on ITV’s This Morning.

In the description of the dessert on the Yellows menu, Delia – who is a majority shareholder for Norwich City FC – says: “Who is Eric? The very famous Eric of Fish & Chip fame who in his restaurant in Holt serves the best fish and chips ever.

“We have permission from him to use his exclusive recipe which may sound unlikely but has to be tasted to be believed.

“Served hot, dusted in caster sugar.”

Eric, who is himself a Norwich fan, said the celebrity chef first visited the Holt restaurant and tried the dessert around two and a half years ago.

“We found out through some friends that she was coming to the Holt fish and chips shop,” he said.

“I heard they were coming for lunch, so I went over as I was keen to cook for her.”

Eric Snaith who is chef-owner of Eric's Fish and Chips
Eric Snaith who is chef-owner of Eric's Fish and Chips

Eric added: “They had a really nice lunch, and I was chatting to them afterwards and they were keen to try some desserts.”

They tried one of everything, including the jam sandwich, which Delia “really raved” about.

“I thought they were just being polite,” Eric said, but it wasn’t long before he was invited to have lunch and watch a match from the director’s box at Carrow Road, and six months later, Delia went to stay at Titchwell Manor – which Eric also owns – and during her visit to Eric’s Pizza at Thornham, she ordered more of the desserts.

“That was a nice thing and then I thought maybe there’s some truth to what she had said,” he added.

On a further visit, the chefs were discussing Delia’s plans for catering at Carrow Road, when Eric mentioned that he would be keen to collaborate in the future.

A deep-fried jam sandwich served at Yellows Bar and Grill in Norwich
A deep-fried jam sandwich served at Yellows Bar and Grill in Norwich

“A couple of months later, she asked for permission to put the deep-fried jam sandwich on at the restaurant and I jumped at the chance, and she said ‘we will use your greaseproof paper’,” Eric said.

“I didn’t think she was going to quite make such a nice piece of it. It’s really good, it’s a nice thing to do.

“It’s a good bit of exposure for us at the football club, and it just took off from there.”

The idea for the jam sandwich pudding came about five years ago, when Eric was looking to expand the restaurant’s dessert menu.

“With fish and chips, there’s no traditional desserts. We were already doing the battered Mars bars and they are pretty popular,” he said.

“We have also done a deep-fried Creme Egg, and we were keen to do something along those lines, so we thought of a doughnut – it’s got that nostalgic feel to it.”

Eric said he remembered hearing about fried jam sandwiches, and realised it had been from an old Scout book.

“A few people said that it had been done in different sorts of variations. I liked the idea of it being a deep-fried jam sandwich rather than a doughnut, it’s quirky.

“Some people are intrigued, some think it sounds a bit odd.”

The dessert consists of white sliced bread, with the crusts removed and a “good quality” strawberry jam in the centre, stuck together similar to ravioli.

The bread is buttered on the outside and dipped in a sweet batter, before being frozen and then fried to order and rolled in caster sugar.

In the days since the news of Delia’s endorsement of the dessert hit the headlines, Eric said the team have received requests for the items to be sent to London and for them to be added to the Eric’s Pizza menu at the Norwich Yalm restaurant.

“Generally, people are more interested. It’s never been a massive seller, as people aren’t sure, but whenever they have it, it’s been really popular,” he said.

“We are fully prepared to be making a lot more of them this summer.”

And asked if there are any plans for any more variations of the deep-fried jam sandwich, Eric said it is a possibility.

“We have done a special one before, we might try out a few different flavours out – chocolate might work well!”

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