Fish and chips
Overview
 
Fish and chips is a popular take-away
Take-out
Take-out or takeout , carry-out , take-away , parcel , or tapau , is food purchased at a...

 food in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. It typically consists of battered
Batter (cooking)
Batter is a semi-liquid mixture of one or more flours combined with liquids such as water, milk or eggs used to prepare various foods. Often a leavening agent such as baking powder is included to aerate and fluff up the batter as it cooks, or the mixture may be naturally fermented for this purpose...

  fish
Fish
Fish are a paraphyletic group of organisms that consist of all gill-bearing aquatic vertebrate animals that lack limbs with digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish, as well as various extinct related groups...

 which is deep-fried and accompanied by chips.

The dish remains very popular in the UK and in areas colonised by British people in the mid 19th century.
Fish and chips became a stock meal among the working class
Working class
Working class is a term used in the social sciences and in ordinary conversation to describe those employed in lower tier jobs , often extending to those in unemployment or otherwise possessing below-average incomes...

es in Great Britain as a consequence of the rapid development of trawl fishing
Trawling
Trawling is a method of fishing that involves pulling a fishing net through the water behind one or more boats. The net that is used for trawling is called a trawl....

 in the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

, and development of railways connecting ports to cities during the second half of the 19th century.
Encyclopedia
Fish and chips is a popular take-away
Take-out
Take-out or takeout , carry-out , take-away , parcel , or tapau , is food purchased at a...

 food in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. It typically consists of battered
Batter (cooking)
Batter is a semi-liquid mixture of one or more flours combined with liquids such as water, milk or eggs used to prepare various foods. Often a leavening agent such as baking powder is included to aerate and fluff up the batter as it cooks, or the mixture may be naturally fermented for this purpose...

  fish
Fish
Fish are a paraphyletic group of organisms that consist of all gill-bearing aquatic vertebrate animals that lack limbs with digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish, as well as various extinct related groups...

 which is deep-fried and accompanied by chips.

The dish remains very popular in the UK and in areas colonised by British people in the mid 19th century.

History

Fish and chips became a stock meal among the working class
Working class
Working class is a term used in the social sciences and in ordinary conversation to describe those employed in lower tier jobs , often extending to those in unemployment or otherwise possessing below-average incomes...

es in Great Britain as a consequence of the rapid development of trawl fishing
Trawling
Trawling is a method of fishing that involves pulling a fishing net through the water behind one or more boats. The net that is used for trawling is called a trawl....

 in the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

, and development of railways connecting ports to cities during the second half of the 19th century. In 1860, the first fish and chip shop was opened in London by Jewish proprietor Joseph Malin.
Deep-fried chips (slices or pieces of potato) as a dish may have first appeared in Britain in about the same period: the Oxford English Dictionary
Oxford English Dictionary
The Oxford English Dictionary , published by the Oxford University Press, is the self-styled premier dictionary of the English language. Two fully bound print editions of the OED have been published under its current name, in 1928 and 1989. The first edition was published in twelve volumes , and...

notes as its earliest usage of "chips" in this sense the mention in Dickens
Charles Dickens
Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English novelist, generally considered the greatest of the Victorian period. Dickens enjoyed a wider popularity and fame than had any previous author during his lifetime, and he remains popular, having been responsible for some of English literature's most iconic...

' A Tale of Two Cities
A Tale of Two Cities
A Tale of Two Cities is a novel by Charles Dickens, set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution. With well over 200 million copies sold, it ranks among the most famous works in the history of fictional literature....

(published in 1859): "Husky chips of potatoes, fried with some reluctant drops of oil".

The modern fish-and-chip shop ("chippy" or "chipper" in modern British slang) originated in the United Kingdom, although outlets selling fried food occurred commonly throughout Europe. According to one story, fried-potato shops spreading south from Scotland merged with fried-fish shops spreading from southern England. Early fish-and-chip shops had only very basic facilities. Usually these consisted principally of a large cauldron
Cauldron
A cauldron or caldron is a large metal pot for cooking and/or boiling over an open fire, with a large mouth and frequently with an arc-shaped hanger.- Etymology :...

 of cooking-fat
Fat
Fats consist of a wide group of compounds that are generally soluble in organic solvents and generally insoluble in water. Chemically, fats are triglycerides, triesters of glycerol and any of several fatty acids. Fats may be either solid or liquid at room temperature, depending on their structure...

