Fish and Chips

By Michael Gakuran | | Other | 44 Comments |

fish-and-chipsA 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.

Seaside fish and chips

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!

good-bad-fish-chips

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..!

deep-fried-mars

44 comments on “Fish and Chips
  1. Leigh-Ann Gray says:

    I stay in scotland and here is the best place to get a battered mars bar. Honestly, if you've not tried one DO IT!!! they are so amazing, and actually really easy to make in your own house. They're a great treat for get-togethers, my friends always ask me to make them :) x

  2. Leigh-Ann Gray says:

    I stay in scotland and here is the best place to get a battered mars bar. Honestly, if you've not tried one DO IT!!! they are so amazing, and actually really easy to make in your own house. They're a great treat for get-togethers, my friends always ask me to make them :) x

  3. The Envoy says:

    Fish and chips was my favourite food when I was living in England. I was also addicted to Dr. Pepper.

  4. The Envoy says:

    Fish and chips was my favourite food when I was living in England. I was also addicted to Dr. Pepper.

  5. Michael says:

    love the article, do you think they have fish and chips in japan?

  6. Michael says:

    love the article, do you think they have fish and chips in japan?

  7. Daniel says:

    They were the precursors to Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson, Gordon Ramsey, etc. Jennifer drove the motorcycle with Clarissa in the sidecar through the English countryside, stopping at manors/villas/whatever-you-call-them, taking over the kitchen and preparing disguistingly high calorie, high fat food.

    They were quite entertaining to watch.

  8. Daniel says:

    They were the precursors to Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson, Gordon Ramsey, etc. Jennifer drove the motorcycle with Clarissa in the sidecar through the English countryside, stopping at manors/villas/whatever-you-call-them, taking over the kitchen and preparing disguistingly high calorie, high fat food.

    They were quite entertaining to watch.

  9. Satoshii says:

    I think if I ever had a deep fried Mars bar, it would do me in. That’s it. End of life. No matter how clean the arteries are.

    Not gonna enter this month’s まつり, still teething on my blog, but I might enter next months’.

  10. Satoshii says:

    I think if I ever had a deep fried Mars bar, it would do me in. That’s it. End of life. No matter how clean the arteries are.

    Not gonna enter this month’s まつり, still teething on my blog, but I might enter next months’.

  11. Jamaipanese says:

    great entry….reminds me that I better get started on mine

  12. Jamaipanese says:

    great entry….reminds me that I better get started on mine

  13. Deas says:

    Oh! I forgot to add my question – how on earth would you accurately convey the meaning of the word “tangy” in Japanese? (I’ve not read your Japanese post yet – I’m heading to it now.)

    • Mike says:

      According to my Japanese housemate, we would simply say すっぱい. Or, if you want to say salty and tangy(sour), then 塩っぱくて酸っぱい ^^

  14. Deas says:

    Oh! I forgot to add my question – how on earth would you accurately convey the meaning of the word “tangy” in Japanese? (I’ve not read your Japanese post yet – I’m heading to it now.)

    • Mike says:

      According to my Japanese housemate, we would simply say すっぱい. Or, if you want to say salty and tangy(sour), then 塩っぱくて酸っぱい ^^

  15. Deas says:

    Thanks for your entry! This is a great post. The pictures are ace. Ha ha. I am ashamed to say that fish and chips are still a foreign food to me, personally. I’ve never tried them, myself. Part of it stems from my violent hatred of vinegar. (Ok, that’s slightly exaggerated.) You recommend the haddock lemony zing, then? :-)

  16. Yoshi says:

    I tasted fish and chips in Sydney, which honestly made me …well, I wouldn’t say that exactly but I gotta say what was really bad there was batter not the fish…

  17. Deas says:

    Thanks for your entry! This is a great post. The pictures are ace. Ha ha. I am ashamed to say that fish and chips are still a foreign food to me, personally. I’ve never tried them, myself. Part of it stems from my violent hatred of vinegar. (Ok, that’s slightly exaggerated.) You recommend the haddock lemony zing, then? :-)

  18. Yoshi says:

    I tasted fish and chips in Sydney, which honestly made me …well, I wouldn’t say that exactly but I gotta say what was really bad there was batter not the fish…

  19. reesan says:

    Cool post Mike. I am not sure about the deep-fried Mars Bar though. On one hand it looks like it is decaying, on the other, it is strangely alluring. :-)

  20. reesan says:

    Cool post Mike. I am not sure about the deep-fried Mars Bar though. On one hand it looks like it is decaying, on the other, it is strangely alluring. :-)

  21. Daniel says:

    Wow… I haven’t seen those two in a while. They were quite popular in Canada.

  22. Daniel says:

    Wow… I haven’t seen those two in a while. They were quite popular in Canada.

  23. I haven’t had the deep fried mars bar either. Apparently it’s awesome but I’m scared that I’ll like it too much and want it all the time :P

    Fish and Chips are huge here in Australia too. It feels like a tradition, having some fish and chips down at the beach. A great communal meal, no need for plates. I’m disappointed that near my house now, I’m yet to find good fish and chips. I would miss good fish and chips if I was to move to Japan!

    • Mike says:

      I’m sure I would miss them too! Strangely enough, it’s only really since I went to Japan and starting learning about Japanese culture that I came to realise I actually miss things like fish and chips ^^. I’m sure many other foreigners feel the same way about things from their own countries too.

  24. I haven’t had the deep fried mars bar either. Apparently it’s awesome but I’m scared that I’ll like it too much and want it all the time :P

    Fish and Chips are huge here in Australia too. It feels like a tradition, having some fish and chips down at the beach. A great communal meal, no need for plates. I’m disappointed that near my house now, I’m yet to find good fish and chips. I would miss good fish and chips if I was to move to Japan!

    • Mike says:

      I’m sure I would miss them too! Strangely enough, it’s only really since I went to Japan and starting learning about Japanese culture that I came to realise I actually miss things like fish and chips ^^. I’m sure many other foreigners feel the same way about things from their own countries too.

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