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Fish and chips - a question for Brits mostly, but all welcome to contribute

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Feb 16, 2020 - 3:38:44 AM
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m06

England

8401 posts since 10/5/2006

We should also point out to our non-Brit friends that the once staple, cheap fish and chip meal will now cost you on average around £7 ($9.13 US) per person depending on portion size in a provincial chippy. That is no longer a cheap way to feed a family. And probably way more expensive in London.

As with beer and cider at over £3 a pint, the staple is now a far less frequent option for most folks.

Edited by - m06 on 02/16/2020 03:43:31

Feb 16, 2020 - 5:20:32 AM

289 posts since 10/9/2017

Another data point in the survey of comparative chipology: when I did a year abroad in Germany in the early ‘80s, the German equivalent to the 3 a.m. kebab was Kurriwurst mit Pommies (that’s an abbreviation of pommes frites, not an Australian insult to their British cousins). Typically served off the back of a truck, where I was in Hessen the choice of topping was rotweiss (red and white), i.e., with ketchup and mayonnaise. That always seemed like overkill to me, but I came to appreciate the white part and now prefer my French fries with mayo; I understand that’s how the Dutch and Flemish like it.

Feb 16, 2020 - 5:36:47 AM
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14605 posts since 12/2/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Remsleep

Typically served off the back of a truck, where I was in Hessen the choice of topping was rotweiss (red and white), i.e., with ketchup and mayonnaise. That always seemed like overkill to me, but I came to appreciate the white part and now prefer my French fries with mayo; I understand that’s how the Dutch and Flemish like it.


Back in the early Aughts I did a project in the Sauerland region of Germany. It was the first (and only) time I actually spent any time in that nation. I liked it a lot.

Except for two things. First, the fact that all music was re-mixed with a techno beat. The first time you hear John Denver's "Take Me Home Country Roads" done thumpah-thumpah style, you start to wonder if the ability to collect auditory cues regarding the world might not be over-rated.

The second thing was fries (chips). Where I was, no ketchup available. No malt vinegar, either (second best option for this 'Murrican). No, the condiment of choice was mayo. Blech.

By the way, this might be the best FF thread ever. I think it should be made a sticky. Who's with me?

Feb 16, 2020 - 5:52:01 AM
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289 posts since 10/9/2017

quote:
Originally posted by eagleisland
quote:
Originally posted by Remsleep

Typically served off the back of a truck, where I was in Hessen the choice of topping was rotweiss (red and white), i.e., with ketchup and mayonnaise. That always seemed like overkill to me, but I came to appreciate the white part and now prefer my French fries with mayo; I understand that’s how the Dutch and Flemish like it.


Back in the early Aughts I did a project in the Sauerland region of Germany. It was the first (and only) time I actually spent any time in that nation. I liked it a lot.

Except for two things. First, the fact that all music was re-mixed with a techno beat. The first time you hear John Denver's "Take Me Home Country Roads" done thumpah-thumpah style, you start to wonder if the ability to collect auditory cues regarding the world might not be over-rated.

The second thing was fries (chips). Where I was, no ketchup available. No malt vinegar, either (second best option for this 'Murrican). No, the condiment of choice was mayo. Blech.

By the way, this might be the best FF thread ever. I think it should be made a sticky. Who's with me?


Complaints about Germanic tastes in popular music should probably have its own dedicated (and long) thread. I can personally attest that their fondness for the thumpa-thumpa goes back a long ways. Perhaps it is related to oompah-oompah or the bracing beat of a Marsch.

But back on topic (sort of), you might change your view of mayo as a condiment if you tried Duke's Mayonnnaise. It's a staple down here in the South and has a lot more acid edge to it than Hellman's or Cain's. When I come up to visit my mother in Boston, I'll occasionally stick a small jar in my luggage for her.

Edited by - Remsleep on 02/16/2020 05:52:42

Feb 16, 2020 - 7:12:24 AM

2466 posts since 4/29/2012
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You do know that it's very quick and easy to make mayonnaise ? Add as much or as little vinegar/mustard/garlic as you want. Mr Hellman may end up in the poor house. But you'll be eating the real thing. I dread to think what they have to add to commercial mayo to make it last forever. My basic recipe is Delia's. I use whatever vegetable oil I happen to have around. Last time was rapeseed. And a decent cold pressed extra virgin olive to finish it off.

Feb 16, 2020 - 8:02:45 AM

mander

USA

4214 posts since 10/7/2007

That depends on where you live. If you live in any of the British Commonwealths, I would say, go ahead and eat both! If you live in Britain proper, and aren't part of the royal family, I suggest moving.The worst food on the planet is in Britain.

