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Britain's Obsession with Fish & Chips

Fri 07 Apr 2017

Fish and Chips is part of the UK’s history

As a country surrounded by sea, it’s perhaps no surprise that Fish and Chips is one of the most popular dishes in the UK.

The almost genius combination of battered fish served up alongside deep-fried potato slices and wrapped in paper has to be one of the country’s most favourite foods.

Fish and chips has long been part of the fabric of the UK culture and history. Traditionally a working class meal, it rose to prominence as a result of the expanding railway network - connecting fresh fish to large parts of the country - and trawl fishing of the North Sea.

Its historic roots date back to the era of industrialisation. Today it features in menus across the country as well as the whole world; whether enjoyed in an upmarket restaurant or at the end of an evening on the way home. It’s longevity is in part down to its accessibility, convenience and of course, delicious taste.

How do you like yours?

Cod and haddock remain Britain’s fish of choice. However, there’s a wide range of white fish commonly served as part of the dish. These include pollock, plaice, skate, huss or rock salmon. Certain fish has come in and out of fashion, with the trend for serving up more traditional fish making a come-back in recent times.

Debate rages over the perfect condiment to accompany a serving of fish and chips, with preferences varying across the country and indeed the world. In most chip shops in the United Kingdom, salt and vinegar are sprinkled over the meal at the point of serving.

Side dishes have emerged over the years, in part as a result of the increasing number of sit-down restaurants serving fish and chips. In England for example, mushy peas is a popular side dish.

Different regions interpret the dish in alternative ways with an abundance of varying condiments to choose from. For instance, in Ireland and Wales most takeaways offer warm lashings of curry or gravy sauce served over the dish. In Scotland, ‘chippy sauce’ is commonly offered; it’s a mixture of brown sauce and malt vinegar. Ketchup and mayonnaise remain popular condiment choices across the country.

The best places for fish and chips in the UK

In recognition of the special place that the dish occupies in the public’s heart, there is a much coveted annual award for the best fish and chip shops.

The National Fish and Chips Awards has been described as the ‘Oscars’ of the fish and chips world, where fryers and restaurateurs compete.

Fancy sampling some award-winning fish and chips? Try it for yourself.

Here are the Top 10 Fish and Chips Shops according to The National Fish and Chips Awards:

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