While we always love to try new seafood dishes to tickle our taste buds, when the UK is asked what their favourite dish is, there’s always one beloved classic that tops the list. Fish and chips are a national institution, and all over the country there are fish and chip traditions as old as the pairing itself.
Whether we are savouring them at the seaside, enjoying them at home or tucking in after a night out - we simply love them. Packed full of nutritious vitamins and minerals, lower in fat and calories than other takeaways, fish and chips ticks all the boxes for a fantastic meal.
Every January, we celebrate the very best in fish and chips with the prestigious national fish and chip awards. Our recently crowned champions – Krispies from Exmouth – were thrilled to have been selected as our overall winners, beating entries from hundreds of shops from across the UK.
Tim and Kelly Barnes from award winning Krispies in Exmouth celebrating the accolade of being announced as the best fish and chip shop in the UK alongside awards host and celebrity chef, Phil Vickery.
So to honour this much-loved seaside favourite, here are our most interesting fish and chip facts to tickle your fancy!
- There are currently in the region of 10,500 specialist fish and chip shops in the UK – from Peterhead to Penzance.
- British consumers eat around 382 million portions of fish and chips every year. That's an average of six servings for every man, woman and child in the country.
- 80% of people in the UK visit a fish and chip shop at least once a year.
- The world's first fish and chip shop is believed to be Malin's, opened in 1860 on Old Ford road, East London. They later moved to different sites in East London, with the business since closing down.
- Health Tip - a portion of fish and chips provides the body with nutritional values that all contribute to a healthy balanced diet including; carbohydrates, vitamins B6 and B12, vitamin C, iron, calcium, phosphorous, as well as the trace elements of iodine, fluorine and zinc.
- The quick frying methods used today and the high quality oils used by most fish and chip shops, mean that very little oil, if any, gets into the actual fish.
- The total fat content of an average portion of fish and chips is estimated to be 48.2g. A cheese, ham and mayonnaise sandwich has 51.98g fat and a kebab and chips can have 57.74g!
- 22% of people visit fish and chip shops every week with Friday still being one of the most popular days during the week.
- 56% of people buy fish and chips to eat in the home as a family meal – picking it up as a takeaway.
We conducted a consumer survey alongside our partners at NEODA, the NFFF and FASFA to find out how the UK like their fish and chips.
With regional traditions and tastes from all over the UK we asked, ‘how do you eat yours?’
Whether you like to add salt, ketchup, gravy or curry sauce – or whether you have yours with pickled onions or mushy peas – we found that Belfast comes out on top with the highest amount of fish and chips being eaten in the city.
How you choose to eat your fish and chips might depend on where you are from. Our research uncovered some interesting facts about one of the nation’s favourites – to see more fantastic facts about how different cities in the UK enjoy their fish and chips, take a look at How Do You Eat Yours?
Looking to try the takeaway with a home-cooked twist? You can also cook up tasty fish and chips at home, with our cook-along video. Make sure you share your best dishes with us on social media with #fishisthedish.