Feb 16, 2020 - 8:31:24 AM
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2466 posts since 4/29/2012
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quote:
Originally posted by mander

That depends on where you live. If you live in any of the British Commonwealths, I would say, go ahead and eat both! If you live in Britain proper, and aren't part of the royal family, I suggest moving.The worst food on the planet is in Britain.


I'm guessing that I've eaten more often in the US than you have in the UK. So when I say  that it's easier to get a good meal here than there i'm basing that on fact not received opinion.

Feb 16, 2020 - 10:38:20 AM
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m06

England

8401 posts since 10/5/2006

quote:
Originally posted by mander

That depends on where you live. If you live in any of the British Commonwealths, I would say, go ahead and eat both! If you live in Britain proper, and aren't part of the royal family, I suggest moving.The worst food on the planet is in Britain.


That is such a tired and uninformed cliche.

It depends entirely on the source. And that depends on the person’s local knowledge and access. Traditional British food items such as those mentioned previously and sourced from farm shops or small home-baker stalls or home-cooked are wonderful.

Your silly comment is like me characterising the American diet as the franchised garbage served up on the neon -signed strip into every US  town. An insipid McDonald pap-burger is not representative at all of the burgers my American friends have grilled for me themselves. A comparison and difference that an American above any nationality on the planet is daily culturally exposed to. And a person  who lives in a franchised glasshouse really shouldn’t throw stones. 

Edited by - m06 on 02/16/2020 10:41:03

Feb 16, 2020 - 12:00 PM

1264 posts since 4/22/2018

quote:
Originally posted by mander

That depends on where you live. If you live in any of the British Commonwealths, I would say, go ahead and eat both! If you live in Britain proper, and aren't part of the royal family, I suggest moving.The worst food on the planet is in Britain.


Wow, I didn't have you down as either narrow minded or prone to sweeping generalisations.

every day is a school day I suppose!

Edited by - Wet Spaniel on 02/16/2020 12:07:55

Feb 16, 2020 - 12:15:10 PM
Players Union Member

Brian T

Canada

16273 posts since 6/5/2008

Chips = French Fries = potatoes. Terribly conservative. Do try again.

You need to use carrots, parsnips, beet root, turnips, and yams/sweet potatoes.
They cook just the same. These really shine with good mayo and salt.

I have not been to Britain very often. The food has never been a disappointment.
Serious ethnic diversity and stay out of the franchises.
Maybe, just maybe, the mutton in post war places has taken some time to wear off.

Feb 16, 2020 - 12:36:52 PM
Players Union Member

Chris Meakin

Australia

2777 posts since 5/15/2011

quote:
Originally posted by AndrewD
quote:
Originally posted by Chris Meakin
quote:
Originally posted by AndrewD
quote:
Originally posted by Chris Meakin

Oh, he hasn't been deported to the colonies (yet), he still lives in the UK. It's just been getting lots of media airplay the past few days here.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/food/10930256/bloke-eating-fish-and-chips-wrong-sparks-debate/

Probably worth keeping the thread light-hearted. I did wonder if he was being serious, and that's how he and his social circle have always eaten fried fish, or he was just taking the p***.


Well if you'd told us this came from The Sun (rolls eyes) we'd have taken it with a bigger pinch of salt than the one we put on our chips.


It was originally in The Guardian, but lots of the media seem to have picked it up.

https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&ei=AmVIXoHDHKOb4-EPrqWzqA4&q=grace+dent+guardian+food+critic+fish+batter&oq=grace+dent+guardian+food+critic+fish+batter&gs_l=psy-ab.3...48407.51060..52009...0.0..0.209.2333.1j14j1......0....1..gws-wiz.......33i10.2kzQtpYZnAg&ved=0ahUKEwiBzKO6wtTnAhWjzTgGHa7SDOUQ4dUDCAo&uact=5

 


No it wasn't. It was a throwaway on Twitter by the Guardian's Saturday restaurant critic. The actual article had  a photo of a plate of properly battered F&C with mushy peas and a pot of curry sauce. It had some good things to say, especially the fact that they taste better when they've been carried around a bit in paper and the salt and vinegar have soaked into the chips. Perfect takeaway food. I hpe you've seen enough evidence from London and Yorkshire, among others, eating the fish with the batter is the norm. The only exception seems to be some benighted hellhole in the Black Country


Why the rancour? It was just a simple question I posed in the first place, and fairly simple/innocent statements since.

Edited by - Chris Meakin on 02/16/2020 12:40:07

Feb 16, 2020 - 12:40:35 PM

conic

England

712 posts since 2/15/2014

I agree in my opinion the british food is poor and cornish pasty is more pap than a mcdonalds burger , you can get very good italian and pakistani food though.
London is also an exception but not considered british anymore. Fish and chips is good but very rare will you find a quality one.
I have been to west coast usa a few times and the food was outstanding

Feb 16, 2020 - 12:52:59 PM
Players Union Member

Brian T

Canada

16273 posts since 6/5/2008

Yes, Conic, it is. All the coastal states, CA, OR & WA have everything imaginable.

