Fish and chips is a hot dish of English origin consisting of fried battered fish and chips. It is a common take-away food within the United Kingdom and an early example of culinary fusion. Fish and chips first appeared in the UK in the 1860s. By 1910 there were more than 25,000 fish and chip shops across the UK, and by the 1930s there were over 35,000. Fish and chips are now a staple takeaway meal in numerous countries, particularly in English-speaking Commonwealth countries including Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa.
|Fish and chips|
|Alternative names||Fish supper / Fish ‘n’ Chips|
|Place of origin||England|
|Main ingredients||Battered and fried fish with deep-fried chips|
The tradition in England of fish battered and fried in oil may have come from Jewish immigrants from Spain and Portugal. Originally, Western Sephardic Jews settling in England as early as the 16th century would have prepared fried fish in a manner similar to pescado frito, which is coated in flour then fried in oil. Charles Dickens mentions "fried fish warehouses" in Oliver Twist (1838), and in 1845 Alexis Soyer in his first edition of A Shilling cookery for the People, gives a recipe for "Fried fish, Jewish fashion", which is dipped in a batter of flour and water.
The exact location of the first fish and chip shop is unclear. The earliest known shops were opened in the 1860s, in London by Joseph Malin and in Mossley, near Oldham, Lancashire, by John Lees. However, fried fish, as well as chips, had existed independently for at least fifty years, so the possibility that they had been combined at an earlier time cannot be ruled out.
Fish and chips became a stock meal among the working classes in England as a consequence of the rapid development of trawl fishing in the North Sea, and the development of railways which connected the ports to major industrial cities during the second half of the 19th century, so that fresh fish could be rapidly transported to the heavily populated areas.
Deep-fried chips (slices or pieces of potato) as a dish may have first appeared in England in about the same period: the Oxford English Dictionary notes as its earliest usage of "chips" in this sense the mention in Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities (1859): "Husky chips of potatoes, fried with some reluctant drops of oil".
The modern fish-and-chip shop ("chippy" or "chipper" in modern British slang) originated in the United Kingdom, although outlets selling fried food occurred commonly throughout Europe. Early fish-and-chip shops had only very basic facilities. Usually these consisted principally of a large cauldron of cooking fat, heated by a coal fire. The fish-and-chip shop later evolved into a fairly standard format, with the food served, in paper wrappings, to queuing customers, over a counter in front of the fryers. By 1910, there were more than 25,000 fish and chip shops across the country, and in the 1920s there were more than 35,000 shops. As a boy Alfred Hitchcock lived above a fish and chip shop in London, which was the family business. According to Professor John Walton, author of Fish and Chips and the British Working Class, the British government made safeguarding supplies of fish and chips during World War I a priority: "The cabinet knew it was vital to keep families on the home front in good heart, unlike the German regime that failed to keep its people well fed".
In 1928, Harry Ramsden opened his first fish and chip shop in Guiseley, West Yorkshire. On a single day in 1952, the shop served 10,000 portions of fish and chips, earning a place in the Guinness Book of Records. In George Orwell's The Road to Wigan Pier (1937), which documents his experience of working class life in the north of England, the author considered fish and chips chief among the 'home comforts' which acted as a panacea to the working classes. During World War II, fish and chips remained one of the few foods in the United Kingdom not subject to rationing. Prime Minister Winston Churchill referred to the combination of fish and chips as "the good companions". John Lennon enjoyed his fish and chips—a staple of the working class—smothered in ketchup.
British fish and chips were originally served in a wrapping of old newspapers but this practice has now largely ceased, with plain paper, cardboard, or plastic being used instead. In the United Kingdom, the Fish Labelling Regulations 2003 and in Ireland the European Communities (Labelling of Fishery and Aquaculture Products) Regulations 2003  respectively enact directive 2065/2001/EC, and generally mean that "fish" must be sold with the particular commercial name or species named; so, for example, "cod and chips" now appears on menus rather than the more vague "fish and chips". In the United Kingdom the Food Standards Agency guidance excludes caterers from this; but several local Trading Standards authorities and others do say it cannot be sold merely as "fish and chips".
