Friday afternoon was always my favorite when we lived in Cheltenham, England. A short bicycle ride from home in an area we called St. Marks was the small, but very busy fish and chips place. Armed with the money Mom had given me, I peddled my way to pick up that weekly bounty.
I took my turn in the queue and when I reached the counter, I announced clearly the amount of fish and chips required to feed our family of eight. Quickly, the owner wrapped the order in newspaper, held it closed with a short piece of tape, collected my offered payment and handed me my package. Peddling faster than on my trip over, I made my way home with the fish and chips, piping hot in their newspaper protector.
With hands and faces cleaned and grace offered, we all dug into the feast that is singularly the embodiment of my love affair with the English style of cooking. I can, to this day, smell the vinegar which liberally accented not only the fish, but also those fat delicious “chips.” I love many, many meals I have had in the US, both at home and in restaurants, but the fish and chips, served fresh and steaming hot from the newspaper will ALWAYS remain a favorite of mine. I was saddened to hear recently that they no longer allow the wrapping of the fish and chips in newspaper. Something to do with toxicity or cleanliness, I’m certain, but, for me, fish and chips should ALWAYS be served from newspaper!