Fish and chips are possibly the ultimate pub food, and on Friday 3rd June there’s even a special day to celebrate the nation’s favourite dish.
Fish and chips might be the UK’s favourite double act, but their roots aren’t as British as you might think. When fish were scarce in winter, thrifty housewives would deep fry potatoes instead to put a hot meal on the table. This means that in the beginning, chips would be eaten instead of fish instead of as an accompaniment. Fried fish came to Briain via Jewish refugees from Spain and Portugal, and was usually sold by street vendors as cheap, filling food.
Although we’ll never know who first teamed fish and chips together, we do know that one of the first ‘chippies’ was run in Lancashire by John Lees, who had a wooden hut at Mossley market in the mid 19th century. The idea quickly caught on, and soon outlets were opening across Victorian England before spreading across the UK. Marketed as a cheap meal, the food was usually wrapped in pieces of old newspaper to keep costs down. Amazingly, this practice continued until the 1980s when it became illegal for food to come into direct contact with newspaper ink.
After a brief recession, sales of fish and chips are continuing to rise again. Although they’re now outstripped by other forms of takeaway such as pizza and curry, fish and chips are still firmly on the nation’s menu. Here at the Swettenham Arms, we’re proud to serve our traditional deep fried cod fillet in a homemade beer batter – and of course, we haven’t forgotten the mushy peas, lemon, chips and tartar sauce. Come and see us this Friday for National Fish and Chip Day, and taste our version of the traditional dish for yourself. Don’t forget to book!