Is it just my imagination or did fish and chips taste better when they were wrapped in yesterday’s newspaper?
I’m not exactly sure when it happened, probably sometime back in the 70s, but the ‘fish and chippery ‘ dispensed with the age old tradition of the newspaper wrapping and went with the cleaner look of white butcher’s paper and then eventually to fancy boxes.
All the years growing up as a kid, I can only ever remember the take away treat being wrapped in the Advertiser. The paper was then a ‘broadsheet’ of course and the extra size was more preferable than the tabloid sized afternoon paper ‘The News’.
Andrew Heslop – Commentator, MC and Community Advocate, writing recently on the Adelaide Remember When Facebook page shared a photo and a memory of growing up in Adelaide; “Seppelts Wine Vinegar was once on the counter at every fish and chip shop in town. The distinctive bottle provided a thin stream of vinegar through a tiny hole in the blue top, right on to your steaming fish and chips. With the advent of multinational fast food chains the shops – many owned by hard working first generation migrants – have slowly closed down. My favourite is still open – Sotos on Semaphore Road down near the beach. Many happy memories of being there with my grandparents during summer and taking our meal across to the (now closed) sideshows and summer carnival. Happy days”!
Many readers to the page commented with memories of their own favourite fish and chips shop, many, as Andrew pointed out owned and run by hard working, first generation migrant families. Others wrote in with recollections of “me rapidly tearing 2 holes in the top of the parcel….a little one to let the heat out so the chips wouldn’t go soggy and a larger hole to grab a chip through”.
Diana Field recalled “When I lived in the city as a youngster, the Gouger Fish Cafe was the place to buy a parcel of newspaper-wrapped chips, tear a hole in the end and eat them while walking home to Wright Street”.
Dorina Fanning told the story about the man that ran the fish and chip shop on Semaphore road years ago, (near the Glanville end). “He had passed away recently and one of the mourners, came up to a family a member and said “I didn’t know him very well, but I just wanted to let you know that he made the best chips. Nice to be remembered!”
On a similar note, Susan J Clohesy wrote; “When I was a kid we lived in Walsh Ave at St Mary’s. An old guy named Nick had a fish and chippy a few doors down from us. Always gave us more than we paid for. When his shop burnt down, he sat in the gutter and cried and we kids sat down and cried with him”.
Today with the ‘fast food’ chains opening on almost every second corner, the humble fish and chip shops are becoming thin on the ground, fortunately though a few good ones have survived. I still love to tuck into a meal of take away fish and chips with lots of salt and vinegar. I’d love it even more though if they were still wrapped in newspaper!