A prominent meal in British culture, the dish became popular in wider circles in London and South East England in the middle of the 19th century: Charles Dickens mentions a "fried fish warehouse" in Oliver Twist, first published in 1838, while in the north of England a trade in deep-fried chipped potatoes developed. The first chip shop stood on the present site of Oldham's Tommyfield Market. It remains unclear exactly when and where these two trades combined to become the fish-and-chip shop industry we know. A Jewish immigrant, Joseph Malin, opened the first recorded combined fish-and-chip shop in London in 1860 or in 1865; a Mr Lees pioneered the concept in the North of England, in Mossley, in 1863.
The concept of a fish restaurant, as opposed to take-away, was introduced by Samuel Isaacs (born 1856 in Whitechapel, London; died 1939 in Brighton, Sussex) who ran a thriving wholesale and retail fish business throughout London and the South of England in the latter part of the 19th century. Isaacs' first restaurant opened in London in 1896 serving fish and chips, bread and butter, and tea for nine pence, and its popularity ensured a rapid expansion of the chain.
The restaurants were carpeted, had table service, tablecloths, flowers, china and cutlery, and made the trappings of upmarket dining affordable to the working classes for the first time. They were located in Tottenham Court Road, St Pancras, The Strand, Hoxton, Shoreditch, Brixton and other London districts, as well as Clacton, Brighton, Ramsgate, Margate and other seaside resorts in southern England. Menus were expanded in the early 20th century to include meat dishes and other variations as their popularity grew to a total of thirty restaurants. Sam Isaacs' trademark was the phrase "This is the Plaice", combined with a picture of the punned-upon fish in question. A glimpse of the old Brighton restaurant at No.1 Marine Parade can be seen in the background of Norman Wisdom's 1955 film One Good Turn just as Wisdom/Pitkin runs onto the seafront; this is now the site of a Harry Ramsden's fish and chips restaurant. A blue plaque at Oldham's Tommyfield Market marks the first chips fried in England in 1860, and the origin of the fish and chip shop and fast food industries.
In Ireland, the first fish and chips were sold by an Italian immigrant, Giuseppe Cervi, who mistakenly stepped off an North American-bound ship at Queenstown (now Cobh) in County Cork in the 1880s and walked all the way to Dublin. He started by selling fish and chips outside Dublin pubs from a handcart. He then found a permanent spot in Great Brunswick Street (now Pearse Street). His wife Palma would ask customers "Uno di questa, uno di quella?" This phrase (meaning "one of this, one of that") entered the vernacular in Dublin as "one and one", which is still a way of referring to fish and chips in the city.
Fish and chips is the most popular takeaway food in New Zealand. Food historians have been unable to pinpoint exactly when the meal became an established part of New Zealand cuisine but all recognise that the first fish and chips shops were introduced by British settlers before World War I. During the 20th century, nearly every small town and suburb in New Zealand had at least one fish-and-chip shop. As in Britain, Friday night has been the traditional night to eat fish.
Traditionally, fish and chips were served in wrappings of newspaper. With the decline of the newspaper industry, this has become less common.
In 1980, four up-and-coming Labour Party politicians, including David Lange, were nicknamed the "Fish and Chip Brigade" due to a picture published at the time with the group eating fish and chips.
In the United States, the dish is most commonly sold as "fish and chips", except in Upstate New York and Wisconsin and other parts of the Northeast and Upper Midwest, where this dish would be called a fish fry. Despite the name "fish and chips", and the US meaning of "chips", the dish is served with French fries (much thinner than British and Irish chips). In the Southern United States, a common form of cuisine is fried catfish with French fries, accompanied by coleslaw, pickles, raw onion slices and lemon slices.
Traditional frying uses beef dripping or lard; however, vegetable oils, such as peanut oil (used because of its relatively high smoke point) now predominate. A minority of vendors in the North of England and Scotland, and the majority of vendors in Northern Ireland, still use dripping or lard, as it imparts a different flavour to the dish, but this makes the fried chips unsuitable for vegetarians and for adherents of certain faiths. Lard is used in some living industrial history museums, such as the Black Country Living Museum. All fish is filleted, no bones should be found in the fish.
British and Irish chips are usually thicker than American-style French fries sold by major multinational fast food chains, resulting in a lower fat content per portion. In their homes or in some restaurants, people in or from the United States may eat a thick type of chip, more similar to the British and Irish variant, sometimes referred to as steak fries.
