Fish and Chips

On average each year, over 250 million fish and chip shop meals (featuring fish) were sold throughout the UK, proving that UK’s fish and chip shops are still the nation’s favourite hot take-away outlet.

  • The record for the most portions of fish and chips sold by an independent fish and chip shop in one day is over 4,000.
  • On a Friday in the UK, 20% of meals purchased outside the home are from a fish and chip shop.
  • Fish and chips have a third less calories than the other popular takeaways, and represents just 30% of a female’s recommended calorie intake and 23% of a male’s. It also has a massive 42% less fat than a doner kebab and a third less than a Whopper Meal from Burger King.
  • As far back as 1838 Charles Dickens wrote about fried fish warehouses in the classic novel ‘Oliver Twist’. These warehouses acted as the forerunner to fish and chip shops – but the partner to fish wasn’t the traditional chip as we see today, but either bread or baked potatoes. The fish was sold by street vendors who carried the goods in trays hung around their necks. The fish was purchased cold for about a penny a portion.
  • The first fish and chip shop is thought to have been opened in Mossley, near Oldham, in 1863, although there are claims for one in London that opened in 1860.
  • Fish and chips was the only take-away food not to be rationed during the Second World War. Frederick Lord Woolton, Minister of Food at the time, even allowed mobile frying vans to carry fish and chips to evacuees around the country.
  • Originally, most fish and chips were fried in beef dripping – nowadays a variety of oils are used to satisfy the needs of a discerning public.
  • In the early part of the 20th Century, the average wage was such that a portion of fish and chips with mushy peas at 6d was affordable for the working class – this would add vital protein and vitamins to the usual diet of bread, dripping, tea and condensed milk.
  • The world’s biggest ever portion of fish and chips was cooked in Hull during Seafood Week, October 2002. The fillet, which measured 34 in long and 14 in wide, weighed 28 pounds and 1 ounce, beating the previous world record by two pounds.