Fish and Chips Day
Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day
Today's Musings, History & Folklore
"Fish and chips and vinegar, vinegar, vinegar;
Fish and chips and vinegar,
pepper, pepper, pepper, salt!"
A classic takeaway food, fish and chips first gained popularity in England in the 1860s and quickly became a stable food in English-speaking and Commonwealth countries. Regional variations differ mostly in the fish used and the accompaniments (malt vinegar, brown sauce, mushy peas, pickles, tartar sauce, or even baked beans or curry sauce). In Australia and New Zealand, the words "fish and chips" are often used as a shibboleth to highlight the difference in each country's short-i vowel sound. Australian English has a higher forward sound close to the ee in see (but shorter), while New Zealand English has a lower backward sound akin to the a in Rosa's (but not as in Rosa). Thus, New Zealanders hear Australians say "feesh and cheeps," while Australians hear New Zealanders say "fush and chups." 🐟 🍟 🥔
Fish and Chips Reel
Of English origin, Fish and chips became a stock meal among the working classes in as a consequence of the rapid development of trawl fishing in the North Sea and the development of railways which connected the ports to major industrial cities during the second half of the 19th century, so that fresh fish could be rapidly transported to the heavily populated areas.
The dish became popular in wider circles in London and South East England in the middle of the 19th century - Charles Dickens mentions a "fried fish warehouse" in Oliver Twist, first published in 1838.
Many countries have their own version with regional batter recipes, accompaniments and sauces.
For the dance cribs, click the fish and chips! And for the the list of this year's winners from the National Fish and Chips Contest held in the UK, click the 1900 vintage illustration of "The Fried Fish Shop."