Fish and chips. Marvellous and satisfying are two words that spring to mind immediately. I always fancy a bit of fish and chips on a Friday and am incredibly lucky to have a few fantastic locals to satisfy the craving.
Different variations to suit different cravings
What I love is the variations of this British Friday night staple. In the recent BBC series of The Incredible Spicemen, we saw Tony and Cyrus spice up locally caught cod with their unique masala blend. In my local Greek deli, I’ll order some calamari (deep fried squid) to go with oregano fries. The Italian restaurant round the corner does lovely whitebait fried in a light batter and serves on top of roasted potatoes baked with Parmesan cheese. A little posher but fish and chips of sorts nonetheless.
A stateside version to rival the best British chippie
On a recent trip across the pond, I was surprised to find the Friday tradition also holds true in the States. My friends live in the upstate New York town of Syracuse and have grown up with a Friday Fish Fry. There is only one contender in town – Fish Cove.
This family owned and run business was first established in 1948 by Al Falcone who has now retired and handed over to his son Joe. Both gentlemen were utterly charming as they related the history of their take away.
There are few differences between the then and now. A bigger and bolder sign outside, some new equipment added to the old, a menu which is much the same…
…and fish which is now delivered in vs the trips to the markets on the coast. Al has kept images of the fish market and harbour as they used to be. What an integral part of his life these must have been.
The selection of fish, the way it’s weighed and fried and of course the secret recipe has not changed. Joe talked me through the basic ingredients of flour, breadcrumbs and seasoning but was as guarded as you’d expect with proportions and measures.
We ordered fish fry in a bun, mushrooms, courgettes and all the sides of coleslaw and macaroni cheese. There was a spice of sorts in the batter which I cannot put my finger on. Given the Italian origins of the Falcone family, oregano perhaps?
Spices aside, this was melt-in-the-mouth fish with the satisfying crunch that pulls it 100% into the Friday comfort food zone. Delicious!
What satisfies your Friday night fish and chip craving? Do you have any variations to share?