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March 1, 2007

Fish and Chips

So I keep promising Ko I’ll write more here but I never come through. Well I thought about doing a parallel series on chippies but it is such a heavy meal that I find it difficult to eat it more than once a month or so. Besides, all the fish and chip shops in my area taste very similar so there wouldn’t be much point to it. But I will review one fish and chip shop since I had many misconceptions about the meal when I moved here, and I imagine other people do to.

Most chip shops seem to have a few places to sit and eat, but I would guess about 90% of people get it for take-away. The average chip shop is not a posh or fancy place at all, in fact most of them are quite dingy inside. The fryer is usually right behind the order counter, and there are heated compartments right above the fryer to keep the fish warm. The fryer itself is usually divided into two sections, one for frying fish and meat and the other for frying potatoes. There is also a chamber where the chips are stored after they are fried. Many chip shops use fresh potatoes and fish, but some use frozen. The fish is often fried with the skin still on it, but many people do not eat the skin.

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The average menu at a chippy has several kinds of fish, but the standard fish is cod. Other fish that can be found around here are haddock, plaice, rock, sole, and skate. Other items that can often be found on the menu are chip butties, battered sausages, battered spam, fried chicken, steak and onion pies, chicken and mushroom pies, cornish pasties, and saveloys.

I walked into the chip shop thinking I would order cod, chips, and curry sauce for the chips, but I decided on haddock, chips and mushy peas. This along with a can of “fruit twist” fanta cost £5.60, or $10.97 at today’s exchange rate. When you order you have the option of getting it open, or wrapped. If you want to eat it on the street say “open.”

Fish and chips can also be purchased at pubs, where it costs in the area of £8, but I’ve never seen a restaurant that serves it.