FIRST Minister Alex Salmond took delivery of a box of fish from the north-east yesterday in a concluding gesture to mark 150 years of Scotland’s favourite takeaway.Not so sure it's still the UK's favourite takeaway food, there are competing claims on that one. Historically it certainly was (and obviously not just in Scotland) and historically, Friday was the day my father would bring home not just the fish suppers, but pasties, battered sausages, onion rings and an extra portion of chips allegedly "for the kids" but usually polished off pretty sharpish by himself. Our favourite venue was on the Castlereagh Road, the Friar Tuck (or something original along those lines) followed closely by the pride of Ballynafeigh, "Sunnyside Up".
The milestone anniversary for the traditional fish and chip supper has been enthusiastically celebrated by the Scottish Seafood Training Association over the past 12 months.
Robert Milne, the group’s chairman, and deputy Stewart Devine – a director at the Ashvale chain of fish restaurants – travelled by car from the north-east to Edinburgh to present the first minister with his gift.
Mr Milne said: “It is a fantastic achievement for fish and chips to keep its place as the nation’s favourite takeaway after 150 years, despite competition from various fast foods.”
The role of fish suppers in Scottish culture is highlighted by the number of UK awards regularly making their way to chippies north of the border, he said.
Culinary-wise, I don't think I've ever quite reached the same level of anticipation and excitement that I felt on those Friday evenings- a soyabean risotto just doesn't hit the spot in quite the same way.