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Fish and Chips originated in Great Britain in the 19th century and commonly the dish contained cod or haddock. It became a staple meal among the working classes in Great Britain as a consequence of the rapid development of trawl fishing in the north sea and the development of railways which connected the ports to major industrial cities. This meant that fresh fish could be rapidly transported to heavily populated areas.
Deep fried fish was first introduced to Britain during the 17th century by Jewish refugees from Portugal and Spain and is derived from pescado frito. Chips are thought to have appeared in Britain around the same time and were mentioned in Dickens ‘A Tale of Two Cities’.
The first chip shop was opened in London in 1860 by Joseph Malin.
Traditionally beef dripping or lard was used for frying, however today vegetable oil is a more popular choice. There are a few vendors in England and Scotland that still use dripping as it gives a different flavor to the dish; however it makes it unsuitable for vegetarians and adherents of certain faiths.
When it comes to chips, the British versions are traditionally thicker than the American style French fries found in fast food restaurants. How much cooking fat soaks into the potato is depends on the surface area and how long they are cooked.
UK chippies traditionally use a simple water and flour batter with a pinch of baking soda and a little vinegar to create bubbles in the batter. Other recipes use beer or milk batter.
Today a wide variety of fish is used in this traditional dish that has found its way into restaurants in every corner of the globe.
The Samui Times is on the hunt this week for Samui’s favorite fish and chips and invite you to make your vote in our Facebook voting poll.
Click Here to add your favorite fish and chips restaurant and cast your vote.