In Britain and Ireland, fish and chip shops traditionally use a simple water and flour batter, adding a little sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and a little vinegar to create lightness, as they react to create bubbles in the batter. Other recipes may use beer or milk batter, where these liquids are often substitutes for water. The carbon dioxide in the beer lends a lighter texture to the batter. Beer also results in an orange-brown colour. A simple beer batter might consist of a 2:3 ratio of flour to beer by volume. The type of beer alters the taste of the batter; some prefer lager whereas others use stout or bitter.
In Britain and Ireland, cod and haddock appear most commonly as the fish used for fish and chips, but vendors also sell many other kinds of fish, especially other white fish, such as pollock or coley, plaice, skate, and ray (particularly popular in Ireland); and huss or rock salmon (a term covering several species of dogfish and similar fish). In Northern Ireland, cod, plaice or whiting appear most commonly in 'fish suppers'—'supper' being Scottish and Northern Irish chip-shop terminology for a food item accompanied by chips. Suppliers in Devon and Cornwall often offer pollock and coley as cheap alternatives to haddock.
In Australia, reef cod and rock cod (a different variety from that used in the United Kingdom), barramundi or flathead (more expensive options), flake (a type of shark meat) or snapper (cheaper options), are commonly used. From the early 21st century, farmed basa imported from Vietnam and hoki have become common in Australian fish and chip shops. Other types of fish are also used based on regional availability.
In New Zealand, snapper or gurnard was originally the preferred species for battered fillets in the North Island. As catches of this fish declined, it was replaced by hoki, shark (particularly rig) – marketed as lemon fish – and tarakihi. Bluefin gurnard and blue cod predominate in South Island fish and chips.
In the United States, the type of fish used depends on availability in a given region. Some common types are cod, halibut, flounder, tilapia or, in New England, Atlantic cod or haddock. Salmon is growing common on the West Coast, while freshwater catfish is most frequently used in the Southeast.
In chip shops in most parts of Britain and Ireland, salt and vinegar are traditionally sprinkled over fish and chips at the time it is served. Suppliers use malt vinegar, onion vinegar (used for pickling onions), or the cheaper non-brewed condiment. In a few places, notably Edinburgh, 'sauce' (as in 'salt and sauce') is more traditional than vinegar - with 'sauce' meaning a brown sauce. In England, a portion of mushy peas is a popular side dish, as are a range of pickles that typically include gherkins, onions and eggs. In table-service restaurants and pubs, the dish is usually served with a slice of lemon for squeezing over the fish and without any sauces or condiments, with salt, vinegar and sauces available at the customer's leisure.
In Ireland, Wales and England, most takeaways serve warm side portions of sauces such as curry sauce, gravy or mushy peas. The sauces are usually poured over the chips. In some areas, this dish without fish is referred to as 'wet chips'. In the Midlands especially, chips with mushy peas or baked beans is known as a "pea mix" or a "bean mix". Other fried products include 'scraps' (also known as 'bits' in Southern England and "scrumps" in South Wales), originally a by-product of fish frying. Still popular in Northern England, they were given as treats to the children of customers. Portions prepared and sold today consist of loose blobs of batter, deep fried to a crunchy golden crisp in the cooking-fat. The potato scallop or potato cake consists of slices of potato dipped in fish batter and deep fried until golden brown. These are often accompanied for dipping by the warm sauces listed above.
There are distinct regional variations in how accompaniments are added to the meal where it is as a take away - related partly to whether the food is entirely wrapped in paper. In some shops the customer is expected to add these; in others the expectation is that the server does so.
An average serving of fish and chips consisting of 6 ounces (170 grams) of fried fish with 10 ounces (280 grams) of fried chips has approximately 1,000 calories and contains approximately 52 grams of fat. The use of tartar sauce as a condiment adds more calories and fat to the dish.
In the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa, fish and chips are usually sold by independent restaurants and take-aways known as fish and chip shops. Outlets range from small affairs to chain restaurants. Locally owned seafood restaurants are also popular in many places, as are mobile "chip vans". In Canada, the outlets may be referred to as "chip wagons". In the United Kingdom some shops have amusing names, such as "A Salt and Battery", "The Codfather", "The Frying Scotsman", "Oh My Cod" and "Frying Nemo" In New Zealand and Australia, fish-and-chip vendors are a popular business and source of income among the Asian community, particularly Chinese migrants. In Indonesia, fish and chips are commonly found in big cities like Jakarta in western and seafood restaurants, as well as chain restaurants like The Manhattan Fish Market, Fish & Chips etc.
