Window on UK Culture
Fish & Chips

Why do the British love fish & chips?


Its probably something to do with the fact that, as an island people surrounded by the sea, the British depended on fish and seafood for much of their diet.
Potatoes have been a staple part of the British diet since they were bought back from the New World in the 16th century.

The first fish & chip shop opened in London in 1860 but the food had probably been popular for a few years before that as Charles Dickens mentioned it a his novel, A Tale of Two Cities.

How are fish & chips made?


Fillets of fish, usually cod or haddock or plaice, are coated in flour before being dipped in batter (a mixture of flour and milk) and then deep fried in oil.

Chips are cut much thicker than french fries but are deep fried in the same way. The best frying oil for chips is lard.

Is anything else eaten with fish & chips?


Fish & chips is always served with salt and vinegar and often with mushy peas and slices of bread or a soft bread roll and butter to make chip butties, The British words for a chip sandwich.

You will probably see it served in restaurants with Tartar sauce or mayonnaise and a slice of lemon but that isn't really the traditional way

Its always best to wash it all down with a great English "cuppa" tea.


Where can I buy fish & chips?


Every town or city in the UK will have at least one place selling fish and chips. These places can range from the the local fish & chip shops on street corners such as Tony's Fish & Chip Shop pictured on the right to the large fish & chip restaurants like Harry Ramsden's, often found in seaside towns such as Blackpool and Great Yarmouth.

You will usually also be able to find fish & chip stalls on the open air market places that can be found all over the UK.

Where will I find the best fish and chips?


Most places have several fish and chip shops of varying quality. I have had some fish and chips to die for in places such as Gorleston in Norfolk and Glasgow but also some awful experiences such as the one I had in a Leicester pub.
The best thing to do is ask the locals and find out where the most popular fish and chip shop is, that way you can't go wrong.