Yorkshire folk have strong opinions and we’re stubborn enough to know we’re always right—especially when it comes to fish and chips. Only we do things a different way.
Most of the UK wants cod and chips, but not us. We like haddock - cod's slightly sweeter, meatier cousin. Skin on? No thanks. Skinned, filleted, battered, and fried in lard not oil please.
That’s what makes perfect fish and chips.
One canny tyke understood fish and chips’ appeal more than most—Harry Ramsden.
Born in 1888, he came from a fish and chip frying family, but he had ambitions and foresight. He bought a cafe in Guiseley, just outside Leeds, England, for £150.00. That was a small fortune back when the average weekly wage averaged £5.00.
The site was at the tram terminus and the gateway to the Yorkshire Dales. Day trippers, cyclists, motorists and hikers often finished a day out with a fish and chip supper.
The café proved so successful that three years later, Harry rebuilt the place with oak panels, crystal chandeliers and even had a pianist serenade his customers.
It was the world’s biggest fish and chip shop.
Some readers might have heard of his nephew, Harry Corbett—the man who invented Sooty and Sweep.
Sadly, Harry died in 1963. The restaurant changed hands and his name became a worldwide franchise. Next time you check out the freezer in your supermarket, see if Harry Ramsden’s fish are in there.
The restaurant closed in 2011 but the Wetherby Whaler chain stepped in. They concentrate on the thing Yorkshire Folk like best. Proper Fish and chips.
You can still eat your humble fish and chips to piano music in a luxurious room lit by crystal chandeliers.
And I frequently do.