Walk into a chippy and experience London’s tradition of Fish and chips.
Fish and chips is the quintessential British meal. While it faces formidable competition from curries and burgers, fish and chips remains a strong London favorite. For now, I am going to take you inside a chippy, which is the British term for a fish and chip shop. And the chippy we are at today is called Fish Bone. Most chippies have a basic set up of furniture, many having communal tables and chairs. And takeaway is a very common option. Many upscale restaurants serve fish and chips as well, but chippies are a quicker and cheaper option.
So, here we go. Here is our fish and chips. “Here you go. Enjoy that.” “Thank you very much.” Fish and chips is often served with salt and vinegar. So now, we have got our piece of cod which is fried in batter. And we have got our chips, which are like French fries, but thicker. “I have been here for 35 years. People do prefer to have fish and chips as a meal, especially the foreigners, because they want to try the British food.” Now, the piece of fish we had was a lovely piece of cod, but you can also have other types of fish, such as haddock, sea bass, plaice and skate.
There are many different stories about how fish and chips originated. In an early reference, Charles Dickens mentions fried fish warehouses in his own Oliver Twist, back in the 19th century. The fish and chips combination is so loved by the British that it was one of the few foods not rationed during the Second World War. There are many variations of fish and chips around the globe. You can even get a Chinese fish and chips, which interestingly has sugar added to the mix. When picking a chippy, what you want to know is that the fish is fresh and is fried on the premises like here at Fish Bone, and not frozen. I am Peter Halpin, showing you London.