Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fish 'n Chips

Cod and chips prepared in Horseshoe Bay, British Columbia, Canada. Photo courtesy: Wikipedia

Fish and chips became a stock meal among the working classes in Great Britain as a consequence of the rapid development of trawl fishing in the North Sea, and development of railways connecting ports to cities during the second half of the 19th century.

Fish and chips, an icon of British culture (and, one of my personal favourites), celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2010. Douglas Roxburgh is president of the National Federation of Fish Friers, which represents 8,500 fish and chip shops in Britain. He says the idea of pairing deep-fried battered fish with deep-fried potatoes (chips) originated in 1860 with the Malin family of London.

In 1860, the first fish and chip shop was opened in London by Jewish proprietor Joseph Malin who combined "fish fried in the Jewish fashion" with chips. British chips are thicker than American french fries; and, therefore absorb less fat.

Then...out of the mouths of babes, Joseph Malin, 13, suggested his family sell the combo on the streets; and, the idea spread like wildfire.

There are conflicting views about the origins of this tasty treat with some saying the idea goes as far back as the late 1700s; but, Joseph Malin is recognized as the first restauranteer to combine the two - fish and chips.

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