I hate fish, but weirdly will eat fish and chips! They say it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind, and although usually I’m pretty decisive – this is my one area where I’ll take that epithet!
For some reason, any fish which tastes or smells fishy just turns my stomach and it’s always been like this. I blame school dinners in the late 1960s early 70s when you had steamed fish with rancid mash – with loads of bones in it. No wonder at infants’ school I soon had dinners at home. Yet even there I was forced to eat pilchards on toast, complete with bones. Ever since then I’ve hated eating any kind of slimey, oily, smelly or bony fish. The thought of eating it makes me want to cry – even now.
Battered fish though – I don’t mind cod, hake, pollock, haddock…and I actually made battered fish this last week using basa fillets – they were lush.
So, on the 27th May, we can all celebrate fish and chips – however you like or dislike them!
13 Fish and Chips Facts:
- Fish and Chips and also Roast Chicken are the two most popular dishes in GB – 85% of peeps like it.
- 382 million meals are sold from fish and chip shops every year – that’s around six servings for every man, woman and child.
- 80% people visit a fish and chip shop at least once a year and 22% of people visit a fish and chip shop every week.
- Fish and chips were first served together as a dish around 1850 or so, and two companies stake claim to be the first – the Malin family in London and Lee’s of Mossley, near Manchester.
- There are around 10,500 specialist fish and chip shops in the UK, more than the number of McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets combined
- The sale of the fish and chip trade started to spread in the 1870s, especially in London and in the cotton and woollen towns of the Pennines, as a readily accessible, hot meal for factory and mill workers.
- Fish and chips even appears in Charles Dickens’ ‘A Tale of Two Cities’, written in 1859.
- Until the 1980s, fish and chips were served in newspaper. This was stopped due to the inks in the newsprint, which contained toxic chemicals, such as lead, and these were hazardous to health
- Many fish and chip shops are family owned businesses, some of them 2nd and 3rd generation within communities. Collectively, these businesses use 10% of the UK’s potato crop and 30% of all white fish sold in the UK. The industry generates a turnover of around £1.2 billion every year.
- The longest running fish and chip shop still in operation is in Yeadon, near Leeds. It trades under the name of ‘The Oldest Fish & Chip Shop in the World’ and it’s believed that fish and chips have been sold from those premises continually since 1865.
12 One of the largest and longest established Fish and Chip restaurant chains in the UK, is Harry Ramsdens which was founded in 1928. Their largest restaurant is in Bournemouth which seats 420, one of the largest in the world. They still have 8 locations around the UK.
13 During World War 2, when many other most food stuffs were rationed, except fresh vegetables, fruit and bread and even clothing, shoes, fuel and soap were also rationed – fish and chips were not! The government had recognised the importance of fish and chips to the nation’s working classes and ensured supplies were maintained and were not rationed. The government thought it would help to feed munitions workers and keep families of the fighting men in good spirits. And during the ‘D’ Day landings, British soldiers identified each other by calling out ‘fish’ and the response or password was ‘chips’.
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