Social History Wrapped in Newspaper
It helped us defeat the Nazis, Winston Churchill called it "the good companion" and we nearly went to war with Iceland over it. That's how important fish and chips has been to the great British public.
This most famous of all fast foods remains remarkably consistent since it first became popular in the middle of the 19th century. And its success in the face of competition of curry houses, Chinese takeaways, pizza parlours and American burger joints, is in no small way due to the fact that it has, down the years, remained reliable, dependable, unchanging through the generations. Let us make no mistake, in cod we most definitely trust.
Argument rages to this day about whether John Lees, a Manchester shop owner from whom people bought fried fish to eat in the street, or Mallin's, a seller of chipped potatoes in the East End of London, was the first to combine the two dishes. Records suggest both started selling fish with chips in the 1860s. "These were two completely different traditions," says social historian John Walton. "It is in a way a union of north and south, so it is entirely fitting that fish and chips should be a worldwide emblem of Britishness.
Mr Walton, whose books include Fish And Chips And The Working Classes, adds a fascinating dimension to the latest cookery programme on the BBC menu, Ever Wondered About Food? Each week chef Alan Coxon shows how to prepare a popular dish while scientist Kathy Sykes explains what happens to the ingredients. And each programme is seasoned with a history of the …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Social History Wrapped in Newspaper. Contributors: Not available. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: April 2, 2002. Page number: 4. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.