Food. Fish and chips.

traditionally                 the way things are usually done

snap frozen                   frozen very quickly

skeleton                          all the bones


Fish and chip shop in a small shopping centre.

One of the most famous western take away meals is fish and chips. It is also one of the meals foreigners miss the most when they are living in countries like China, a country that is big on rice and stir fry.

Fish and chips has traditionally been a cheap meal, potatoes being plentiful and fish easy to buy. But in the last few years it has become more expensive. However, most of us will have fish and chips from time to time.


Fish and chips for two.

Chips are potatoes cut into finger shapes. Most people know them as French fries, but French fries are much thinner. You can see from this photo above the size we would normally expect a chip to be.

These days the chips are usually factory made, cut and partly cooked, then snap frozen. They are bought by the fish and chip shops in large bags and cooked from frozen, going straight into very hot oil. They take just a few minutes to cook.

There are many varieties of fish used in fish and chips. Some of the cheaper fish is poorer quality and not always so tasty. Many shops have five or six varieties available for different prices and we can go in and choose what kind of fish we would like. They put the fish into batter and then cook it while we wait. Again, this only takes a few minutes.

The pieces of fish are quite large, one piece is enough for one person.

The pieces of fish are usually big, much bigger than the pieces of fish you would buy in China. You can see from the photo above, that it is a large piece. There are no bones in this fish. When the fish are caught they are filleted, that is all the meat is cut off the bones and the skeleton of the fish is left behind. Usually in the west we are not used to eating fish with lots of little bones.


The batter is thin and the tender fish can be seen here.

There is a coating of batter around the fish. This is made from flour and water mixed together. It makes a kind of skin around the fish. When the batter is cooked it should be crisp and crunchy when you eat it.

The shop will normally wrap the cooked fish and chips in white paper, and we take the white paper parcel home, or to where we will eat. The shop puts salt on the chips and usually adds one or two pieces of lemon so we can squeeze the juice onto the fish. Fish with a little with lemon juice is delicious. In the photo above you can see some tomato sauce on the paper a piece of lemon.

It makes a good takeaway meal because you can eat it with your fingers, and when you have finished you just roll up the white paper and put it in the rubbish bin. You can take it home and eat it while watching television, or if you are at the park or beach it is an easy meal to eat while sitting on the sand.

Generally we would have tomato sauce with our chips too. English people like vinegar with their chips but Australians and New Zealander’s usually have tomato sauce.

Even though fish and chips is a take away meal, it is also on the menu at almost every restaurant. Fish is very good for us. Often in a restaurant, the meal would also come with a salad.


Questions for review.


  1. Describe a chip.
  2. How large is the piece of fish in the picture above?
  3. How many kinds of fish could we choose from in the shop?
  4. Where would we usually eat fish and chips?
  5. Why is it a popular meal?
  6. What kind of paper is usually used to wrap up the fish and chips?
  7. What do English people like to have with their chips?’
  8. What does the writer of this story usually have with her chips?
  9. Describe the fish and chip shop in the picture.
  10. What else do they sell?






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