Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Maketu Fish ‘n Chips


Fish and chips a very popular meal here in New Zealand and it forms part of the fabric that gives us the Kiwi identification. But have we ever stopped to questioned ourselves does it belong to us, and if not where did it originate and how did it get here? Most of us will be surprised and learn that Fish and Chips originated in the United Kingdom as far back as 1858. It comprised of battered fish, that is cooked by a process of deep-frying and is accompanied by deep-fried 'slab-cut' potato called chips. There is however debate, but popular opinion associates the meal with the United Kingdom where it remains as popular then as it is today.

Community Development

Countries like New Zealand, Australia and Canada were colonised by the British people during the mid 19th century, and brought with them their customs and preferences including their like for fish and chips. Here they quickly established fish markets and as the markets grew in city centres the smaller fish shop grew in numbers and are found in many rural settlements scattered across New Zealand. Patronage of these small markets by local residents soon found cooking as alternative money earning income stream. A sense of local ownership and identity soon became the talk and the word spread that we have the “best fish and chips” Families travelled specially to these settlements to buy fish and chips and enjoy the local hospitality.

A Greater Menu Selection


‘Maketu Fish ‘n Chip Shop’ with permission by Robin White

Maketu for  over two generations has kept a reputation of cooking the best fish and chips in the Bay for the best tasting and freshness of fish. This is attributed to a well known local family the Tapsell’s and as proprietors they handed the good will of the business to next in line. The Maketu Fisheries Shop changed many times and so did it’s menu. The selection offered, includes battered fresh mussels, oysters, prawns, sausages, spring rolls, kiwi burgers, kumara chips with sour cream and even deep-fried chocolate. The process of deep-frying has taken on change as well, for the health conscious minded customer can now ask for their meal to be cooked in oils.

Take-Away the News

Kiwi’s are patriotic and support all things Kiwi like Watties. One will say you cannot have Fish and Chips unless you have it with Watties Tomato sauce. Kiwi’s have a fascination for Watties and like Fish and Chips we begin to own it with our Watties products from Tomato to Tartar sauce’s. Here in Maketu they will throw in the slice of lemon wedges on request.

Take-away your Fish and Chips and find a spot on the sandy beach or on the grassy knoll, unwrap what is a New Zealand icon and enjoy. Take the time to read the news articles and reflect you never know what you get.

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