Guest Post: 7 Reasons Why Brits Love Fish And Chips
Drenched in salt and vinegar and melt-in-the-mouth delicious, Fish and Chips is one of the most delectable; one of the most naughtiest dishes in the UK and us Brits LOVE it!
Here are 7 Reasons why a mouth-watering portion of steaming hot Fish and Chips remains the nation’s favourite dish…
1. Fish and chips is quintessentially British. The first British Chip Shop opened in Mossley, Lancashire in the 1850s and since then, the country has been crazy for a good hearty portion of Fish and Chips. By the 1930s, there were 35,000 chippies! So it’s no wonder that it’s a dish that’s become synonymous with British culture and is as quintessentially British as cucumber sandwiches, double decker buses, red post boxes and moaning about the weather!
2. It tastes and smells so good!! Freshly mown grass, baking bread and sizzling bacon all feature high on the list of best-loved aromas in Britain, but there is one smell that beats them all…
Yep, you’ve guessed it – the tempting aroma of fish and chips topped a poll that aimed to discover the UK’s most preferred smell. Fried goodness covered in mouth-watering lashings of salt and vinegar – we bet you can smell it now. Simply delicious! The heady combination of smell and flavour is enough to make anyone on a diet question their healthy eating intentions and it’s also probably one of the only dishes that causes arguments between couples. You know the routine – the guy orders the tasty accompaniment alongside his steak, the lady orders the side salad; then by the end of the meal the guy is lucky if he’s had more than a forkful. Ladies, for the sake of men everywhere – get your own chips!!
3. Reminds you of the good times. Long before our high street was packed with takeaways offering delectable delights from around the world on every corner, our staple fast food was the good old fashioned fish and chips!
So it’s no wonder that the heady whiff of the good stuff can send us spiralling into a world of nostalgia – day trips to the seaside as a kid; Friday night tea-time treats; sharing a bag on the way home from the cinema after your first ever date; the great love story that started in the queue of a chip shop after a night out… ah memories.
4. You’re never too far from a chippy. The chip shop boom hit in the 1930s when the UK had more than 35,000 fish and chip shops. The dish was in such high demand that that some chippies had to employ doormen to oversee the queues!
Now we’re a little bit less heavy handed about getting our grubby mitts on the greasy goodness but there are still 11,000 chippies in the UK today.
And with three billion chip dishes served across the country every year – making up 300 million meals in total – you’re never too far away from a tasty portion.
But it’s not just us Brits who love the potato treat – oh no! Did you know that Belgian holds the rather quirky record of cooking chips for the longest amount of time? Chris Verschueren cooked up a storm when he served 15,000 portions of chips in a whopping 83 hours!
But back on home soil, a Yorkshire fryer – The Wensleydale Heifer – now holds the record for the largest portion of fish and chips, weighing in at 101lbs and beating the existing Massachusetts record by 24lbs.
5. Kept our troops going! It’s a hearty filling meal for sure, but did you know that during the Second World War, chips were one of the few foods that were not rationed?
So when our troops were out fighting in the fields, the good old fashioned, ever-reliable portion of chips kept them going!
6. Famous people can’t resist it. The first chippy opened in the UK in the 1850s, so we’re pretty sure Queen Victoria dined on a fine portion of ye olde fish and chips. It was also the meal of choice US President Barrack Obama’s children when his wife Michelle visited the UK. And the ever eccentric Lady Gaga tucked into a delicious portion washed down with whisky before she met the Queen earlier this year! Who knows, this could inspire her next food-related outfit….
7. Created other bonkers delicacies. Deep fried Mars Bars. We don’t need to say anymore. Don’t judge – just enjoy!
What about the future of the nation’s favourite dish? Well, there are sad times ahead for our beloved dish and it’s all because of inflation. Back in the 1970s, you could expect to pay a very modest 25p for a portion, but then inflation took hold – and it hasn’t stopped since.
The infographic ‘Counting the Cost of Fish and Chips’ created by the experts at Baines and Ernst – a leading financial solutions company – showed that the biggest price increase occurred during 1975 and 1976.
Prices jumped from 40p to 50p – going up to 83p by the 1980s. Now you can expect to pay £3.30 for a portion but up to as much as £5 if you live in London – the highest price in the UK!
So it looks like what was once a Friday night regular is now becoming a rare treat for families around the UK.
Article by Baines & Ernst
This article and infographic ‘Counting the Cost of Fish and Chips’ was written by Baines and Ernst – one of the country’s leading providers of debt help in the UK.