Copyright © 2007 by"Jim McCulloch"
All Rights reserved
British Customs and Traditions
Fish and Chips
Fish and Chips
Oh that beautiful aroma as you walk past a Fish and Chip Shop in Britain. It is enough to make you walk in and buy some.
But what is it that makes it so British, every country in the World enjoys fish of some sort but Britain’s Fish and Chips is a tradition made so, as only the Brits can do.
In Medieval Britain Town Criers were the chief means of news communication with the people of the town since many could not read or write. Royal Proclamations, local bylaws, market days, adverts, were all proclaimed by a bellman or crier throughout the centuries.
Most cities of Britain had Town Criers and even today these still exist but now are more of a tourist attraction rather than a news bearer.
The first use of criers in the British Isles was said to date back to Norman times, when the cry “oyez, oyez, oyez”, (old French for “hear ye”) was used to draw the attention of the mostly illiterate public to matters of importance.
The saying “don’t shoot the messenger” is thought to have come from Town Crier history as they enjoyed the Kings Protection. When the Crier had read his notice out he would post it onto a local doorway and here lies the origin of “Posting a Notice” It is widely thought that naming a newspaper as the “Post comes from the same concept
Four Cornered Hanky Hat
A real quirky British Tradition has to be the Knotted Handkerchief hat. This wonderful piece of elegant attire was usually worn on a days outing to the beach and was meant to keep the sun (What Sun) from burning ones head.
On visits abroad it is so easy to spot the Brit he is wearing this wonderful hat.
It was probably made most famous by Benny Hill in his TV series. It is only us Brits that wear this form of attire although to be fair it is a dying tradition. It was mainly used by working class men back in the 19th Century.
Who from this era can forget Dad with his four corner hanky hat and trousers legs rolled up paddling in the sea?
In Great Britain, Fish and Chips became a cheap food popular among the working class with the rapid development of trawl fishing in the second half of the nineteenth century. Deep fried chips became popular in Britain about the same time so the marriage was born.
The Chippy as it is popularly known, is one of Britain's deep rooted traditions and has seen many changes over the decades. Fish and Chips used to be deep fried in Beef Fat but with the introduction of vegetable oils and the need for a healthier life style this has almost become extinct.
The "Fish Supper" was also served on a greaseproof sheet of paper then wrapped in newspaper. (yes folks real newspaper). It was great to read while eating but one had to be careful of the news print ink coming off onto
fingers and clothes. The Chippie Assistant folds the paper in such a way as to form a pocket so it is possible
to eat the Fish and Chips while walking home.
Fish and Chip Facts
During the WW2 Fish and Chips was one of the few foods that were not subjected to rationing!
Some areas of Britain, notably Scotland, had Fish and Chip vans touring housing estates selling the suppers. (How many people remember having to go out to the Chip Van to get the family supper and then sit around TV eating a delicious meal of Deep Fried Cod and Chips. Preferably with Salt and Vinegar laced over the top)?
The Italian immigrants to Britain became experts at Fish and Chip cooking and now Chippies sell everything from Fish and Chips to Lasagna to Pizza.
Deep Fried battered Mars Bars are now very popular in Britain.
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