Traditional Fish and Chips – The Language Professional

Traditional Fish and Chips

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No trip to the beach would be complete without tucking into a traditional fish and chips meal. In this ​article, we'll explore all you need to know about this popular favourite.

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Where can you find fish and chips?

You can order fish and chips to take away in fish and chip shops (often called the chippy in the UK) and chip vans (vehicles where food is cooked and sold from a window). These are commonly seen in towns and villages around the UK, especially seaside towns.

If you want to sit down and eat, you can also find fish and chips at restaurants and pubs that serve food.


KEY LANGUAGE

​v. ​tuck into = to eat
​e.g. John couldn't wait to tuck into his apple pie.
​n. ​batter = to eat
​A mixture of flour, egg and a liquid (e.g. water, milk, beer)​
n.[u.] calamari
​A name for cooked squid. Often served battered.

n.[c.] ​prawns / n.[u.] shrimp
Prawns and shrimp are more or less the same, but some places use different words for different sizes.

Calamari rings

Prawns / shrimp

How is it cooked?

The fish is covered in batter before it is deep fried, giving it a crispy, golden coat. As such, it’s usually written on menus as ‘battered fish’. The chips, and many common side dishes, are also deep fried. This is not the dish for you if you're on a diet!

How is it served?

The fish is often served with a slice of lemon and/or tartare sauce - a white sauce containing herbs and vegetables. The British often add salt, vinegar and tomato ketchup to chips for flavour. These additions are often available free of charge, though some restaurants and chip shops charge a fee for sauces.

Traditionally, fish and chips w​​as wrapped in newspaper when bought from a local chip shop. Nowadays, it's generally served in white paper. A chip shop worker may ask you if you want your meal 'open' or 'wrapped', giving you a choice over whether you ​are going to eat now or later.

Battered onion rings are a popular side dish

What kind of fish is used?

Countries tend to use fish that comes from local sources. In the UK, it’s common to see cod, haddock or plaice on the menu. Australia often serves rock cod, flake (or ‘gummy shark'’), snapper or barramundi. In the US, cod, halibut or tilapia are popular.

It’s also common to see seafood like calamari and prawns / shrimps as alternatives to the traditional fish. If you're a seafood lover, look out for 'seafood basket' or 'fisherman's basket' deals, which usually include a range of seafood and chips.

Mad about fish and chips?

Are you a fan of fish and chips? Can't stand it? Share your thoughts and experiences by leaving a comment below.

  • Avatar Jola says:

    Mm..such a delicious article !. It made me hungry which isn’t the best idea because it’s midnight – sharp! And I brushed my teeth already;) but I can do it again every cloud….

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