All questions about Fish and Chips Answered

All questions about Fish and Chips Answered

What condiments go with fish and chips

What condiments and side dishes should be served with fish and chips is as fiercely debated as who invented the dish.

What you put on your fish and chips and what you eat with it differs from region to region in the UK.

In recent times John Lennon was noted as saying he enjoyed his fish and chips smothered in ketchup and Michael Jackson liked them with mushy peas. But the dish originally was served with just a sprinkle of salt.

John Lennon enjoyed his fish and chips smothered in ketchup and Michael Jackson liked them with mushy peas.

The standard condiment remains salt and vinegar across the UK, apart from a few places, most notably Edinburgh where fish and chips get served with salt and a brown tangy sauce called “chippie sauce”.

In England, a portion of mushy peas is a popular side dish as are a range of pickles that typically include gherkinsonions and eggs. And in Ireland, Wales and England, most takeaways serve warm side portions of sauces such as curry sauce, gravy or mushy peas.

The sauces are usually poured over the chips. In some areas, this dish without fish is referred to as ‘wet chips’. In the Midlands especially, chips with mushy peas or baked beans is known as a “pea mix” or a “bean mix”.

And then there are ‘scraps‘ also known as ‘bits’ in Southern England and “scrumps” in South Wales. This are simply bits left from frying the fish and are given to the customer on request.

When did the first fish and chip restaurants open

Fish and chips are the UK’s original version of fast food and were originally either eaten at home or served in newspaper and eaten with your hands. But in 1896 a man called Samuel Isaacs had a different vision. He wanted to elevate the dish to a restaurant experience and he opened his first fish restaurant. Isaacs’ first restaurant opened in London in 1896 serving fish and chips, bread and butter, and tea for nine pence and its popularity ensured a rapid expansion of the chain.

The restaurants were carpeted, had table service, tablecloths, flowers, china and cutlery, and made the trappings of upmarket dining affordable to the working classes for the first time.

The next chain of fish and chips restaurants didn’t come on the scene until 1928 and was also intended to elevate this humble dish. Harry Ramsden opened his first fish and chips shop in a wooden hut in Guiseley, West Yorkshire. It was lavishly furnished with carpets, wood paneling and chandeliers. The restaurant is still open to this day and holds the Guinness Book of Records for the largest fish and chips restaurant in the world! Seating 250 people and serving a million customers a year.

Why we eat fish and chips on a Friday

It’s a longstanding tradition in the UK that fish is eaten on a Friday and comes from the Roman Catholic belief that meet should not be eaten on a Friday. This tradition holds strong today. Many schools serve fish on a Friday and many Brits see Friday as the night to have a fish and chips supper.

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