"This is what I imagine the insides of a meth addict look like" is just one of the brilliant criticisms levelled at the photos posted on Facebook page The Fry Up Police (FUP).
FUP is a closed group - which means administrators have to approve you (which also means they can ban you) - and has a strict code of conduct, but the general premise can be summarised as (ill-advisedly) cocky people posting pictures of their fry ups to be judged by the 5,000 plus members.
If you're lucky, you might receive a 'that's not bad' comment, but more likely, you'll get feedback along the lines of: "Hey salmonella man! Cook your fucking sausages next time will ya?"
The page was started by a group of members including Ciara Lee Ellis and Tomislav Širević, and the original aim was to mock their friends' attempts at fry up mastery.
Talking to HuffPost UK Lifestyle, Širević said: "The idea was simple: said mate would post his pictures in the group, genuinely expecting a good response, then mates 2, 3 and 4 etc would tear him a new one about his terrible breakfast skills.
"It could very easily have remained nothing more than a wind up between friends, but more, and more, and more people kept asking to join the group. The whole point of this group is to make people laugh, but, if notoriety can make caffs up their game then all the better!"
FUP has gained an almost cult-like status, and each post gets between 30 - 150 comments. There is a long list of rules: 'no fucking kippers' and Wetherspoons' fry ups incur an instant ban.
But considering the internet is currently in its unruly teenager phase where people assume anything and everything is fair game in terms of crassness and sensitivity, how do they stop it from going to the dark side?
"Can people go over the line? Yes, they most certainly can. It is of paramount importance to us at the FUP to ensure that people are not allowed to cross the line. We have an extremely strict banning policy where by anyone partaking in any racist, sexist and homophobic remarks are banned immediately (we will where possible endeavour to point out to these ignoramuses the error of their ways before the ban hammer is swung).
"Quite amazingly we have banned well in excess of 500 people since we emerged back in April 2014 but yet the numbers steadily climb. We offer our former members a chance of redemption by sending us a grovelling selfie holding a sign stating what they have done wrong and vowing never to do it again whilst apologising profusely. Bottom line is if they don’t look sad, they’re not coming back in."
But FUP doesn't take itself too seriously. While it is a page about fry ups, they are keen to point out it's only their personal views.
So in Širević's opinion, what does make a winning fry up and what is a total no-no?
"Cardinal sins include:
- Spaghetti hoops or any variation of.
- All day breakfast beans (vomit).
- Chips and or any potato products that are not hash browns or bubble.
- Parsley/garnish or any form of salad (This particularly grinds our gears).
- Richmond sausages. (All cheap sausages)
- Square plates.
- Ramekins, there is absolutely no need or excuse for this.
"A winning fry up is selected for our Hall of Fame gallery. The worst ones end up hanging on the humiliating Wall Of Shame, it’s incredible what some people find acceptable.
"Everybody has a differing idea of what ’the perfect fry up’ should be. I for one can’t stand tomatoes, mushrooms or black pudding anywhere near my plate whereas some believe that without those things a fry up is not complete."
The Fry Up Police Best Practice Fry Up Guidelines:
- Eggs should be free range and fried. Runny egg yolks with no slime and no crispy/burnt bits! (We refer to crispy eggs as ‘dirty eggs’)
- Bacon cooked perfectly so that there is no rubbery rind anywhere. Rind must be partially crisp but the meat must remain succulent showing no signs of ‘scummy white’.
- Sausages should be purchased from the local butcher and cooked well, not under or over.
- Baked beans should be reduced but not over reduced. Beans still need to be saucy but do not need to run all over the plate.
- Tomatoes should be fresh (not tinned), medium sized and slowly fried to ensure sweetness (tomatoes on the vine are pretentious and mostly found on plates in overpriced hipster restaurants, it’s not proper).
- Bubble and squeak/rösti/hash browns and fried slices are all acceptable potato additions. Shop bought frozen hash browns are thoroughly acceptable provided they are cooked properly! They are called hash BROWNS for a reason.
- Mushrooms, chunky cut and fried.
- Black pudding, you get what you pay for.
- Toast, as you wish. BUTTER ONLY, marge is for the foolish. Fried bread is the holy grail of any bread product and is highly under rated.