In Ireland, the majority of traditional vendors are migrants or the descendants of migrants from southern Italy. A trade organisation exists to represent this tradition.
Fish and chips is a popular lunch meal eaten by families travelling to seaside resorts for day trips who do not bring their own picnic meals.
Fish-and-chip shops traditionally wrapped their product in newspaper, or with an inner layer of white paper (for hygiene) and an outer layer of newspaper or blank newsprint (for insulation and to absorb grease), though the use of newspaper for wrapping has almost ceased on grounds of hygiene. Nowadays, establishments usually use food-quality wrapping paper, occasionally printed on the outside to imitate newspaper.
The British National Federation of Fish Friers was founded in 1913. It promotes fish and chips and offers training courses.
A previous world record for the "largest serving of fish and chips" was held by Gadaleto's Seafood Market in New Paltz, New York. This 2004 record was broken by Yorkshire pub Wensleydale Heifer in July 2011. An attempt to break this record was made by Doncaster fish and chip shop Scawsby Fisheries in August 2012, which served 33 pounds (15 kg) of battered cod alongside 64 pounds (29 kg) of chips.
The long-standing Roman Catholic tradition of not eating meat on Fridays, especially during Lent, and of substituting fish for meat on that day continues to influence habits even in predominantly Protestant, Anglican, semi-secular and secular societies. Friday night remains a traditional occasion for eating fish-and-chips; and many cafeterias and similar establishments, while varying their menus on other days of the week, habitually offer fish and chips every Friday.
In Australia and New Zealand, the words "fish and chips" are often used as a shibboleth to highlight the difference in each country's short-i vowel sound /ɪ/. Australian English has a higher forward sound [i], close to the ee in see (but shorter), while New Zealand English has a lower backward sound [ɘ] akin to the a in Rosa's (but not in Rosa, which is typically lower [ɐ]). Thus, New Zealanders hear Australians say "feesh and cheeps," while Australians hear New Zealanders say "fush and chups."
In the UK, waste oil from fish and chip shops has become a useful source of biodiesel. The German biodiesel company Petrotec has outlined plans to produce biodiesel in the UK from waste oil from the British fish-and-chip industry.
In 1860 a Jewish immigrant from Eastern Europe called Joseph Malin opened the first business in London's East End selling fried fish alongside chipped potatoes which, until then, had been found only in the Irish potato shops.
Arctic Circle Restaurants is a chain of burger and shake restaurants based in Midvale, Utah, United States. There were 87 restaurants as of April 2016, about a third are company owned and two-thirds by franchisees, in Utah, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming. About 50% of the restaurants are located in Utah. The restaurants purvey typical fast food fare such as burgers, sandwiches, shakes, salads, fries, and fish and chips.Famous for inventing regional condiment fry sauce, the company also claims to be the burger chain to invent and first to sell the kids' meal.
Arctic Circle once offered franchises in California, but no longer does.Arthur Treacher's
Arthur Treacher's Fish & Chips is a fast food seafood restaurant chain. At the peak of its popularity in the late 1970s, it had about 800 stores. As of May 2018, there are only seven remaining: three in New York and four in Ohio. Most locations have been co-branded with Nathan's Famous. The menu offers fried seafood or chicken, accompanied by chips. Its main competitors are Long John Silver's and Captain D's.British cuisine
British cuisine is the heritage of cooking traditions and practices associated with the United Kingdom. Although Britain has a rich indigenous culinary tradition its colonial history has profoundly enriched its native cooking traditions. British cuisine absorbed the cultural influences of its post-colonial territories - in particular those of South Asia.
In ancient times Celtic agriculture and animal breeding produced a wide variety of foodstuffs for the indigenous Celts and Britons. Anglo-Saxon England developed meat and savoury herb stewing techniques before the practice became common in Europe. The Norman conquest introduced exotic spices into England in the Middle Ages. The British Empire facilitated a knowledge of Indian cuisine with its "strong, penetrating spices and herbs". Food rationing policies put into place by the British government during the wartime periods of the 20th century are widely considered today to be responsible for British cuisine's poor international reputation.Well-known traditional British dishes include full breakfast, fish and chips, the Christmas dinner, the Sunday roast, steak and kidney pie, shepherd's pie, and bangers and mash. People in Britain however eat a wide variety of foods based on the cuisines of Europe, India, and other parts of the world. British cuisine has many regional varieties within the broader categories of English, Scottish and Welsh cuisine and Northern Irish cuisine. Each has developed its own regional or local dishes, many of which are geographically indicated foods such as Cornish pasties, the Yorkshire pudding, Cumberland Sausage, Arbroath Smokie, and Welsh cakes.Brown sauce
Brown sauce is a traditional condiment served with food in the United Kingdom and Ireland, normally dark brown in colour. The ingredients include a varying combination of tomatoes, molasses, dates, apples, tamarind, spices, vinegar, and sometimes raisins. The taste is either tart or sweet with a peppery taste similar to that of Worcestershire sauce. It is similar to brown sauce marketed as steak sauce in the United States.
Brown sauce is traditionally eaten with meals such as full breakfasts and bacon sandwiches.
A combination of spirit vinegar (or water) and brown sauce known simply as "sauce" or "chippy sauce" is popular on fish and chips in Edinburgh, Scotland.A recipe for "sauce for steaks" composed of ale, wine, ketchup, black pepper and butter appeared in an 1862 cookbook published in London entitled The Practical Family Cookery Book.Captain D's
Captain D's is a U.S.-based chain of fast casual seafood restaurants specializing in seafood and their first one opening in Donelson, Tennessee, on August 15, 1969. Known originally as Mr. D's Seafood and Hamburgers, Captain D's changed its company name to Captain D's Seafood in 1974 to focus more exclusively on its classic fish and chips, shrimp and side dishes.
Throughout the 1970s, the company grew rapidly and added special programs like the Kids’ Birthday Club and children's comic books. During the 1980s and 1990s, the company's logo and building design evolved.On September 13, 2010, Phil Greifeld was appointed CEO of Captain D's.Throughout 2016, Captain D's experienced a surge of franchise and corporate development, with 13 new locations opened, along with numerous development agreements signed to open additional restaurants. This ongoing growth expanded the brand's presence in states nationwide, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.Chicken and mushroom pie
Chicken and mushroom pie is a common British pie, ranked as one of the most popular types of savoury pie in Great Britain and often served in fish and chips restaurants.Fish and chip shop
A fish and chip shop, is a form of a fast food restaurant that specialises in selling fish and chips. Usually, fish and chip shops provide takeaway service, although some have seating facilities. Variations on the name include fish bar, fisheries in Yorkshire, fish shop and chip shop. In the United Kingdom including Northern Ireland, they are colloquially known as a chippy, while in the rest of Ireland they are known as chippers. Fish and chip shops may also sell other foods, including variations on their core offering such as battered sausage and burgers, to regional cuisine such as Indian or Chinese food.Fried fish
Fried fish refers to any fish or shellfish that has been prepared by frying. Often, the fish is covered in batter, egg and breadcrumbs, flour, or herbs and spices before being fried and served, often with a slice of lemon.
Fish is fried in many parts of the world, and fried fish is an important food in many cuisines. For many cultures, fried fish is historically derived from pescado frito, and the traditional fish and chips dish of England which it may have inspired. The latter remains a staple take-out dish of the UK and its former and present colonies. Fried fishcakes made of cod (and other white fish, such as haddock or whiting) are a widely available in the frozen food sections of U.S. grocery stores. Fast food restaurants use fried fishcake in sandwiches like the Filet-O-Fish offered by McDonald's. Long John Silver's, Skipper's, Captain D's, and Arthur Treacher's are well-known North American chain restaurants that serve fried fish as their main food offering. Catfish are also a prevalent farm-raised type of fish that is often served fried throughout the world. A classic fried fish recipe from France is the Sole meunière.H. Salt Esquire
H. Salt Esquire is a Monterey Park, California-based fast food restaurant chain which specializes in fish and chips. The chain joined with KFC in 1969 to expand its operations throughout the United States.Harry Ramsden's
Harry Ramsden's is a fast food restaurant chain based in the United Kingdom which offers fish and chips and assorted themed dishes. The business has 35 owned and franchised outlets throughout the UK and Ireland.
Harry Ramsden's website claims the business to be "Britain's longest established restaurant chain".List of fish and chip restaurants
This is a list of notable fish and chip restaurants which are renowned for, or whose main dish is, fish and chips. Fish and chips is a hot dish of English origin, consisting of battered fish, commonly Atlantic cod or haddock and deep-fried chips. It is a common take-away food. A common side dish is mushy peas.
