Where does Fish & Chips originate and why did it ever become popular?
In just a few centuries, it’s become a most recognized seafood meal, especially in the English-speaking world (England, Australia, Scotland, the U.S., and more). Here’s a brief look at the development of the tasty fried meal we serve here in Denver.
Fish & Chips – Portuguese/English Roots
The earliest traces of Fish & Chips go back to at least 16th century Portugal. This is where Jewish immigrants introduced the concept of frying fish about 24 hours before the Sabbath (when they could not cook). That allowed them to enjoy delicious seafood, usually sourced from cod or haddock, coated in flour or matzo meal, and fried to last longer.
As Jews migrated into England, by the 18th century, fried fish became a tremendous hit in the island nation. They found a much more favorable market for selling this tasty dish in the UK. Even visitors, like Thomas Jefferson, praised Fish & Chips as a novel “fried fish in the Jewish fashion.”
What about the “chips” component?
That side of the plate is shrouded in greater mystery because nobody can pinpoint the exact arrival of potatoes into the British islands. At least by the late 1600s, however, potatoes became a key contributor to Irish stews and the “chips” aspect of Fish & Chips.
Surge in Fish & Chips Popularity – Early 20th Century
By the second half of the 19th century, England became home to plenty of Fish & Chips shops. It wasn’t until World War I, that they experienced an enormous popularity surge, though.
That’s largely because Fish & Chips, unlike meat and eggs, were NOT part of the war rationing, giving them the chance to flourish amid far less restaurant competition domestically. Even British leaders, like Winston Churchill, fancied a terrific hot meal of Fish and Chips.
Batter, Chips, & What to Eat with It
One important advantage to this dish is its simplicity, but with plenty of room for experimentation. The batter can be as simple as flour and baking soda, whereas crafty chefs will incorporate various beer varieties, ranging from lagers and stouts to even bitter pilsners.
Then there are the chips, which are thicker and more substantial than typical French fries. In some places, you may hear them referred to as “steak” fries.
What goes great with Fish & Chips?
Salt and vinegar are the most traditional condiments, but it’s also common to see patrons enjoy them with ketchup, lemon juice, tartar sauce, curry sauce, and gravy. You can also glance at our menu to find lots of other wonderful side dishes like coleslaw, baked beans, and mashed potatoes.
Where can you find expertly prepared Fish & Chips and a terrific restaurant atmosphere to enjoy them?
Head over to GB Fish & Chips, in four fantastic locations, where we batter and deep fry seafood to perfection every day of the week. This is your chance to enjoy fresh Fish & Chips from cod, pollock, prawn, and other seafood varieties. You can contact us anytime to learn more about our favorite seafood specialty and everything else we offer.