“Champ” is an Irish variation on a theme of mashed potatoes. Simply put – spring onions are added to the mash, which ideally also contains butter and milk. If cabbage or kale is added instead, it is called Colcannon. Small variations being given different names leads, I suppose, to the illusion of variety and perhaps choice.
The Food Facts leaflets put out by the British Ministry of Food in WW II gave a couple more variations – although technically the first one is a variation on a theme of colcannon.
Here is a wartime version of the old Irish dish, Champ. Scrub and slice 1 lb. potatoes and 1 lb. carrots. Put in a saucepan with a teacupful of hot salted water and add a small cabbage finely shredded. Cover with the lid, cook steadily, giving an occasional shake until tender (about 15 minutes). The water should have just boiled away by then. Add a small teacupful of hot milk and mash well with a dash of pepper and more salt if necessary. Serve at once with a pat of margarine to each helping.
The Times of February 10, 1941
Cooking Time: 20 minutes.
Ingredients: 1 lb. of potatoes, 1 breakfastcup of runner beans or any green vegetable, 4 eggs (4 level tablespoonfuls of dried egg mixed with 8 tablespoonsfuls of water), 1 oz. of margarine, salt, pepper, ¼ pinto f milk.
Quantity: For 4 people.
Method: Scrub and scrape the potatoes and place in a small quantity of boiling salted water. Cook for 10 minutes then add the sliced beans. When tender, drain dry and mash the potatoes with sufficient milk to make them smooth and creamy. Add the beans, season well, pile scrambled egg on top of the potato mixture and serve at once. To make the scrambled egg heat 4 tablespoonsfuls of milk and the margarine in a pan, add the egg mixture, season, and cook over a gentle heat until thickened.
The Times of Thursday, August 27, 1942