Posted on February 25th, 2017
Posted on January 14th, 2020
Pie and Mash – or Fish and Chips?
Two classic food combinations that have been enjoyed by the great British public for generations.
Winston Churchill termed fish and chips ‘the good companions’. And who can resist the proposition of moist white fish encased in crispy batter alongside fluffy hot chips? Like pie and mash this tasty fast food option helped to sustain the masses throughout two World Wars. In fact, during WWII ministers made sure this was one food that wouldn’t be rationed.
The history of fish and chips
It’s said that potato chips may have been invented as a substitute for fish. When the rivers froze over in 17th Century Belgium resourceful housewives turned to potatoes instead, cutting them into fish shapes and frying them. Fried fish, on the other hand, is believed to have been introduced to Britain by Jewish immigrants arriving from Spain and Portugal.
Both pies and fried fish were popular street foods
In Victorian times street sellers carried fish on trays around their necks just as pie-sellers plied their trade, loaded up with a huge tray of pies on their heads.
Eel, pie, and mash shops started around the same time as fish and chip shops
Pie and mash shops started to pop up in London during the latter part of the 19th century, as did the first fish and chip shops. In ‘Oliver Twist’ Charles Dickens refers to an early fish shop where fish was often served with bread or potatoes.
When it comes to the fish and chips we know and love today it’s believed Northern business owner John Lees was the first to sell them together. In 1863 he opened a wooden hut at Mossley Market in Lancashire – said to be the very first official fish and chip shop.
Unless you believe other sources, that is, that cite Jewish immigrant Joseph Malin as the owner of the first shop, in East London circa 1860.
Fish and chips served differently – but still delicious
Hygiene concerns meant out went the traditional old newspaper fish and chips wrapping in the 1980s. Nowadays fish and chips are now more often served in cardboard ‘newspaper ‘cones, in boxes or wrapped in greaseproof paper.
Most people still enjoy the traditional salt and malt vinegar accompaniments, along with mushy peas. Others prefer theirs with curry sauce or gravy.
Fish and chips, along with pie and mash may not top the charts as the nation’s favourite takeaways – currently this accolade has been taken by the Chinese and Indian takeaway. But they’ve both been an enduring part of the British culinary landscape for over 150 years – and it’s difficult to top that.
With two new fish and chip shops licensed to sell Arment’s pie and mash you don’t have to choose between your two favourite meals. Thanks to our fabulous new licensed re-seller in Bexley, Ocean Fresh. Arment’s delicious pies, mash and liquor are available in the shop six days a week, alongside their own delicious fish and chips. And in Biggin Hill in Kent we also have a licensed outlet – Tom Bell Fish and Chips welcome ex-Londoners who miss our pie and mash and invite locals to try out London’s most authentic fast food.
At Arment’s we’re constantly on the lookout for more top-quality sellers to work with – so watch this space: There could be one coming to a neighbourhood near you soon! In the meantime if you’re yearning for traditional pie, mash and liquor served Arment’s way why not visit our website and order yourself a pie box online. It’s quicker and easier than ever to get our delicious freshly cooked pies delivered direct to your door.
Why not give someone you love a gift of the flavour of London with your personalised gift message…or even treat yourself!
Posted on February 25th, 2017