, heated by a coal fire. During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 fish and chips remained one of the few foods in the United Kingdom not subject to rationing.

In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the Fish Labelling Regulations 2003 enact directive 2065/2001/EC and generally means that "fish" must be sold with the particular species named; so "cod and chips", not "fish and chips". The Food Standards Agency
Food Standards Agency
The Food Standards Agency is a non-ministerial government department of the Government of the United Kingdom. It is responsible for protecting public health in relation to food throughout the United Kingdom and is led by a board appointed to act in the public interest...

 guidance excludes caterers from this; but several local Trading Standards authorities and others do say it cannot be sold merely as "fish and chips".

England

The dish became popular in wider circles in London and South East England in the middle of the 19th century (Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens
Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English novelist, generally considered the greatest of the Victorian period. Dickens enjoyed a wider popularity and fame than had any previous author during his lifetime, and he remains popular, having been responsible for some of English literature's most iconic...

 mentions a "fried fish warehouse" in Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist; or, The Parish Boy's Progress is the second novel by English author Charles Dickens, published by Richard Bentley in 1838. The story is about an orphan Oliver Twist, who endures a miserable existence in a workhouse and then is placed with an undertaker. He escapes and travels to...

, first published in 1838), while in the north of England a trade in deep-fried chipped potatoes developed. The first chip shop stood on the present site of Oldham
Oldham
Oldham is a large town in Greater Manchester, England. It lies amid the Pennines on elevated ground between the rivers Irk and Medlock, south-southeast of Rochdale, and northeast of the city of Manchester...

's Tommyfield Market. It remains unclear exactly when and where these two trades combined to become the fish-and-chip shop industry we know . Joseph Malin opened the first recorded combined fish-and-chip shop in London in 1860 or in 1865, while a Mr Lees pioneered the concept in the North of England, in Mossley
Mossley
Mossley is a small town and civil parish within the Metropolitan Borough of Tameside, in Greater Manchester, England. The town is located in the upper section of the Tame valley in the foothills of the Pennines, northeast of Ashton-under-Lyne and east of Manchester.Mossley has the distinction of...

, in 1863.

The concept of a fish restaurant was introduced by Samuel Isaacs (born 1856 in Whitechapel
Whitechapel
Whitechapel is a built-up inner city district in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, London, England. It is located east of Charing Cross and roughly bounded by the Bishopsgate thoroughfare on the west, Fashion Street on the north, Brady Street and Cavell Street on the east and The Highway on the...

, London; died 1939 in Brighton
Brighton
Brighton is the major part of the city of Brighton and Hove in East Sussex, England on the south coast of Great Britain...

, Sussex) who ran a thriving wholesale and retail fish business throughout London and the South of England in the latter part of the 19th century. 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 waited service, table cloths, flowers, china and cutlery, and made the trappings of upmarket dining affordable to the working classes for the first time. They were located in Tottenham Court Road
Tottenham Court Road
Tottenham Court Road is a major road in central London, United Kingdom, running from St Giles Circus north to Euston Road, near the border of the City of Westminster and the London Borough of Camden, a distance of about three-quarters of a mile...

, St Pancras
St Pancras, London
St Pancras is an area of London. For many centuries the name has been used for various officially-designated areas, but now is used informally and rarely having been largely superseded by several other names for overlapping districts.-Ancient parish:...

, The Strand
Strand, London
Strand is a street in the City of Westminster, London, England. The street is just over three-quarters of a mile long. It currently starts at Trafalgar Square and runs east to join Fleet Street at Temple Bar, which marks the boundary of the City of London at this point, though its historical length...

, Hoxton
Hoxton
Hoxton is an area in the London Borough of Hackney, immediately north of the financial district of the City of London. The area of Hoxton is bordered by Regent's Canal on the north side, Wharf Road and City Road on the west, Old Street on the south, and Kingsland Road on the east.Hoxton is also a...

, Shoreditch
Shoreditch
Shoreditch is an area of London within the London Borough of Hackney in England. It is a built-up part of the inner city immediately to the north of the City of London, located east-northeast of Charing Cross.-Etymology:...

