In the early 1860s, the first recorded fish and chip shops opened in Britain. Exactly who was the first person to combine fried fish – a popular dish brought to London from Spain and Portugal – with fried chipped potatoes is a matter of debate. What’s not in doubt is the immediate success of the dish. By 1910 there were over 25,000 fish and chip shops across the UK. This simple dish of battered fried fish with fried potato chips had become a national obsession.
Fish and chips, also known as a fish supper, is one of the most quintessentially British dishes to be found. But it is not something that people make at home. This is a meal to be purchased from a proper fish and chip shop – also known as a ‘chippy’ – and to be savoured while piping hot. Flaky white fish in light and crispy batter, thick cut chips with crunchy outsides and fluffy centres … all that’s needed is a little sauce for dipping. Tartare sauce and mushy peas are traditional, though many prefer theirs with a side order of gravy or curry sauce. Whatever your selection, you can be sure of a satisfying meal when it comes to this British classic.