Traditional fish and chips still a hit for Brits

By Lauren Houghton contact

- Last updated on GMT

52 per cent of those surveyed will eat fish and chips straight from the paper
52 per cent of those surveyed will eat fish and chips straight from the paper

Related tags: Fish, Cent, Fish and chips

As The National Fish & Chip Awards draw closer, organiser Seafish has conducted research into fish and chip eating trends throughout the UK, with traditional takeaways and salt and vinegar as a topping popular with customers.

Surveys by YouGov have shown that 87 per cent of Brits are most likely to get their fish and chips from a takeaway, while two thirds of them add salt and vinegar on top. In addition to these traditions, a third of Brits get mushy peas on the side and 52 per cent of those surveyed eat the meal straight from the paper or box it has been served in.

When it came to actually eating the fish and chips, 31 per cent claimed their favourite destination to enjoy them was the seaside, with ‘at home on the sofa’ coming in second. Results also showed that men tend to eat fish and chips a bit more often than women, with 41 per cent of men eating them at least once a month and only 30 per cent of women doing the same.

Favourite accompaniments

Mushy peas topped the poll as the nation’s favourite accompaniment, but less traditional additions also came out in force. The results showed 20 per cent of Brits favoured curry sauce with their fish and chips, and 19 per cent added mayonnaise, which was especially popular with the younger generation.

In 9 out of the 12 cities in the survey tomato ketchup was the favourite condiment after salt and vinegar, with one in every four Brits adding this to their fish and chips.

The National Fish & Chip Awards’ Andy Gray said: “It’s reassuring that as a nation we still love to eat our fish and chips the old fashioned way with plenty of salt, vinegar and mushy peas.

“However, it’s clear that there are some interesting variations on how people eat their fish and chips depending on where they live; curry sauce in Birmingham, tomato ketchup in Newcastle, gravy in Manchester and salt ‘n’ sauce in Edinburgh. Everyone has an opinion on how and where fish and chips should be enjoyed.”

Trends by City

Many cities have their own traditions when it comes to serving fish and chips. Belfast is the UK city where the dish is eaten the most often, with 45 per cent eating it once a month, and it is also the city where respondents were most likely to eat it from a plate instead of the wrappings.

Birmingham was the city most likely to add curry sauce, while Manchester had the most popular support for adding gravy. In Edinburgh 45 per cent of people add the city’s own ‘salt n’ sauce’, and in those from Cardiff and Glasgow are the most likely respondents to eat fish and chips while on the way home from the pub.  

The National Fish & Chip Awards​ will shortly recognise the nation’s favourite fish and chip shops and will be taking place on 20 January at The Lancaster London Hotel.

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