, Brixton
Brixton
Brixton is a district in the London Borough of Lambeth in south London, England. It is south south-east of Charing Cross. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London....

 and other London districts, as well as Clacton, Brighton
Brighton
Brighton is the major part of the city of Brighton and Hove in East Sussex, England on the south coast of Great Britain...

, Ramsgate
Ramsgate
Ramsgate is a seaside town in the district of Thanet in east Kent, England. It was one of the great English seaside towns of the 19th century and is a member of the ancient confederation of Cinque Ports. It has a population of around 40,000. Ramsgate's main attraction is its coastline and its main...

, Margate
Margate
-Demography:As of the 2001 UK census, Margate had a population of 40,386.The ethnicity of the town was 97.1% white, 1.0% mixed race, 0.5% black, 0.8% Asian, 0.6% Chinese or other ethnicity....

 and other seaside resorts in southern England. Menus were expanded in the early 20th century to include meat dishes and other variations as their popularity grew to a total of thirty restaurants. Sam Isaacs' trademark was the phrase "This is the Plaice
Plaice
Plaice is the common name of four species of flatfishes.Plaice or PLAICE may also refer to:* USS Plaice , a Balao-class submarine* PLAICE, an open source hardware FLASH programmer, memory emulator, and logic analyzer...

" combined with a picture of the punned-upon fish in question. A glimpse of the old Brighton restaurant at No.1 Marine Parade can be seen in the background of Norman Wisdom
Norman Wisdom
Sir Norman Joseph Wisdom, OBE was an English actor, comedian and singer-songwriter best known for a series of comedy films produced between 1953 and 1966 featuring his hapless onscreen character Norman Pitkin...

's 1955 film One Good Turn just as Norman/Pitkin runs onto the seafront. Coincidentally, this is now the site of a Harry Ramsden's
Harry Ramsden's
Harry Ramsden's is a fast food restaurant chain based in the United Kingdom which offers fish and chips and assorted themed dishes. The business has 35 owned and franchised outlets throughout the UK and Ireland and serves around four million meals annually....

 fish and chips restaurant. A blue plaque
Blue plaque
A blue plaque is a permanent sign installed in a public place to commemorate a link between that location and a famous person or event, serving as a historical marker....

 at Oldham
Oldham
Oldham is a large town in Greater Manchester, England. It lies amid the Pennines on elevated ground between the rivers Irk and Medlock, south-southeast of Rochdale, and northeast of the city of Manchester...

's Tommyfield Market marks the first chips fried in Britain in 1860, and the origin of the fish and chip shop and fast food industries in Britain.

Scotland


Dundee
Dundee
Dundee is the fourth-largest city in Scotland and the 39th most populous settlement in the United Kingdom. It lies within the eastern central Lowlands on the north bank of the Firth of Tay, which feeds into the North Sea...

 City Council claims that "...in the 1870s, that glory of British gastronomy - the chip - was first sold by Belgian immigrant Edward De Gernier in the city’s Greenmarket."

In Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

, a combination of Gold Star brown sauce
Steak sauce
Steak sauce —brown sauce —is a generic term for a dark brown sauce commonly served as a condiment for meat.The two terms are similar but not identical...

 and water or malt vinegar, known either simply as "sauce", or more specifically as "chippy sauce", has great popularity.

Ireland

In Ireland, the first fish and chips were sold by an Italian immigrant, Giuseppe Cervi, who had stepped off an America-bound ship at Cobh
Cobh
Cobh is a seaport town on the south coast of County Cork, Ireland. Cobh is on the south side of Great Island in Cork Harbour. Facing the town are Spike Island and Haulbowline Island...

 and walked to Dublin. He started by selling fish and chips outside pubs from a handcart. He then found a permanent spot in Great Brunswick Street (now Pearse Street). His wife Palma would ask customers "Uno di questa, uno di quella?" This phrase (meaning "one of this, one of the other") entered the vernacular
Vernacular
A vernacular is the native language or native dialect of a specific population, as opposed to a language of wider communication that is not native to the population, such as a national language or lingua franca.- Etymology :The term is not a recent one...

 in Dublin as "one and one", which is still a way of referring to fish and chips in the city.

