There are two things we really love in Britain. One is a National Day – seriously, there seems to be a national day for everything now - and the other is fish and chips.
So, it stands to reason that there is a National fish and chip day, which happens to be this week on 1 June. We’ll obviously be eating fish and chips to commemorate this monumental occasion, but as a nation we’re pretty opinionated when it comes to our orders…
Let’s start with the big one…what’s the appropriate side order to have with your fish and chips? Mushy peas might be the choice that springs to mind for many, but depending on where you are in the country, you might be more likely to find people dunking their chips into gravy or curry sauce. If you’re going slightly more upmarket you can throw tartare sauce into the mix too.
“Do you want scraps on your chips?” For a lot of you it might be a no brainer, of COURSE you want extra bits of batter on your chips, but opinion is definitely divided. Given they’re pretty unhealthy, some people seem disgusted at the thought of them. And don’t get anyone started on what to actually call them - some places say scraps, others say scrumps or bits and that’s to name just a few. Then there’s the added complexity of whether you need to ask for them or not, some chippies don’t offer them and some dump them on before even asking. It’s a minefield.
How do you eat yours? Are you part of the camp that think they taste better when you eat them directly out of the paper with a wooden chip fork, or do you like to make it a more civilised experience by using a plate and actual cutlery? There is something about eating them out of the paper that feels quintessentially British, probably because it brings back memories of eating them like this at the seaside (in the car, because it’s raining, obviously).
Fish and chips need to come with lashings of salt and vinegar, that’s a given. But which one do you put on first? And – controversial – does it actually make a difference? Some people would argue that traditionally, salt should go on first; however others say adding vinegar first helps salt stick to your chips. There are even some that think you don’t need salt and vinegar on your fish and chips. No, we don’t understand that either.
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to fish and chips, but the fact that people get so passionate about how they should be eaten just show how much we love them in the UK.
Happy National fish and chip day everyone!