History of Fish and Chips

History of Fish and Chips

Whilst they may make nutritionists and doctors despair, British fish and chips are oh, so satisfying to eat. And, with an estimated 380 million portions of delicious fish and chips sold annually, which makes about 6 servings a year for each and every person in Britain, the British public seems to agree.

There are simply not many who can resist the mouth-watering combination of moist white fish in crisp golden batter, served with a generous portion of hot, fluffy chips!

Nowadays, there are about 10,500 fish and chip shops across Britain. And in case you were wondering, that’s eight for every McDonald’s outlet in Britain, making British fish and chips the nation’s ultimate favourite takeaway meal. And it is not just nowadays! Even back in 1999, Brits consumed nearly 300 million potions of fish and chips which equates to about six servings for every man, woman, and child in the country!

Fish and chips are popular, yes, but when and where did this quintessentially British dish come about?

Who came up with the bright idea to marry fish with chips remains the subject of fierce controversy. It is a misery so long that nowadays, it is impossible to know for sure who to thank for Britain’s most quintessential dish. It is safe to say that the dish’s origin was somewhere in England, though no one can say for sure whether it was up north or down south.

Some claim that the guy to thank was John Less. Back in 1863, John Less was selling fish and chips out of a wooden hut at Mossley market in industrial Lancashire. While this might be true, others think that the fish and chips tradition started even earlier with the first combined fish ‘n chips shop opened by a Jewish immigrant by the name of Joseph Malin in East London around 1860.

However it came about, the dish simply ‘caught on’. At a time when working-class’ everyday diets were bleak and not much varied, fish and chips were a tasty, inexpensive break from the norm. So, the fish and chips business was growing. Starting with a single shop in the 1860s, by 1910 there were roughly 25,000. In 1927, 35,000 fish and chips shops were registered in Britain, showing yet again, just how popular the dish had become.

While the popularity remains untouched, some things still have changed over the years. Fish, usually cod or haddock, and chips are still widely eaten in Britain, but white paper has replaced the traditional newspaper wrap.

And it is not only the wrap that has changes throughout the years. In recent times, many traditional fish and chips shops have been turning into Turkish kebab hybrids, that offer both fish and chips and kebabs. The overfishing of cod stocks made fish and chips more expensive. As a result, poorer Brits started to turn more towards the newer and, at the moment, cheaper, fast foods like the kebab.

This does not mean that the future of the Fish and chips is compromised, though. More than 380 million portions of white fish fillets are sold each and every year in England, each one coated in a light batter and deep-fried, and served alongside fat fried slices of potatoes! And who could possibly resist that?

Chasing down the best fish and chips shops in Britain is definitely a subjective affair. There are many places where one can get delicious fish and chips. For real fish and chips devotees, however, nothing beats a day trip to Kent, thought to be among the best on the British isles. Numerous shops here offer white fish in crispy, golden batter, with a generous portion of hot, fluffy chips on the side. Yummy!

Ramsgate is the place to go to when looking for retro-chic fish and chips that are just delicious! People can find modernity married with traditional! Shops are freshly cooked and delicious just like in the good ol’ days!

Freshly cooked fish and top notch chips can be purchased in numerous fish and chips shops in Thanet! So, if you are nearby, stop by!

And not just there. There are literally thousands of places where one can get delicious fish and chips throughout Britain!

Find your favourite place and enjoy the most quintessentially British dish!

Nutritional information about fish and chips

Nutritional information about fish and chips

Are fish and chips good for us?

Fish and chips are a lot of people’s favourite takeaway dish! It is a dish that is easy to find, good for the wallet, and most importantly – yummy! All around Britain, there are popular places where people can enjoy their favourite fish and chips! But are they good for us?

Just because people love to eat it, it does not mean that they know a whole lot about fish and chips’ nutritional value.

What they might not know is that, despite being delicious, Fish and chips are also a valuable source of protein, fibre, iron and different vitamins. An average portion of Britain’s favourite take-away dish usually provides a third of the recommended daily allowance of vitamins for men and nearly half for women.

Fish and chips only has 542 calories in 100 grams, that’s not too bad!

While it might not be the healthiest choice of food out there, regular fish and chips dishes are not nearly as bad as some of the other fast food products that people love to eat. And in more cases than not, getting fish and chips is a better idea than getting some of the other popular takeaway, like pizza, kebabs and chinese.