Cooking

Traditional frying uses beef dripping
Tallow
Tallow is a rendered form of beef or mutton fat, processed from suet. It is solid at room temperature. Unlike suet, tallow can be stored for extended periods without the need for refrigeration to prevent decomposition, provided it is kept in an airtight container to prevent oxidation.In industry,...

 or lard
Lard
Lard is pig fat in both its rendered and unrendered forms. Lard was commonly used in many cuisines as a cooking fat or shortening, or as a spread similar to butter. Its use in contemporary cuisine has diminished because of health concerns posed by its saturated-fat content and its often negative...

; however, vegetable oils, such as peanut oil
Peanut oil
Peanut oil is an organic material oil derived from peanuts, noted to have the aroma and taste of its parent legume....

 (used due to its relatively high smoke point
Smoke point
The smoke point generally refers to the temperature at which a cooking fat or oil begins to break down to glycerol and free fatty acids, and produce bluish smoke. The glycerol is then further broken down to acrolein which is a component of the smoke. It is the presence of the acrolein that causes...

) predominate. A minority of vendors in the north of England and Scotland and the majority of vendors in Northern Ireland still use dripping or lard, as it imparts a different flavour to the dish, but it has the side effect of making the fried chips unsuitable for vegetarians and for adherents of certain faiths. Lard is used in some living industrial history museums, such as the Black Country Living Museum.

Thickness

British chips are usually significantly thicker than the American-style French fries
French fries
French fries , chips, fries, or French-fried potatoes are strips of deep-fried potato. North Americans tend to refer to any pieces of deep-fried potatoes as fries or French fries, while in the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand, long, thinly cut slices of deep-fried potatoes are...

 sold by major multinational fast food
Fast food
Fast food is the term given to food that can be prepared and served very quickly. While any meal with low preparation time can be considered to be fast food, typically the term refers to food sold in a restaurant or store with preheated or precooked ingredients, and served to the customer in a...

 chains, resulting in a lower fat content per portion. In their homes or in non-chain restaurants, people in or from the United States may eat a thick type of chip, more similar to the British variant, called "home fries
Home fries
Home fries, house fries, or cottage fries are a type of basic potato dish made by pan or skillet frying diced, chunked, wedged or sliced potatoes that have been par-cooked by boiling, baking, steaming, or microwaving....

" or "steak fries".

Cooking fat penetrates a relatively shallow depth into the potato during cooking, thus the surface area reflects the fat content proportionally. Chips have a smaller surface area per unit weight than French fries and thus absorb less oil per weight of potato. Chips also require a somewhat longer cooking time than fries.

Batter

UK chippies traditionally use a simple water and flour batter, adding a little sodium bicarbonate
Sodium bicarbonate
Sodium bicarbonate or sodium hydrogen carbonate is the chemical compound with the formula Na HCO3. Sodium bicarbonate is a white solid that is crystalline but often appears as a fine powder. It has a slightly salty, alkaline taste resembling that of washing soda . The natural mineral form is...

 (baking soda) and a little vinegar to create lightness, as they create bubbles in the batter. Other recipes may use beer
Beer
Beer is the world's most widely consumed andprobably oldest alcoholic beverage; it is the third most popular drink overall, after water and tea. It is produced by the brewing and fermentation of sugars, mainly derived from malted cereal grains, most commonly malted barley and malted wheat...

 or milk
Milk
Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals before they are able to digest other types of food. Early-lactation milk contains colostrum, which carries the mother's antibodies to the baby and can reduce the risk of many...

 batter
Batter (cooking)
Batter is a semi-liquid mixture of one or more flours combined with liquids such as water, milk or eggs used to prepare various foods. Often a leavening agent such as baking powder is included to aerate and fluff up the batter as it cooks, or the mixture may be naturally fermented for this purpose...