A fish and chip shop, colloquially known as a 'chippy' in the UK and 'chipper' in Ireland, is an outlet that predominantly sells the English dish of fish and chips. It is usually a takeaway operation, although some have limited seating facilities.Manning Point, New South Wales
Manning Point is a small village located at the mouth of the Manning River in New South Wales, Australia . Lying on Mitchells Island, it lies opposite the town of Harrington. It is 26 kilometres (16 mi) east of Taree on the Mid North Coast. At the 2006 census, Manning Point had a population of 228.It was previously known as Brighton.Besides the holiday rental units, it has a general store, a bowling club, the two caravan parks, a cafe, and a bait shop. The general store is also the news agent, the video rental shop, the Australia Post Office, the bottle shop, the burger and fish and chips grill, and the grocery store.
The type collection of the jewel beetle species Maoraxia auroimpressa was collected at Manning Point.Mushy peas
Mushy peas are dried marrowfat peas which are first soaked overnight in water with sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), then rinsed in fresh water and simmered with a little sugar and salt until they form a thick green lumpy mash. Sometimes mint is used as a flavouring. Throughout the British Isles (in particular Northern England and the Midlands) they are a traditional accompaniment to fish and chips. In Northern England they are commonly served as part of the popular snack of pie and peas (akin to the South Australian pie floater, but with mushy peas instead of a thick pea soup) and are considered to be a part of traditional British cuisine. Mushy peas can also be bought ready prepared in tin cans. They are sometimes also packed into a ball, deep-fried in batter, and served as a pea fritter.Red pudding
Red pudding is a meat dish served mainly at chip shops in some areas of Scotland as an alternative to fish (see fish and chips). Red pudding is associated with the east of Scotland in general and particularly with Fife, though even in this area it has become less common in recent years. Broadly similar to the English saveloy, its main ingredients are beef, pork, pork rind or bacon, suet, rusk, wheat flour, spices, salt, beef fat and colouring.
The mixture is formed into a sausage shape of roughly eight inches in length, no different from black and white pudding and the chip shop variant of haggis. The pudding is usually cooked by being coated in a batter, deep fried, and served hot. Bought on its own it is known as a "single red", or when accompanied by chips it is known as a "red pudding supper".Skyronnes
Skyronnes are Icelandic dipping sauces made out of skyr instead of mayonnaise.
They are usually served with fish and chips.Tarrawanna, New South Wales
Tarrawanna is a northern suburb of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia, extending westward from the Princes Highway over the Illawarra Escarpment.
Tarrawanna's main street Meadow street has a few shops including cafes, a brewery, a Thai restaurant, a fish and chips shop and a grocer.Tartar sauce
Tartar sauce (French: sauce tartare; also spelled Tartare sauce in the UK, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and other parts of the Commonwealth) is a condiment composed of mayonnaise and finely chopped capers. Tartar sauce can also be enhanced with the addition of gherkins, other varieties of pickles, lemon juice as well as herbs such as dill and parsley.
It is most often used as a condiment with seafood dishes such as clam strips, fried oysters, fish and chips, fish sandwiches, and fish fingers, among many other dishes.Whitefish (fisheries term)
Whitefish or white fish is a fisheries term for several species of demersal fish with fins, particularly Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), whiting (Merluccius bilinearis), haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus), hake (Urophycis), pollock (Pollachius), and others. Whitefish (Coregonidae) is also the name of several species of Atlantic freshwater fish.
Whitefish live on or near the seafloor, and can be contrasted with the oily or pelagic fish which live in the water column away from the seafloor. Unlike oily fish, whitefish contain oils only in their liver, rather than in their gut, and can therefore be gutted as soon as they are caught, on board the ship. Whitefish have dry and white flesh.
Whitefish can be divided into benthopelagic fish (round fish which live near the sea bed, such as cod and coley) and benthic fish (which live on the sea bed, such as flatfish like plaice).
Whitefish is sometimes eaten straight but is often used reconstituted for fishsticks, gefilte fish, lutefisk, surimi (imitation crabmeat), etc. For centuries it was preserved by drying as stockfish and clipfish and traded as a world commodity. It is commonly used as the fish in the classic British dish of fish and chips.