Along with London buses, bowler hats and cricket, few things are considered more British than fish and chips. In this book, Panikos Panayi unwraps the origins, history and identity of Britain's most popular take-away. Fish and Chips investigates the origins of fish and potato eating in Britain, describes the meal's creation during the nineteenth century and explores the series of techlogical and ecomic developments that changed its component foods into items of mass consumption. It describes the height of the dish's popularity in the early twentieth century, and how it has come to remain a favourite today despite new contenders for the title of Britain's national dish. Fish and Chips also explores the connection with issues of class and identity; despite being a table culinary symbol of Britain, the dish has far more extensive ethnic affiliations. Fried fish was widely consumed by immigrant Jews before spreading to the English working classes in the early nineteenth century, and by the twentieth century other migrant communities such as Italians played a leading role in the fish-and-chip trade.Brimming with facts, anecdotes and historical and modern images, Fish and Chips will appeal to all interested in the story behind one of the world's most iconic and popular meals.
Panikos Panayi is Professor of European History at De Montfort University, Leicester, and the author of Spicing Up Britain: The Multicultural History of British Food (Reaktion, 2008).