, where these liquids are often substitutes for water. The carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom...

 in the beer lends a lighter texture to the batter. Beer also results in an orange-brown colour. A simple beer batter might consist of a 2:3 ratio of flour to beer by volume. The type of beer makes the batter taste different: some prefer lager
Lager
Lager is a type of beer made from malted barley that is brewed and stored at low temperatures. There are many types of lager; pale lager is the most widely-consumed and commercially available style of beer in the world; Pilsner, Bock, Dortmunder Export and Märzen are all styles of lager...

 whereas others use stout
Stout
Stout is a dark beer made using roasted malt or barley, hops, water and yeast. Stouts were traditionally the generic term for the strongest or stoutest porters, typically 7% or 8%, produced by a brewery....

 or bitter
Bitter (beer)
Bitter is an English term for pale ale. Bitters vary in colour from gold to dark amber and in strength from 3% to 7% alcohol by volume.-Brief history:...

. In all cases, the alcohol
Ethanol
Ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol, pure alcohol, grain alcohol, or drinking alcohol, is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid. It is a psychoactive drug and one of the oldest recreational drugs. Best known as the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, it is also used in thermometers, as a...

 itself is cooked off, so little or none remains in the finished product.

Choice of fish

In Britain
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

, cod
Cod
Cod is the common name for genus Gadus, belonging to the family Gadidae, and is also used in the common name for various other fishes. Cod is a popular food with a mild flavor, low fat content and a dense, flaky white flesh. Cod livers are processed to make cod liver oil, an important source of...

 and haddock
Haddock
The haddock , also known as the offshore hake, is a marine fish distributed on both sides of the North Atlantic. Haddock is a popular food fish and is widely fished commercially....

 appear most commonly as the fish used for fish and chips,
but vendors also sell many other kinds of fish, especially other white fish
Whitefish (fisheries term)
Whitefish or white fish is a fisheries term referring to several species of demersal fish with fins, particularly cod , whiting , and haddock , but also hake , pollock , or others...

, such as pollock
Pollock
Pollock is the common name used for either of the two species of marine fish in the Pollachius genus. Both P. pollachius and P. virens are commonly referred to as pollock. Other names for P...

 or coley; plaice
European plaice
The European plaice, Pleuronectes platessa, is a commercially important flatfish.- Distribution and habitat :The geographical range of the European plaice is off all coasts from the Barents Sea to the Mediterranean, also in the Northeast Atlantic and along Greenland...

; skate
Skate
Skates are cartilaginous fish belonging to the family Rajidae in the superorder Batoidea of rays. There are more than 200 described species in 27 genera. There are two subfamilies, Rajinae and Arhynchobatinae ....

 and ray
Batoidea
Batoidea is a superorder of cartilaginous fish commonly known as rays and skates, containing more than 500 described species in thirteen families...

 (particularly popular in Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

); and huss or rock salmon
Rock salmon
Rock salmon refers to either of two kinds of fish:The first, also called rock eel, flake, and huss in the UK, is any one of many species of small shark, including the spiny dogfish or the bull huss .Rock salmon is consumed in many European countries and is often sold by fish and chip shops in the...

 (a term covering several species of dogfish
Spiny dogfish
The spiny dogfish, spurdog, mud shark, or piked dogfish, Squalus acanthias, is one of the best known of the dogfish which are members of the family Squalidae in the order Squaliformes. While these common names may apply to several species, Squalus acanthias is distinguished by having two spines ...

 and similar fish). In Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

, cod, plaice or whiting appear most commonly in 'fish suppers' - 'supper' being Northern Irish chip-shop slang for a food item accompanied by chips. Suppliers in Devon
Devon
Devon is a large county in southwestern England. The county is sometimes referred to as Devonshire, although the term is rarely used inside the county itself as the county has never been officially "shired", it often indicates a traditional or historical context.The county shares borders with...

 and Cornwall
Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

 regularly offer pollock and coley as cheap alternatives to haddock due to their regular availability in a common catch. As a cheap, nutritious, savoury and common alternative to a whole piece of fish, fish-and-chips shops around the UK supply small battered rissoles of compressed cod roe
Roe
Roe or hard roe is the fully ripe internal egg masses in the ovaries, or the released external egg masses of fish and certain marine animals, such as shrimp, scallop and sea urchins...

.

Australians prefer reef-cod (a different variety from that used in the United Kingdom), barramundi
Barramundi
The Barramundi , also known as Asian Seabass, is a species of catadromous fish in family Latidae of order Perciformes. The native species is widely distributed in the Indo-West Pacific region from the Persian Gulf, through Southeast Asia to Papua New Guinea and Northern Australia. Known in Thai...

 or flake
Flake (fish)
Flake is a term used in Australia to indicate the flesh of any of several species of small shark, particularly Gummy shark. The term probably arose in the late 1920s when the large-scale commercial shark fishery off the coast of Victoria was established. Until that time, shark was generally an...

