A bit of a re-post of the earlier January article on the Top 10 British Fish and Chip shops that I wrote for the benefit of my Japanese readers. It turns out that this month’s Japanese blog matsuri is on ‘Foreign Foods’, so what better a thing to introduce than a bit of the old British stodge and deep-fried fishiness? Whether you love it or hate it there’s no real contest that, as far as foods go, this is what the British are best known for…
Fish and Chips is traditionally a seaside food. You would often buy a portion of chips to eat while strolling along the beachfront, and it would come wrapped in the day’s newspaper to retain the warmth. But these days fish ‘n’ chips has since lost much of its quaint image. Nowadays ‘chippies’ compete with the fast food outlets, going head-to-head with the likes of other ‘British’ favourites such as Vindaloo and donner kebabs and dishing out portions of fish and chips faster than ever, all packaged those horrible, new, beige-coloured polystyrene boxes. Such association with the fat-saturated, unhealthy takeaway culture hasn’t done much for the image fish and chips then, but that’s not to say that all fish and chip shops are bad. There are still many places that take pride in their trade, devoting whole restaurants to the sale of battered white fish and chips generously salted and coated with vinegar. The famous ‘Harry Ramsden’s’ chain springs to mind.
Above: British ladies enjoying fish and chips with a sea breeze (Image from the Dailymail)
Done well, a portion of fish and chips can be a real treat; some well cooked cod or haddock, deep fried to a crisp and coated with a light splash of lemon juice and tangy malt vinegar. Done badly, fish and chips is nothing more than a quick belly-filler – a mush of carbohydrates perfect for racking up the calories and quickly getting rid of any hunger. Perhaps that’s why it’s faring so well in the credit-crunch; with less money to spend, a familiar, tasty, yet cheap and stodgy dinner is what many people seem to be after. Apparently sales in Britain are up for the first time in 5 years!
Above: Which would you prefer? Lemony zing or mushy stodge?
So, if you happen to visit the UK or happen by another country heavily influenced by the UK, give fish and chips a try! Just be sure to seek out the more established and reputable establishments to really get a taste of what fish and chips is meant to be ^^. And, for the adventurous among you, also try inquiring about the infamous ‘deep-fried Mars bar’ which is sold in some takeaways. Yours truly has never had one, but I suppose if I’m going to it had better be while I’m young and my arteries are still clog-free..!