United Kingdom: Fish and Chips

Restaurant: Mac’s Fish & Chip Shop
City: Santa Barbara, CA

Mac’s Fish & Chips Shop is a British restaurant that was featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives in 2012. Bumped into this place while walking along State Street!

fish and chips

Whole fillet of premium, sustainable Alaskan Cod cooked to order in a thin, crisp coating of beer batter. There was the option of ordering the fish alone, or with chips and/or sides (mushy peas, baked beans, gravy, curry sauce, coleslaw, buttered bread roll, pickled onions, dill pickle, or battered dill pickle). Tartar sauce was served with the fish, and malt vinegar was available on the table.

The following is a bit of history about fish and chips, from Wikipedia:

Fish and chips is a hot meal of English origin. It consists of battered fish, commonly Atlantic cod or haddock, and deep-fried chips. A common side dish is mushy peas.

Fish and chips became a stock meal among the working classes in the United Kingdom 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, which meant that fresh fish could be rapidly transported to the heavily populated areas. Deep-fried fish was first introduced into Britain during the 17th century by Jewish refugees from Portugal and Spain, and is derived from pescado frito. In 1860, the first fish and chip shop was opened in London by Joseph Malin.

Deep-fried chips (slices or pieces of potato) as a dish may have first appeared in Britain in about the same period: the Oxford English Dictionary notes as its earliest usage of “chips” in this sense the mention in Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities (published in 1859): “Husky chips of potatoes, fried with some reluctant drops of oil”.

The modern fish-and-chip shop (“chippy” or “chipper” in modern British slang) originated in the United Kingdom, although outlets selling fried food occurred commonly throughout Europe. Early fish-and-chip shops had only very basic facilities. Usually these consisted principally of a large cauldron of cooking fat, heated by a coal fire. During World War II, fish and chips remained one of the few foods in the United Kingdom not subject to rationing.

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