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Fish and Chips

Fish and chips are the undisputed National dish of Great Britain, becoming a cultural and culinary symbol of our country, instantly recognised as British the world over.... "As British as Fish and Chips", as the saying goes!

The origins of Fish and Chips appear to be around the mid 19th century - closely associated with the industrial revolution which spurned many changes in Britain, not least the British pallate. Since their origins over 100 years ago, Fish and Chips maintain huge popularity as THE original, affordable and nutritious takeaway.

Fish and ChipsWhere did fish and chips originate?

Fish and chips were first served together as a complete dish around 1860 - the Malin family of London and the Lee's of Mossley, near Manchester both staking claims to be the first.

Photo: Malin family of London (bottom) and the Lee's of Mossley, who was first?

However, the fried fish and cooked potato trades had existed for many years before this.

Fried fish was first introduced to London by Jewish immigrants from Portugal and Spain probably as far back as the 17th Century. American President Thomas Jefferson described eating 'fried fish in the Jewish fashion' on a visit to the capital at the end of the 18th Century and even Charles Dickens makes reference to a fried fish warehouse in Oliver Twist. Fried potatoes as chips probably originate from Belgium.

Dickens was indeed an early advocate of the trade also recounting 'Husky chips of potatoes, fried with some reluctant drops of oil' in 'A Tale of two Cities', published in 1859.

For more on the origins, see here.

Fish and Chips Nutrition

Fish and chips are less than 10% fat if properly cooked and an average sized portion is less than 1000 calories. Adding peas to the meal lowers fat and calories per 100 grams, but as peas contain approximately 100 calories per 100 grams, this increases the total calories consumed in the meal.
 

Rapeseed oil (when in optimum condition) produces the healthiest product, but breaks down more easily than other frying mediums. It is, however, a reasonable view that the customer expectation of taste is more important.

 

Fish and Chips, Facts and Figures

Fish and chip shops have been around for a long time and as a result, there are some pretty surprising facts about the fish and chip business!
  • There are currently in the region of 10,500 specialist fish and chip shops in the UK.

  • These dramatically outnumber other fast food outlets: McDonalds has only 1,200 outlets, Kentucky Fried Chicken 350.

  • British consumers eat some 382 million portions of fish and chips every year. That's six servings for every man, woman and child.

  • The longest running fish and chip shop still in operation is based in Yeadon near Leeds. Trading under the name 'The Oldest Fish & Chip Shop in the World', fish and chips are believed to have been served from the premises continually since 1865.

  • The world's largest fish and chip shop/restaurant is Sharpy's in Wigan, catering for 270.

  • The world's largest portion of fish and chip's was made by Fish & Chips @ London Road in Enfield, London, on July 2012. The mammoth portion of Halibut and chips weighed in at 47kg (pictured).
For more facinating facts and figures as well as a few World records about Fish and Chips, see these pages of our website: