Fish and chips is in some ways the English national dish, and I love it. But there are some important considerations about fish and chips that you have to bear in mind. Personally I think mushy peas are a very important ingredient. And then we have controversial salt and vinegar situation.
There is no question for me. I believe the only option is to have both; adding the vinegar first and the salt second. Some people will tell you that you want the vinegar second so that it soaks the salt in. Nonsense! The vinegar washes the salt off. No question. And that’s just wasting salt. People don’t die in salt mines just so you can waste some of their hard mined salt!*
I like mushy peas but it’s easy to go too far with them. My friend fourstar and I can no longer eat in a certain pub after fourstar demanded peas with menaces.**
But most recently a plate of fish and chips got me in even more trouble. I was out at the pub with a bunch of Formula One related friends from sidepodcast. One of them ordered fish and chips and then I was hooked (sadly that pun was intentional). I decide I needed a plate for myself.
A short while later the food arrived. But due to overcrowding, my plate of fish and chips was hiding a terrible secret. Under half of the plate is a table, just as you would expect, but under the other half of the plate is simple fresh air.
I carefully unwrap my knife and fork from their napkiny delivery blanket. I take the fork and gently cut some of the fish away from the main body. Then I stab the chunk I have created and a the plate goes for it. It makes the suicidal leap onto my lap. For a moment I foolishly try to keep everything together on my lap before the oily fish slips down my right leg to its destiny.
I collect everything back together on the plate. I decide I probably can’t be trusted with anything more. A short while later our waitress returns to ask if everything is okay. She notices that I don’t seem to have touched mine.
“Ah, yes,” I say, “I accidentally dropped mine on the floor. I think it’s probably ruined my trousers.”
“Would you prefer something else less dangerous?”
“What do you have?”, I ask.
“A packet of crisps?”
I decided that while a packet of crisps would be less dangerous, the moment had passed.
* Unless of course you spill some salt in which case you must throw more salt over your shoulder to stop dragons from coming and eating you.
** To be fair, fourstar simply asked them to substitute the vegetables that came with the pie for the peas that came with the fish and the waitress refused. Fourstar said we’d never come back if they didn’t. They didn’t. And we haven’t been back – except once by accident.