Very effective strategy in Vancouver, British Columbia, also.
Just get down on Commercial Drive and take your pick!
For 6 years, I had monthly business meetings in Vancouver.
The word gets around. You learn. No guess-work about meals.

Feb 16, 2020 - 2:10:23 PM

14605 posts since 12/2/2005

Nice bomb tossed there, Sally.

I'm not exactly a world traveler, but I have traveled around the US, Canada, the Caribbean and Europe. Here's what I've found:

1) I haven't yet visited a place where I didn't find something regionally unique, wonderful, delicious, and that I despaired finding again unless I returned to the place or learned to make it myself.

2) I haven't yet visited a place where I didn't find something I wouldn't order again at gunpoint.

I've had some fabulous meals in the UK. Even humble dishes like steak and kidney pie in a pub are damned tasty - and to an American, quite unusual. The Indian/Pakistani food is to die for - vastly superior to anyplace I've found here in the States.

I'll pass on British breakfasts, though.

Edited by - eagleisland on 02/16/2020 14:11:21

Feb 16, 2020 - 2:15:44 PM
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Banjo Lefty

Canada

1797 posts since 6/19/2014

I've had fish & chips in Britain many times. It's almost always good, sometimes great. The best dish I had was at the restaurant in the Tate Modern in Liverpool, and the portion was enormous -- double what I got anywhere else.

But . . . sorry to all you Brits. The very best fish and chips I have ever had is right here in Winnipeg, Manitoba, made with locally caught Manitoba pickerel. Light, crunchy batter, sweet fish, good tartar sauce, and extra crispy fries, my personal preference. You need to take the next plane over and try some.

And now you've made me hungry.

Feb 16, 2020 - 2:16:39 PM

2466 posts since 4/29/2012
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by Chris Meakin
quote:
Originally posted by AndrewD
quote:
Originally posted by Chris Meakin
quote:
Originally posted by AndrewD
quote:
Originally posted by Chris Meakin

Oh, he hasn't been deported to the colonies (yet), he still lives in the UK. It's just been getting lots of media airplay the past few days here.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/food/10930256/bloke-eating-fish-and-chips-wrong-sparks-debate/

Probably worth keeping the thread light-hearted. I did wonder if he was being serious, and that's how he and his social circle have always eaten fried fish, or he was just taking the p***.


Well if you'd told us this came from The Sun (rolls eyes) we'd have taken it with a bigger pinch of salt than the one we put on our chips.


It was originally in The Guardian, but lots of the media seem to have picked it up.

https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&ei=AmVIXoHDHKOb4-EPrqWzqA4&q=grace+dent+guardian+food+critic+fish+batter&oq=grace+dent+guardian+food+critic+fish+batter&gs_l=psy-ab.3...48407.51060..52009...0.0..0.209.2333.1j14j1......0....1..gws-wiz.......33i10.2kzQtpYZnAg&ved=0ahUKEwiBzKO6wtTnAhWjzTgGHa7SDOUQ4dUDCAo&uact=5

 


No it wasn't. It was a throwaway on Twitter by the Guardian's Saturday restaurant critic. The actual article had  a photo of a plate of properly battered F&C with mushy peas and a pot of curry sauce. It had some good things to say, especially the fact that they taste better when they've been carried around a bit in paper and the salt and vinegar have soaked into the chips. Perfect takeaway food. I hpe you've seen enough evidence from London and Yorkshire, among others, eating the fish with the batter is the norm. The only exception seems to be some benighted hellhole in the Black Country


Why the rancour? It was just a simple question I posed in the first place, and fairly simple/innocent statements since.


No rancour intended. Just pointng out that the very lazy end of the Britush press have taken an off the cuff tweet in response to a false assertion by a single idiot , pretended it somehow qualifies as news  and blown it up waaaay beyond what it deserves.  Now if you want to see real rancour you should read my unsent post responding to @conic and his veiled racist assertion that "London is...not considered british anymore"

Feb 16, 2020 - 2:22:54 PM

1264 posts since 4/22/2018

quote:
Originally posted by Banjo Lefty

I've had fish & chips in Britain many times. It's almost always good, sometimes great. The best dish I had was at the restaurant in the Tate Modern in Liverpool, and the portion was enormous -- double what I got anywhere else.

But . . . sorry to all you Brits. The very best fish and chips I have ever had is right here in Winnipeg, Manitoba, made with locally caught Manitoba pickerel. Light, crunchy batter, sweet fish, good tartar sauce, and extra crispy fries, my personal preference. You need to take the next plane over and try some.

And now you've made me hungry.


Don't apologise Lefty, good food should be celebrated wherever it occurs - I've never heard of a pickerel...... I'm just about to look that up.

