In Appreciation of Fish N' Chips
fish n' chips
Friday nights were special as I was growing up. Friday nights were fish n’ chips night. My father would drive to a small, local restaurant. Located on what was then known as Brown’s Line, called Oly Ann’s. Perhaps, not the most faltering name but the fish n’ chips were marvelous.
Today, I do not eat fish n’ chips that regulallry but when we go to Masiey’s a small restaurant about 100 feet from our front door, I order them. This place makes the best French fries. The potatoes are cut fresh, none of the frozen stuff or reconstituted potatoes shaped into a French fry form.
The fish, halibut, of course, is also pretty good. As the food is served, my memory wanders back to the days when I went to Oly Ann’s with dad to pick up the family dinner. It was a special time just the two of us, out together.
How did fish and chips become such a popular dish? Some credit Sir Walter Raleigh with introducing the potato into England; however, others dispute this claim.
Others, quote John Gerard, author of the 1597 work Herball, was says that a C. Clusius first grew potatoes in Italy in 1585, and their popularity quickly spread throughout England and the Continent.
It is thought that the first fish n’ chip shop in England opened in Oldham, Lancashire around 1863.
Regardless of the truth of how fish n’ chips came into being, they are one of the foods that connect me to my past each and every time I eat them.
French fries or chips are the perfect delivery vehicle for vinegar and deep fried fish serves the same role for tartar sauce. Now I am not a big fan of tartar sauce and only dip the odd piece of fish in it, preferring just black pepper or black pepper and vinegar to season the fish. But the tartar sauce provides a distinct contrast to the vinegar and this makes the meal varied and simply delicious.
Saint Georges’s Day is England’s national day, and the story of how Saint George killed the dragon may well be the best know legend concerning this saint; however, I will always remember England fondly for assisting in the popularization of that tasty and memory laden meal, fish n’ chips.
It is nearly lunch time, I do believe that today is a good day to take a short walk to the corner restaurant for a feed of good old English style fish n’ chips.