"Fish and chips" is deep-fried fish in batter with deep-fried potatoes, and a popular take-away food. Fish and chips is originally from the United Kingdom, but also very popular in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa and some coastal towns of the Netherlands and Norway; and also increasingly so in the United States and elsewhere. For decades it was the dominant (if not the only) take-away food in the United Kingdom.
The fried potatoes are called chips in British and international usage; and while American English calls them french fries, the combination is still called "fish and chips". (Potato chips, an American innovation, are a different potato-derived food, and are known as crisps in the United Kingdom.)
Fish and chips have separately been eaten for many years – though the potato was not introduced to Europe until the 17th century. The originally Sephardi dish Pescado frito, or deep-fried fish, came to Netherlands and England with the Spanish and Portuguese Jews in the 17th and 18th centuries.
The dish became popular in more widespread circles in London and the south-east in the middle of the 19th century (Charles Dickens mentions a "fried fish warehouse" in Oliver Twist) whilst in the north of England a trade in deep-fried "chipped" potatoes developed.
It is unclear when and where these two trades were merged to become the fish and chip shop industry we know today. The first combined fish and chip shop was probably the one opened in London by Joseph Malin in 1860.
During World War II, fish and chips were one of the few foods that were not rationed in the UK.
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