I definitely love a good chippy! Over my years of traveling to the United Kingdom and Europe, I have eaten an impressive share of this tasty meal. It does seem like a simple dish, but I have not been able to find it in the United States made as good as across the pond. Maybe it is the fresh cod or haddock caught in that part of the world, or the starchy local potatoes that are made into thick chips.
Now over the 15 years that I have been traveling to the UK and Europe, I have tasted some amazing fish and chips, but I also had average and unfortunate tasting fish and chip takeaways. Not all chippys are created equal. In my opinion, what makes delicious fish and chips would be the quality of the cod or haddock, the batter, the oil it is fried in, and how freshly it is made. If it is sitting under heat lamps for quite a while and if it is from an average takeaway, the dish will be very heavy and soggy. That is when it tastes unfortunate and quite unappetizing, or as I like to call it an oil sponge.
For those who have never traveled to the United Kingdom, the terms used by locals are a “chip shop” or a “chippy” for a fish and chip establishment. I had always found “chippy” quite charming, it is the same British charm as when they say “tellie” (television) or “uni” (university).
The tradition and history of fish and chips can be dated back to the 1800s where both London and Lancashire say they invented the dish. In Lancashire chips were an inexpensive food and staple, and in East London fried fish was popular. It was not until the mid 1800s when they were combined, and fish and chips were born.
Although with my study on food, it is sometimes difficult to pinpoint when and who any dish or drink was first created. In my thoughts, there could have been a house mum who put fried fish and chips together to feed her family, but never got the credit.
During WWII, fish and chips (a working class dish) was very popular since it was not rationed. Even Winston Churchill named the dish the “good companions”, which I think was a brilliant name. Through locals, I had learned of stories of how fish and chips wrapped in newspaper were served to those finding shelter in the underground during The Blitz. From then it had become a patriotic dish, since it kept the Brits going during times of war.
Over the past two decades, I have taken food photos including my fish and chips. In the last six years my photos had gotten a lot better due to handheld lights and smarter phones, so you may notice the quality difference in my photos. With all that said, I present a gallery of several of my fish and chips throughout the years, with the variety of preparations, platings, and styles.
If you are wanting to know my favorites so far, both chippys are in England- Geales in London and Bizzie Lizzie’s in Skipton!
-Fish & Chips Gallery-
Travel is food for the soul…
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📸 All photos are taken by me and are my intellectual property – Trixie Navarre