A History of Fish & Chips

Separately fish and chips have been eaten for many years; though the potato was not introduced into Europe until the 17th century. However, the fried potato chip (Vlams frites) supposedly first appeared in Belgium, hence the popular modern day term “French fries”. The original pescado frito (deep-fried fish) probably came to England and the Netherlands with the Spanish and Portuguese Jews in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Here in England the dish now known as fish and chips became popular in the middle of the 19th century and the first mention of fried fish was in Charles Dickens famous novel, Oliver Twist which was first published in 1837 and mentioned a “fried fish warehouse”. By the 1850’s street traders were on the streets of London selling fried fish and “shaved” potatoes wrapped in newspapers. Also, in the north of England businesses developed selling deep-fried chipped potatoes.

It is uncertain how and when the two constituents merged into the fish and chip industry as we know it today, but the opening of the first fish and chip shop in London is attributed to Joseph Malin in 1860, whilst the first fish and chip shop outside the capital was opened by John Lees in Mossley, Cheshire, in 1863.
Popularity of the dish rose rapidly and quickly became a staple part of the British diet. Fish and Chips were used to feed the masses during both World Wars, and Lord Woolton, Minister of Food declared that Fish and Chips were among the foods not to be rationed during the Second World War.
Nowadays this country has over 11,000 fish and chip shops serving in excess of 250 million fish and chip suppers each and every year. It still remains Britain’s most-popular take-away meal.

Proud to serve the people of Plymouth for nearly 100 years

Perillas is one of the most famous names in the Plymouth area, well-known for the quality of their fish & chips. The Company Perillas is currently run by Roger Perilla, who can claim to have had five generations of his family working within the business. Giulia Perilla, his grandmother, was the first generation and Thomas, Roger’s grandson, is the fifth.

The most well-known member of the Perilla fish and chip family was undoubtedly Giovanni (John) Perilla, the second generation, who was Roger’s father.
Perillas was established around 1913 by Roger’s grandmother Giulia Perilla and her sister-in-law Antonia Perilla, their first shop was in Fore Street, Saltash.

Later on they moved from Saltash and during the Second World War moved around the city of Plymouth as the Blitz dictated. Their first permanent shop became well-established at No.5 King Street, a street that was home to other well-known businesses such as Ivor Dewdney (pasties), Hoopers (newsagents), the old Odeon Cinema and the renowned Starkey Knight and Ford Public House, The Barley Sheaf, Michael Perilla’s favourite watering hole.

Post-war in 1948, as the Eastern end of King Street was in the process of being demolished to make way for the development of Frankfort Gate and the new Plymouth Market, Perillas was one of their first businesses to move to the newly re-built Market Avenue in the City Centre. They remained there until July1993 when the shop was sold.
At that time Perillas had several shops in the Plymouth area but have chosen to retain only one (at Mutley) where maximum effort and attention can be focused on developing and maintaining Perillas traditional values. Perillas have been at Ford Park Road continually since 1968, celebrating its 40th anniversary last year.

Though a company with traditional values Perillas will not simply stand still as their new look demonstrates and their website signifies. Perillas know that today’s customer is an informed customer.
Perillas have also thought hard to develop a “healthy option” for customers. With our new-look now in full swing we are fully committed to re-investing in our business to allow future generations of the Perilla family to carry on serving our famous product to the fish & chip lovers of Plymouth for many years to come.

A healthy option

Fish and chips are made entirely from natural constituents and are a great source of protein, iron, fibre and vitamins. They can provide a third of the daily recommended allowance of vitamins for men and nearly half for women.

Fat facts: Properly cooked in vegetable oil, a standard portion of battered fish contains just less than 10% fat (only 5% saturated and trans fat combined) and traditional chips contain 9% fat (only 4.5% saturated and trans fats) Conclusion: Compared with other take-away foods, fish and chips are significantly lower in fat content.

Recent research by Sea Fish Industry Authority (Seafish) shows that a battered piece of Cod has 9.8g of fat per 100g and traditional chips have 9.0g per 100g. This can be compared with 14.8g per 100g for a High Street chain Burger, 16.2 g per 100g for a Doner Kebab with Pita & Salad or Chinese style Crispy Duck which is 24.2g per 100g.

For an even healthier meal Perillas will grill a piece of fish without batter (specific varieties only). A piece of fish grilled in this way will only have 0.7g per 100g of fat. For more information on grilled fish please refer to our menu page.

Calorie Facts: Fish and chips have around a third less calories than other popular take-away meals and represent only 30% of a female adult’s recommended daily intake and less than 25% of a male’s.


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