It’s Fish and Chip Day (June 4), when we salute the culinary classic: a piping hot portion of battered cod (if you’re going traditional) served with a mound of deep-fried, golden chips.
Fish and chips facts worth knowing
While this legendary combination can be enjoyed anywhere, anytime, there’s just something so appealing about a fish and chip supper when you’re by the seaside…
1. Fish is better by the coast
Only when you’re a stone’s throw from the ocean can you guarantee the freshest catch of the day will land on your plate (or cardboard tray).
2. There are so many different options
While cod and haddock are the most common varieties found on chip shop menus, you might also find pollock, plaice, hake, skate or any other white fish.
Mushy peas are a must-have side (for some), while pickled eggs or ‘scraps’ (bits of leftover fried batter) are favourites for others, and then there’s the eternal conundrum: do you really need a large portion of chips? (The answer is usually, yes).
3. Everyone has their preferred sauces
You simply can’t have chips without a generous dusting of salt and a liberal splash of vinegar, some say, while others swear tartar sauce is the perfect accompaniment. The ketchup versus brown sauce debate will probably never be settled.
4. You can enjoy regional variations
While traditionalists will declare one should only ever order fish and chips while in a fish and chip shop, go off-piste and you could be rewarded for your curiosity.
Battered ‘orange’ chips in the Black Country, bolognese sauce and chips in Newcastle, and, of course, the famous deep-fried Mars Bar in Scotland are just some of the ‘delicacies’ you’ll find in chippies (or ‘chippers’) throughout the land.
5. They make you forget about bad weather
You can never guarantee sunshine by the seaside, but you can be sure munching fish and chips fresh from the fryer will make you forget about the grey clouds, non-stop drizzle and those seagulls swooping a bit too close for comfort.
6. They make you feel nostalgic
The merest whiff of frying fish and the sound of sizzling oil is enough to transport you back to the seaside trips of your childhood.
7. They’re perfectly portable
All you need is one of those little wooden forks to nudge your fish into flakes and stab those fat chips, meaning a paper-wrapped bundle of deliciousness can be eaten on the beach, on a bench or in a car overlooking the seafront if the weather’s not cooperating.
8. They feel like a treat
Not exactly the healthiest of meals, there’s a reason these deep-fried delights remain a once in a while occurrence, and that’s why a fish and chip dinner feels like such a treat.
9. Chip butties
Sarnies, sandwiches, stotties, barms, butties… call them what you will, it doesn’t get much better than two slices of buttered white bread loaded up with chips and doused with ketchup to create a double-carb delight.