Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Are Our Chippies Being Battered?

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Are Our Chippies Being Battered?

Article excerpt

NEVER before have we had such a diverse range of food available to us. But CHRIS HOLE asks if the influx of foreign cuisine means we are forgetting about a classic British favourite? CHINESE, Indian, Thai, Portugese - our nation's food palette has never been more diverse.

But what of the traditional British fare such as fish and chips? Harry Ramsden's has announced it is set to close its first restaurant after 83 years of business in Guisley, near Leeds. The chain said the branch had been running at a loss - and many have since questioned whether fish and chips have seen their heyday.

A huge increase in food takeaways, supermarket "dine-in" promotions, and a more health-conscious society are reasons given for the reported slide. But are fish and chip shops really taking such a battering? Russell Newsome doesn't agree.

The owner of three fish and chip shops in Redcar and Whitby says the industry is still thriving.

"I think if fish and chips are cooked properly they outshine any Chinese, Indian or any takeout," he said.

"It's a traditional British takeaway. I think there will always be a place in the public's heart for fish and chips."

Alan Jackson runs Small Fry, in Redcar, and Hutton Lane Fish Shop, in Guisborough, with wife Rita.

He says that trade, at the Guisborough shop in particular, is booming and that he has not noticed any change in business. Alan believes that only cooking from a small menu and handling the ingredients properly are the foundations for success.

"You will not beat fish and chips as a meal if it's cooked right," he said. "If you keep a very small menu it's much better.

"We do pork sausages, beef burgers, and fish."

Alan believes the popularity of fish and chips is a regional issue.

He also says that despite the dish being popular on Teesside - few people here choose haddock over cod unlike elsewhere in the UK.

This summer, a major survey by Oxfam found pasta to be the world's favourite food.

In the UK, steak, pasta, and chicken were the top choices. …

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