Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland

"Fish and Chips" Still the Tops

Niagara I & III for the best Fish and Chips in the country, serving our customers for over 55 years

GREAT news from the British Potato Council (BPC) as we prepare to celebrate National Chip Week (February 11-17,2002).

Fish and chips is the UK's favourite takeaway, and what's more it is significantly lighter in fat and calories than it's Indian and Chinese rivals and half the price.

In a new survey for the BPC, 41% named cod and chips as their favourite takeaway, while chicken tikka and pilau rice scored just 21% and sweet and sour pork with egg fried rice polled only 15%.

Government statistics show the average weekly consumption of ethnic foods is 31g per person, compared to 62g of chips per person each week.

The British Nutrition Foundation confirms that an average portion of fish and chips contains 20.6g of fat - that's almost three times less fat than an Indian dish of chicken tikka masala and pilau rice, which is loaded with a staggering 59.9g fat.

A Chinese takeaway of sweet and sour pork with egg fried rice weighs in with 38.6g fat - nearly double the content of fish and chips.

Fish and chips win the calorie count. On average a bag of fish and chips contains 396.8 kcal whereas chicken tikka masala has over double the calorie content (1064kcal) and sweet and sour pork has 516 kcal.. and remember that is before you have added the naan breads, poppadums and prawn toasts!

Not only is the fish and chip takeaway kinder to your figure than an Indian or Chinese but also easier on your pocket.

A takeaway portion of fish and chips costs an average of �3.00. Chicken tikka masala and pilau rice sets you back about �7, while sweet and sour pork with egg fried rice averages �7.50. Both are more than double the cost of the fish and chip shop choice.

The recommended daily fat allowance is 95g for a man and 70g for a woman.

Fish and chips have 20.6g fat, so a portion can easily be enjoyed as part of a healthy balanced diet. However, chicken tikka masala and pilau rice (59.9g fat) will almost swallow your whole daily allowance in just one evening meal.

Kathryn Race, Marketing Manager of the British Potato Council says, "When compared to the other takeaway meals, fish and chips are the all round winners and our findings will go a along way in dismissing the myth that chips are bad for you."

The Secret of the Prefect Chip!

HERE in the UK we have an on-going love affair with chips, munching through 22,000 tonnes a week, so they won't e out of-place on a Valentine's Day menu - National Chip Week runs through February 11-17,2002.

One in three of all British potatoes consumed is eaten as chips.

Oven chips can be found in more and more shopping trolleys, but fresh chips are still prepared at home by 44 per cent of housewives, according to new research by the British Potato Council (BPC).

The findings also show that most  people (44 per cent) still use a traditional chip pan, while 34 per cent use a deep-fat fryer.

The good news for all those secret chip eaters is chips don't have to be fattening!

Some frozen chips contain less than five per cent fat. Thick chips absorb  less oil than thin ones, making them the healthier choice.

Celebrity chef and renowned' chip aficionado, Brian Turner, devised a recipe that virtually guarantees the perfect chip every, time.

There five simple but crucial steps.:

1. First the chipped potatoes must be soaked in cold water to remove excessive starch.

2. Then they should be drained and patted completely dry with a clean tea towel - essential for a crisp finish.

3. The third step is blanching, the chips are fried at 170�C for 4-6 minutes and lifted out just as they start to colour.

4. The heat is raised to 190�C and the chips are plunged back into the oil for a further 2-3 minutes until golden brown.

5, Finally, drain the chips on absorbent paper and season lightly with salt.

Selecting the right variety of potato is a crucial for creating the perfect chip, and King Edward reigns supreme.

Like other favourite chipping varities, including Maris Piper the (chip shops' favourite), Cara, Wilja, Saxon, Maris Peer, Desiree, Sante, Pentland Dell and Fianna, it is tasty, and neither too watery or too high in sugar, which respectively give it a crispy texture and a light golden colour.

The type of cooking oil used tends to be a matter of personal preference, says the British Potato Council, although the correct frying temperature is vital.



However the dish originated, fish and chips is a national favourite, eaten and loved by every generation - in fact its position as the nation's favourite hot take away remains unchallenged, despite the advent of the American burger bar.

The nation's favourite fish is cod, followed by haddock, although there are regional variations. For example, whiting is popular in Northern Ireland and some parts of Scotland and skate and huss are often seen in the south of England.

In 1999, the British consumed nearly 300 million servings of fish and chips - that equates to six servings for every man, woman and child in the country.

Over 4,000 is the record for the largest number of portions sold in one day by an independent fish and chip shop.

Fish and chips have never been more fashionable. London restaurants such as Sir Terence Conran's Le Pont de la Tor and Elizabeth Taylor's favourite, The Dorchester, feature this great British dish on their menus.

Despite the versatility of the chip, fish is far and away our favourite accompaniment for this form of the humble potato.