Fish and chips have been called the National Dish of England and it’s naturally one of the signature dishes in all our pubs. Interestingly, it may not have originated in England at all.
Fish and chips (what the Yanks call French fries) are a common takeaway food in the U.K. and have become as American as apple pie, especially popular in coastal areas in New England. In England, according to a 2009 British Broadcasting Company story on the 150th anniversary of fish & chips, “Winston Churchill called them ‘the good companions,’ John Lennon smothered his in tomato ketchup, and Michael Jackson liked them with mushy peas.”
“They sustained morale through two world wars and helped fuel Britain’s industrial prime. For generations, fish and chips have fed millions of memories – eaten with greasy fingers on a seaside holiday, a pay-day treat at the end of the working week or a late-night supper on the way home from the pub,” the BBC wrote.
The origin of the chip has been traced back to 17th century Belgium or France as a substitute for fish.
“When the rivers froze over and nothing could be caught, resourceful housewives began cutting potatoes into fishy shapes and frying them as an alternative. Around the same time, fried fish was introduced into Britain by Jewish refugees from Portugal and Spain.”
So who thought of pairing the two?
“Some credit a northern entrepreneur called John Lees,” the BBC said. “As early as 1863, it is believed he was selling fish and chips out of a wooden hut at Mossley market in industrial Lancashire.”
While haddock is the most popular fish in this beer-battered delight, other white fish are often used, such as hake and even skate.
At British Beer Company we use fresh haddock, British-made batter and the greatest beer known to man, Fuller’s Pride. This combination makes our Fish & Chips golden and crispy.
Be sure to try this dish with a pint of your favourite!