Saturday, 3 January 2009

Fish and Chip shops

I know that Fish and Chip shops are a very British thing so I thought I'd try and explain them to those of you who are not familiar.

The chipshop as they are commonly known is our traditional fast food and every town has at least one, though these days they compete with pizza, kebab, chinese and many others..

The standard fare on offer is chips obviously, fries to some of you but never thin cut which is what we would call french fries, chips are always cut a good fairly chunky size then deep fried. A good chip shop has nice crisp chips with fluffy middles. Traditionally the frying oil is beef dripping though many now use vegetable oil which of course allows you to sell to vegetarians but some will tell you the flavour isn't the same, personally I think the frying technique is more important than the oil.

Along with chips there is of course fish, always in batter. A chip shop batter is quite thick and puffed up and most people would not try to emulate it at home. This is out of bounds for us gluten free people so I have tried with some success to make my own, though it is a bit variable. What type of fish it will be varies though cod is the norm. Certainly in more coastal shops you often get a choice, traditionally cod, place or haddock though these days some are branching out or just specifying fish so they can use some of the tasty but less over fished varieties.

If you want something different the other things normally sold include breaded fishcakes, saveloy sausages, big battered sausages, and roast chicken portions. Steak or chicken and mushroom pies are normal too. It is very common these days for them to also sell doner and chicken kebab meat as well.

There are also regional specialities like potato scallops, deep fried roast potatoes, deep fried Mars bars (a Scottish 'delicacy') and even deep fried black pudding. We have cheese jacks in ours which are flavoured mashed potato, coated in a thin batter then deep fried and they have just started doing battered chips too !

Most of these come served wrapped in paper and liberally doused in salt and vinegar (normally malt or a pretend version there of) which you can then eat as you walk along.

There are a few extras that are normal to have on the side. These include mushy peas, curry sauce, pickled eggs, pickled onions and you can normally get little jars of pickled cockles too.

As you can see most things are deep fried and heavrly potato based often in batter which is a problem for celiacs. In all truth i probably shouldn't even eat the chips as there is going to be some cross contamination from the batter but I seem to manage though these new batter chips are making me rather nervous as that has got to up the chances.

1 comment:

  1. Esther, this fish and chip shop claims to be able to do gluten-free fish and ships It may be a little far from home though! I'm hoping to speak to them soon and, if it's the case that they are fully gluten-free fish and chips, get them listed on the website soon. Kate