Feb 16, 2020 - 2:41:55 PM

conic

England

712 posts since 2/15/2014

haha, put a sock in it, its just a banjo forum talking about fast food.

Feb 16, 2020 - 2:42:22 PM
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Brian T

Canada

16273 posts since 6/5/2008

Pickerel = walleye. Depends upon which school you went to.
It's as good as freshwater fish gets. Bar none.
Burbot/ling/lawyer would be a close second.
Nearest oceanic species for taste? Probably Pacific halibut.

I run an oil mix at 380F for each big handful of seasoned fries/chips.
A toss in seasoned flour is useful.
From my testings, cook 3 minutes and 30 seconds by the clock.

Feb 16, 2020 - 4:22:24 PM

529 posts since 11/21/2018

We have a local Pasties/MeatPie place who's owner was raised in the copper mining country in Minnesota (with some time in Wisconsin) and she told us that the Pasties/meat pies were eaten very carefully by the minors from their lunch pails and would throw the outside edge crusts away due to the possibility of arsenic dust on their fingers. It's even written as "lore" in her menu/literature.

Feb 16, 2020 - 5:10:38 PM

bubbalouie

Canada

13413 posts since 9/27/2007

quote:
Originally posted by m06

We should also point out to our non-Brit friends that the once staple, cheap fish and chip meal will now cost you on average around £7 ($9.13 US) per person depending on portion size in a provincial chippy. That is no longer a cheap way to feed a family. And probably way more expensive in London.

As with beer and cider at over £3 a pint, the staple is now a far less frequent option for most folks.


No kidding Mike! Like Don from Vancouver said we pay extra for halibut over cod. We're lucky to get away with fish & chips for two & a couple craft beers each for 80 bucks! 

Feb 16, 2020 - 8:41:22 PM
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bubbalouie

Canada

13413 posts since 9/27/2007

Image result for size of great britain compared to british columbia

I find it funny how you guys in Great Britain look at each other so differently when the borders are so close together! You've been been feuding for thousands of years in that part of the world.

This is our Province of B.C. overlaid on the map. That's only one of them. Maybe you need some elbow room. smiley

Feb 16, 2020 - 9:00:08 PM
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Players Union Member

Brian T

Canada

16273 posts since 6/5/2008

Yup. BC is bigger than the UK, Japan and New Zealand.
A great deal of it is crown land, yours to explore.

Keep this a secret, OK?
In an earlier post, I explained why fish batters (chicken, too) are made with corn flour, not wheat flour. Fact. Read all the labels.
If you're after a "light and crispy" breaded coating style for fish or chicken, maybe cordon bleu, you use smashed corn flakes, NOT bread crumb.

I do seasoned wheat flour, then an egg wash, then heavily seasoned 1/2 crushed corn flakes and 1/2 raw sesame seeds. Fish, grouse, chicken, pork schnitzel = just change the herbs & spices.
Lie through your teeth and claim it's done with bread crumb. BS. Use corn flakes.
It's exactly the same issue with the starch hydration. Read McGee.

Feb 17, 2020 - 2:21:08 AM
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1264 posts since 4/22/2018

quote:
Originally posted by bubbalouie

Image result for size of great britain compared to british columbia

I find it funny how you guys in Great Britain look at each other so differently when the borders are so close together! You've been been feuding for thousands of years in that part of the world.

This is our Province of B.C. overlaid on the map. That's only one of them. Maybe you need some elbow room. smiley

 


It's just (mostly) friendly banter Bob. I have a very good friend who is a Lancastrian - from the country adjacent to my beloved Yorkshire and the 'banter' is all very friendly but sometimes quite near to the knuckle. The houses of  Lancaster and York were at war many years ago.  I'd love to try some of that elbow room, I've only ever been to Whistler and would love to explore the real Canada 

Feb 17, 2020 - 5:00:28 AM
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289 posts since 10/9/2017

British food’s bad rap stems from two sources: war-time austerity, which lasted well into the 50s and the effects of which lingered on for decades; and French prejudice. Millions of GIs were exposed to British cuisine at its lowest point since the Plague and brought their tales of terror home with them.

Britain started rediscovering its foodways in 70s and by the 80s, when I was first there, the restaurant revival was in full swing, aided and abetted by ethnic cuisines. These days, it’s pretty easy to find really good food in London; in the provinces you have to know where you’re going; walk into a random pub for lunch and it’s a crapshoot, although you’re far more likely to roll a seven these days. It’s not as good as Italy or, to be fair, France, but it’s not the nightmare culinary hellscape of a thousand jokes.

All those British dishes that have been mentioned by others can be delicious, although not to everyone’s taste. But I’d cheerfully have haggis for breakfast if I could get it, but hold the baked beans - I’ve never understood that.

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