National Dishes of England
National Dishes of England: Fish and Chips, Roast Beef and Yorkshire pudding
English food has gotten a bad reputation. It’s been labeled bland, overcooked, and under seasoned. True? Consider the two dishes that we spotlight here: fish and chips (fries) and roast beef. These are two of the most popular dishes, in various forms, in Europe and America. So what gives?
Fish and Chips
Fish has never been a problem for a country that is completely surrounded by water and traversed by streams, rivers, and lakes. Fish and chips is one of those ideas that is so simple, so good, that it is hard to believe that no one had thought of it before Victorian times. That’s right; fish and chips didn’t officially merge until an enterprising London cook opened the first fish and chip shop in the early 1860’s.
The fish in fish and chips is usually some type of mild white-fleshed fish. Popular choices include cod and haddock, but it location may dictate another plentiful local variety. The chips are potatoes, cut a bit thicker than American or French fries. The fish is battered and fried, usually in vegetable oil. (Lard is traditional but harder to come by in many areas.) A sprinkle of salt and maybe a dash of vinegar or lemon completes the simple dish. Some may also add a bit of curry sauce, chili sauce, or brown gravy.