We’ve been busy in the kitchen cooking up new recipes and are pleased to say we’ve added some exciting new meals to our Softer Foods range. These new meals include Fish & Chips, Steak & Chips and Omelette, Chips & Beans.
Our favourite is the fish, chips and peas – a quintessentially British dish. But where did it come from?
The first mention of what closely resembles what we know today as a chip goes as far back as the 17th Century. Having been brought to Britain from the New World earlier that century, Robert May described potatoes ‘boil’d and fried in butter’ in his 1660 cookery book ‘The Accomplisht Cook’.
By the 19th century, potatoes had become the fuel that powered the Industrial Revolution and chips were a cheap, staple food of the industrial north. In the meantime, fried fish was becoming popular in London’s East End. Soon the two had been put together to create a tasty combination, and so was born a national favourite.
Throughout the late 19th century and well into the 20th, the fish and chip trade continued to expand rapidly. It is believed, the first fish and chip shop opened in Mossely, near Oldham, Lancashire, in 1863. This popular meal became so essential to the ordinary man and woman that chip shops popped up everywhere, usually as family-run businesses operating from the front-room of the house. There are now around 8,500 fish and chip shops across the UK.
Fish and chips became an invaluable meal throughout the Second World War as neither fish nor chips were rationed. Fish and chip shops also performed a similar role to the 'National Kitchens', set up during the war to provide the population with basic nutrition – and, no doubt, a boost to morale.
Since then Britain’s love of chips has grown and are no longer just served with fish, having become popular with many other dishes.
As this fried potato treat is so well-loved by everyone across the country, we decided to add a selection of meals with chips to our Level 4 Purée Petite range – the chips even have vinegar!
But, how are these meals created? We caught up with our Head Development Chef, Phil Rimmer, to find out…
“Firstly, we look at what is popular across all our other ranges – we want to make meals people want to eat. We then look at the balance of all the key components, this helps us decide what vegetables, carbohydrates and protein elements to include – this time we knew wanted to include chips. From here, we approach the creation of the meals just as we would any other dishes - we use great, flavoursome ingredients to maximise the taste.”
We hope you enjoy these meals just as much as we do.