, a type of shark
Shark
Sharks are a type of fish with a full cartilaginous skeleton and a highly streamlined body. The earliest known sharks date from more than 420 million years ago....

 meat, in their fish and chips. In recent years, farmed basa
Basa fish
The basa fish, Pangasius bocourti, is a type of catfish in the family Pangasiidae. Basa are native to the Mekong River Delta in Vietnam and Chao Phraya basin in Thailand. These fish are important food fish with an international market. They are often labeled in North America and Australia as "basa...

 imported from Vietnam has also become common in Australian fish and chip shops.

In New Zealand, at first, snapper was the preferred species for battered fillets in the North Island, but as catches for this fish declined, it was replaced by hoki, shark (marketed as lemon fish), and tarakihi. Gurnard and blue cod predominate in South Island fish and chips.

In the United States, the type of fish used depends on availability in a given region. Some common types are cod, halibut
Halibut
Halibut is a flatfish, genus Hippoglossus, from the family of the right-eye flounders . Other flatfish are also called halibut. The name is derived from haly and butt , for its popularity on Catholic holy days...

, flounder
Flounder
The flounder is an ocean-dwelling flatfish species that is found in coastal lagoons and estuaries of the Northern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.-Taxonomy:There are a number of geographical and taxonomical species to which flounder belong.*Western Atlantic...

, tilapia
Tilapia
Tilapia , is the common name for nearly a hundred species of cichlid fish from the tilapiine cichlid tribe. Tilapia inhabit a variety of fresh water habitats, including shallow streams, ponds, rivers and lakes. Historically, they have been of major importance in artisan fishing in Africa and the...

 or, in New England
New England
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...

, Atlantic cod. Salmon is growing common on the West Coast, while freshwater catfish
Catfish
Catfishes are a diverse group of ray-finned fish. Named for their prominent barbels, which resemble a cat's whiskers, catfish range in size and behavior from the heaviest and longest, the Mekong giant catfish from Southeast Asia and the second longest, the wels catfish of Eurasia, to detritivores...

 is most commonly used in the Southeast
Southeastern United States
The Southeastern United States, colloquially referred to as the Southeast, is the eastern portion of the Southern United States. It is one of the most populous regions in the United States of America....

.

Accompaniments

In chip shops in the United Kingdom, salt
Edible salt
Salt, also known as table salt, or rock salt, is a mineral that is composed primarily of sodium chloride , a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of ionic salts. It is essential for animal life in small quantities, but is harmful to animals and plants in excess...

 and vinegar
Vinegar
Vinegar is a liquid substance consisting mainly of acetic acid and water, the acetic acid being produced through the fermentation of ethanol by acetic acid bacteria. Commercial vinegar is produced either by fast or slow fermentation processes. Slow methods generally are used with traditional...

 is traditionally sprinkled over fish and chips at the time it is served. Suppliers may use malt vinegar, onion vinegar (used for pickling onions), or the much cheaper non-brewed condiment
Non-brewed condiment
Non-brewed condiment is a vinegar substitute created with water, acetic acid, flavourings and caramel colour.It is used widely at fish and chip shops through the United Kingdom instead of malt vinegar.- Origin of the term 'Non-brewed condiment' :...

. A portion of mushy peas
Mushy peas
Mushy peas are dried marrowfat peas which are first soaked overnight in water and then simmered with a little sugar and salt until they form a thick green lumpy soup. They are a traditional British accompaniment to fish and chips and sometimes mint is used as a flavouring...

 is a popular side dish. In table-service restaurants and pubs
Public house
A public house, informally known as a pub, is a drinking establishment fundamental to the culture of Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. There are approximately 53,500 public houses in the United Kingdom. This number has been declining every year, so that nearly half of the smaller...

, the dish is usually served with a slice of lemon and without any sauces or condiment
Condiment
A condiment is an edible substance, such as sauce or seasoning, added to food to impart a particular flavor, enhance its flavor, or in some cultures, to complement the dish. Many condiments are available packaged in single-serving sachets , like mustard or ketchup, particularly when supplied with...

s, with salt, vinegar and sauces available at the customer's leisure.

