A noted staple in many restaurants serving Western cuisine, Fish & Chips have long won a spot in our hearts with its crispy, golden pieces of fish covered in batter all served with a side dish of deep fried potato strips.
But did you know how this delightful combination came about? It might come as a surprise to many that initially the chips were first introduced as a substitute for fish during the winter months, rather than as its sidekick.
Traditionally believed to have roots steeped in British origins, this classic duo first appeared in Victorian England and has been a regular favourite in England ever since. If you have the chance, try traveling to England and you can find a neighbourhood chippy around every corner.
As everyone knows, the British and American English language has different ways of calling the same items, for example, jumper and sweater, cookies and biscuits, jam and jelly. Now, chips are essentially known to Americans as fries, or rather French fries. This term is taken from pom mes frites as it is known in Belgium, the birthplace of today’s modern French fries.
I guess we all have to thank the Belgians for introducing these delicious deep fried spud fingers all of us have grown to know and love (not to mention adding quite a bit to unfortunate waistlines!). So, it stands to reason that Americans would conveniently try to rename this English staple when it was brought to the States.
Of course, it is not so easy to rename what is essentially an iconic British dish, which is associated with England just as soon as its name is mentioned. Perhaps the Americans sensed this, and decided to keep its age-old name of Fish & Chips. At least British expats on American soil can feel right at home when ordering their favourite food from their homeland.
But why doesn’t the rest of the English speaking countries called it Fish & Fries then? Well, if you still remember from the history lessons you were forced given the opportunity to learn, England was a force to be reckoned with back in those days. The majority of the English speaking countries currently have been under the influence of British rule, thus their language reflects this as well, as opposed to American style English.
So, there you have it, now it’s time to find a good chippy around your area and tuck in to a good old-fashioned meal of Fish & Chips.
Top Image: norikko / Shutterstock.com
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