For Job 2 of 52, I travelled back to my home town of Leeds to learn the tricks of the trade at Atlantis Fish Shop. After successfully mastering the basics of the ‘Flying Pan’ earlier in the week I was let loose in the Atlantis shop. Here’s what I learnt…
Atlantis fry haddock as their fish of choice. Leeds has a remarkable fish divide with North Leeds favouring haddock and South Leeds favouring cod. Nationally the North of England tends to take the skin off; the South tends to leave the skin on. Like all good chippies, Atlantis cook their fish to order. Never settle for a fish that’s been sitting around in a cabinet – good quality fish is too good to serve lukewarm. If you’re well behaved you may get a chip on a stick while you wait.
Fact – 61% of the UK order Cod opposed to 25% for Haddock.
Atlantis like to source the local Yorkshire Maris Piper because the soft texture results in a crispy chip. Not only does the thickness allows for a buttery center but it also absorbs less fat in the cooking process. Atlantis par cook the chips, rest them, then fry for a golden finish. Spare a moment for the British potato – last year’s wet weather rotted most of the crops resulting in a yield down 40% on 2011 (cue Spanish potatoes ready to invade).
Fact – Potatoes are nicknamed ‘spuds’ after the long flat tool used to dig them out.
Atlantis carefully guard their batter recipe. Most batters consist of flour, cold water & baking powder. Some recipes substitute beer for water of which Weissbier is the best option. Most chippies can cook lightly battered fish for the health conscious among you. Batter fanatics should ask for ‘scraps’ with your meal (most shops won’t charge you extra).
Fact – Worried about the waistline? Fish and Chips have less fat, salt and calories than a cheese and tomato pizza.
No chippy would be complete without the obligatory mushy peas and curry sauce. Atlantis also make their own renowned ‘hot curry sauce.’ A secret recipe passed down from father to son, once you try Atlantis’s hot curry sauce you’ll never go back. Us Northerners also love a good helping of gravy, although the thought of beef and fish may strike Southerners as a little uncouth.
Fact – Michael Jackson loved mushy peas with his fish and chips.
How and Where?
Leave it to the experts and stick to the local fish shop! Anywhere else is just wrong. Eat out of paper with your hands or maybe even a cheap plastic fork. I like mine dowsed in malt vinegar Wash down with copious amounts of strong tea.
Fact – 1 in 6 people in the UK visit their local fish shop once a week.
Enjoy a good helping of fish and chips? Share with me your orders below…