In Ireland, Wales and Northern England, most takeaways serve warm portions of side-sauces such as curry sauce, sweet chilli sauce, or brown gravy
Gravy
Gravy is a sauce made often from the juices that run naturally from meat or vegetables during cooking. In North America the term can refer to a wider variety of sauces and gravy is often thicker than in Britain...

. The sauces are usually poured over the chips. In some areas, this dish without fish is referred to as 'wet chips'. Other fried products include 'scraps
Scraps (batter)
Scraps is a term used in the North of England to refer to left over batter that has been deep-fried and is served as an accompaniment to chips. They are traditionally served free-of-charge with chips in Fish and Chip shops. In some parts of the north, they are referred simply as 'bits'or 'batter'....

', originally a by-product of fish frying. Still popular in Northern England, they were given as treats to the children of customers. Portions prepared and sold today consist of loose blobs of batter, deep fried to a crunchy golden crisp in the cooking-fat. The very popular potato scallop or potato cake consists of slices of potato dipped in fish batter and deep fried until golden brown. These are often accompanied for dipping by the warm sauces listed above. Scraps are referred to as 'scrumps' around Bristol.

In Edinburgh and the Lothians salt and sauce (or saut an sauce) is the normal accompaniment traditionally sprinkled over fish and chips or almost anything else bought from the fish-and-chips shops. The watery "sauce" is a mixture of malt vinegar or non-brewed condiment and/or water and Rowat's or Gold Star brand brown sauce, and it is mixed and bottled—often in an old glass fizzy drink bottle with a hole pierced in the screw cap—by each fish-and-chip shop to their own secret recipe.

In Australia and New Zealand, seasoned salt or chicken salt
Chicken salt
Seasoned salt is a blend of table salt, herbs, spices, other flavourings, and sometimes monosodium glutamate . It is sold in supermarkets and is commonly used in fish and chip shops and other take-away food shops...

 is often sprinkled over fish and chips just before serving. Many customers now choose to salt food themselves, given current public health concerns about salt intake. Another popular condiment is tomato sauce
Ketchup
Ketchup is a sweet-and-tangy condiment typically made from tomatoes, vinegar, sugar or high-fructose corn syrup and an assortment of...

. This is similar to ketchup, but sweeter and less astringent. Tartar sauce
Tartar sauce
Tartare sauce is a creamy white sauce frequently used to season fried seafood dishes.-Composition:...

 is also very popular for the fish. Both tomato and tartar sauce are usually sold in small plastic tubs on the shop counter. Complementary slices of lemon are generally served with the dish or takeout pack. In the best British and Irish tradition, malt vinegar is often the condiment of choice of many Australasian fish and chip lovers.

In Canada, fish and chips may be served with the traditional salt and vinegar, but a lemon wedge and tartar sauce is often the accompaniment found in table service restaurants. Coleslaw of both the vinegared or creamy variety is often interchangeably served as a side.

In the United States, most restaurants serve fish and chips with tartar sauce.

Vendors

In the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and North America, fish and chips usually sell through independent restaurants and take-aways. Outlets range from small affairs to chain restaurants. Locally-owned seafood restaurants are also popular in many local markets. Mobile "chip vans" serve to cater for temporary occasions. In the United Kingdom, punning names for the shops, such as "The Batter Plaice
Plaice
Plaice is the common name of four species of flatfishes.Plaice or PLAICE may also refer to:* USS Plaice , a Balao-class submarine* PLAICE, an open source hardware FLASH programmer, memory emulator, and logic analyzer...

", "Assault and Battery", "The Codfather","The Frying Scotsman" and "The Fish Plaice" often occur. In countries such as New Zealand and Australia, fish-and-chip vendors are a popular business and source of income among the Asian community, particularly the Chinese migrants.

Fish and chips is a common lunch meal eaten by families travelling to seaside resorts for day trips, who do not bring their own picnic
Picnic
In contemporary usage, a picnic can be defined simply as a pleasure excursion at which a meal is eaten outdoors , ideally taking place in a beautiful landscape such as a park, beside a lake or with an interesting view and possibly at a public event such as before an open air theatre performance,...

 meals.