A Doner Kebab, for instance, has 942 calories in just 100 grams. Our beloved pizza has 871 calories in 100 grams. But fish and chips only has 542 calories in 100 grams, that’s not too bad!

Fish and chips also have the lowest fat content of the popular takeaway meals. With 9,42 grams of fat in 100 grams of fish and chips, this dish beats pizza, with its 11 grams of fat and Doner Kebab with its 16,2.

These facts make all the fish and chips lovers out there more at ease. It is relieving to know that even though your favourite food is takeaway, it is still not that bad for you or your health!

So, dear fish and chips lovers, next time you are in the Thanet area or anywhere in Kent really. And your looking to go out for some food. Make sure you come visit us at Newington Fish Bar in Ramsgate, and just think about these nutritional numbers. You can enjoy а good helping of salt-sprinkled, malt vinegar-splashed fish and chips, and not ever feel guilty!

How to make perfect fish and chips

How to make perfect fish and chips

Fish and chips mastery

In Britain, more than 380 million portions of fish and chips are sold annually! It is our nation’s most quintessential meal that has been the public’s favourite for more than 150 years! So it’s only right that you learn how to make perfect fish and chips.

Luckily for us, there are many places where one can get those, oh-so-satisfying-to-eat fish and chips! There are about 10,500 takeaway and restaurants across Britain that serve our great nation’s traditional dish.

The county of Kent is home to some famous restaurants due to its proximity to the seaside. Most traditional fish and chips are served here. Particularly popular are the shops in the seaside town of Ramsgate, which is located in the district of Thanet, South East England. The ones in London are quite popular, too!

More often than not, wherever you get your next fix of battered cod, haddock, rock or plaice, they will be tasty. Obviously, our recommendation is to come dine with us in our newly renovated restaurant at the Newington Fish Bar, but if you can’t make the trip, then keep reading.

Come visit us in our restaurant

Make it at home

What do you do if you want to get that same, delicious, mouth-watering, freshly cooked cod in your own kitchen? What if you cannot visit the Newington Fish Bar? Or one of the other popular fish and chips shops in Kent?

Well, you can always try making the dish on your own. However, making this famous British dish is not the easiest of tasks!

We advise seasoning the fish filets on both sides, then dipping into the batter, in order to make the fish really ‘meaty’.

To make the batter, whisk about 225 grams of flour, with 285 ml of beer and 3 teaspoons of baking powder together.

Do this until nice and shiny, then dip each fillet into the batter. Frying the fish fillets (about 225 grams in total), is best done with sunflower oil in a deep-fat fryer.

Preparing the fish in our kitchen

For making the chips nice and non-greasy, like they do in the majority of shops in Ramsgate, including us at the Newington Fish Bar:

We advise skinning the potatoes and letting them soak in water to remove the starch. After about 30 mins, throw them in the deep-fat fryer until golden. Preferably in the same oil that the fish fillets were cooked in.

If you are up for some mushy peas on the side too. Put about 4 handfuls of peas and some chopped mint in a pan, with 1 knob of butter.

After stirring for 10 minutes, add a squeeze of lemon juice and some sea salt and black pepper. Followed by putting everything in a food processor! And voila, you have your own, homemade, delicious fish and chips and mushy peas!

Apart from the recipe itself, there are some other things to keep in mind in order to really know how to make perfect fish and chips

Preparing the chips in our kitchen

First and foremost, the fish must always, always be fresh to ensure it cooks beautifully. The best fish and chips shops in Kent really, know that! That’s why this county is home to some high quality shops, according to the National Federation of Fish Fryers.

We were the first shop in Kent to receive the Five Star quality award, which is only awarded to shops that serve the freshest of fish.

Another important thing to know is that thick batter is the best batter. However the batter must be left overnight and not used right away. This will result in a crispy golden finish.

Trust us, batter can make all the difference. Get this right in order to have amazing results in your cooking endeavours.

Batter makes all the difference

Lastly, make sure you always use fresh oil. Already-used oil is not only bad for your health, but it will also ruin your food. And no one wants that!

Do not be afraid to experiment. Find what works best for you and stick to it! You might not get them perfect like we do in the Newington Fish Bar, but do not get discouraged!

Practice makes perfect, and before you know it, you will have your perfect homemade fish and chips mastered!

Cooked cod to perfection

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