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Fish and Chips

The original British fast food is fish and chips. The dish dates back to the last part of the 19th century and it quickly gained popularity among the working classes because it was cheap and easily available.

Fish and Chips with remoulade. Photo.

Fish 'n' Chips

The original British fast food is fish and chips. The dish dates back to the last part of the 19th century and it quickly gained popularity among the working classes because it was cheap and easily available. From the late 1800s, trawl fishing in the North Sea supplied the British with fresh cod and haddock, which are important ingredients in this dish. Another is potatoes of course.

The fish is fried in batter or breadcrumbs and served with deep fried chipped potatoes. Traditionally, the fish and chips were wrapped up in newspapers. However, health authorities gradually banned newspapers as wrapping since it might lead to lead poisoning.

If you want fish and chips to go, you should ask for it open or unwrapped. You should remember, though, before you leave, to help yourself to salt and vinegar. The British prefer to sprinkle it over their meal.

Skilt utenfor "fish and chips" restaurant.
The sign ouside of a Convent Garden 'chippy' that dates back to the 19th century.

Tasks

Comprehension: True or false?

  1. People started eating fish and chips in the 18th century.
  2. It became very popular among the upper classes.
  3. Cod and haddock are different fish species.
  4. The fish is served with boiled potatoes.
  5. It is illegal to wrap the fish and chips in newspapers.
  6. The British like the fish and chips with salt and vinegar.

Find Out

Crisps and a packet of chips. Photo.
Crisps or chips?
  1. Use the dictionary and find the English terms for:
    sei, torsk, flyndre, makrell, ørret (aure) and laks.
  2. Study the picture below. When in Britain, you have to ask for “crisps” if you want this (picture). What is this called in American English?