Fish-and-chip outlets sell roughly 25% of all the white fish
Whitefish (fisheries term)
Whitefish or white fish is a fisheries term referring to several species of demersal fish with fins, particularly cod , whiting , and haddock , but also hake , pollock , or others...

 consumed in the United Kingdom, and 10% of all potatoes.

The existence of numerous competitions and awards for "best fish-and-chip shop" testifies to the recognised status of this type of outlet in popular culture
Popular culture
Popular culture is the totality of ideas, perspectives, attitudes, memes, images and other phenomena that are deemed preferred per an informal consensus within the mainstream of a given culture, especially Western culture of the early to mid 20th century and the emerging global mainstream of the...

.

Fish-and-chip shops traditionally wrapped their product in an inner layer of white paper (for hygiene) and an outer layer of newspaper or blank newsprint
Newsprint
Newsprint is a low-cost, non-archival paper most commonly used to print newspapers, and other publications and advertising material. It usually has an off-white cast and distinctive feel. It is designed for use in printing presses that employ a long web of paper rather than individual sheets of...

 (for insulation and to absorb grease), though the use of newspaper has largely ceased on grounds of hygiene, and establishments often use food-quality wrapping paper instead, which is occasionally printed on the outside to emulate newspaper. Fish and chip meals once came wrapped solely with a couple of layers of newspaper, but concerns over ink poisoning (especially relating to the use of lead
Lead
Lead is a main-group element in the carbon group with the symbol Pb and atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable poor metal. It is also counted as one of the heavy metals. Metallic lead has a bluish-white color after being freshly cut, but it soon tarnishes to a dull grayish color when exposed...

 type in newspaper production) meant the phasing out of this practice. Printing industry workers, however, state modern newspaper inks pose no such health risk.

Fish-and-chip shops typically offer other hot fast food
Fast food
Fast food is the term given to food that can be prepared and served very quickly. While any meal with low preparation time can be considered to be fast food, typically the term refers to food sold in a restaurant or store with preheated or precooked ingredients, and served to the customer in a...

, which customers may eat in place of the traditional battered fish.

The British National Federation of Fish Friers
National Federation of Fish Friers
The National Federation of Fish Friers is a British trade association for the fish and chips trade.-Structure:Its headquarters are in Leeds, West Yorkshire. Standard membership as of 2009 is £122 a year. It has 12 regions.-Function:...

 was founded in 1913. It promotes fish and chips and offers training courses.

A previous world record for the "largest serving of fish and chips" held by an US restaurant was broken by Yorkshire
Yorkshire
Yorkshire is a historic county of northern England and the largest in the United Kingdom. Because of its great size in comparison to other English counties, functions have been increasingly undertaken over time by its subdivisions, which have also been subject to periodic reform...

 pub Wensleydale Heifer in July 2011.

Cultural impact

The long-standing Roman Catholic tradition of not eating meat on Fridays - especially during Lent
Lent
In the Christian tradition, Lent is the period of the liturgical year from Ash Wednesday to Easter. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer – through prayer, repentance, almsgiving and self-denial – for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and...

 - and of substituting fish for other types of meat on that day - continues to influence habits even in predominantly Protestant, semi-secular
Secularism
Secularism is the principle of separation between government institutions and the persons mandated to represent the State from religious institutions and religious dignitaries...

 and secular societies. Friday night remains a traditional occasion for eating fish-and-chips; and many cafeteria
Cafeteria
A cafeteria is a type of food service location in which there is little or no waiting staff table service, whether a restaurant or within an institution such as a large office building or school; a school dining location is also referred to as a dining hall or canteen...

s and similar establishments, while varying their menus on other days of the week, habitually offer fish and chips every Friday.

Environment

In the UK, waste fat from fish and chip shops has become a useful source of biodiesel
Biodiesel
Biodiesel refers to a vegetable oil- or animal fat-based diesel fuel consisting of long-chain alkyl esters. Biodiesel is typically made by chemically reacting lipids with an alcohol....

. German biodiesel company Petrotec have outlined plans to produce biodiesel in the UK, from waste fat from the British fish-and-chip industry.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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